Tag Archives: EOS Airlines

R.I.P. Silverjet

London-NY Business Class Flying Is Dead

Silverjet

Business class airlines flying from the New York metropolitan area to London just cannot catch a break.

One, Two, Three Bankrupt Airlines

First, it was MAXjet Airways who folded just before Christmas 2007, leaving passengers scrambling in a bid to get home. Plans to re-launch the carrier as a charter operator apparently are on hold.

Second, it was EOS Airlines

who announced this Spring that their elite business class service was through, citing rising fuel prices and competition for its demise. EOS’ claim to fame was its introductory $6500 roundtrip airfare, with 48-passenger seating and amenities rivaling what corporate jet fliers receive.

Third, and last, is Silverjet

the British-registered airline that recently seemed to have worked out a key funding plan which would have rescued the airline, but today Forbes has reported that the airline has been shut down and all 300 employees fired. Silverjet had suspended operations two weeks ago when it ran out of cash, but an Irish suitor canceled the deal.

Sardine Class, Anyone?

All three airlines sought to carve out a niche abandoned by the SST market after the last of the aging aircraft were pulled from Air France’s and British Airways’ fleets. Though no one was promising to get passengers back and forth across the Atlantic quickly, the business-style air carriers could at least do it in style, something the legacy air carriers weren’t doing.

Alas, the New York-London business-class only market is now dead. Businesses will have to choose whether to fly corporate or to catch a flight on one of the big American or British air carriers, flying choices which are at polar opposites of each other.

United-USAirways Deal Nears

flight attendantJust weeks after Northwest Airways and Delta Airlines announced their merger plans, it appears that United Airlines and USAirways will soon make their own announcement. If pulled off, a United-USAirways merger would create the world’s second largest airline just behind the newly-merged Northwest-Delta entity which will be called Delta Airlines.

Flying as United Airlines, the newly-merged airline is expected to keep its headquarters in Chicago, but be controlled by USAirways management. USAirways was bought out by America West in 2005, but the airline kept the better known USAirways name.

We’ve Been Down This Road Before

If the United-USAirways deals sounds familiar, the Chicago Tribune

recently reminded its readers that these airlines had announced a deal in 2000, that collapsed 14 months later. Opposition from regulatory and union officials ditched those plans and a slowing economy was also being blamed for the earlier collapse.

Gates To Open Up

Certain east coast US gates controlled by USAirways and United could suddenly be freed up if the merger goes through. Likely, regulators would force the newly-merged entity to cede gates at important airports, including Reagan National in Washington, DC, allowing JetBlue, Virgin America, and Air Tran to bid on available gates.

Other Industry News

Most of the merger talk these days has come about as airlines face record jet fuel prices. A rash of smaller airlines have already declared bankruptcy with several closing their doors permanently. However, a few airlines are hoping to make it through the current crisis including:

  • Silverjet, which is the last of three air carriers flying business class only passengers between New York and London (after MAXjet and EOS’ demise) has been in talks with Lufthansa and other interested parties to purchase the airline. However, Silverjet CEO Lawrence Hunt is reluctant to sell citing market conditions as the chief reasons to keep Silverjet off the market.

Oil Dips Slightly

One glimmer of light for the airlines is the price of oil which actually dropped slightly

by 56 cents to $125.40 for June crude delivery. Not that bright of a light, that is for certain, but one the airlines can use if only for the moment.