June 14, 2008

Silverjet Rescue Deal Collapses

ALL staff at collapsed buiness-class airline Silverjet have been laid off today as a potential rescue deal collapsed.

Swiss investor Kingplace had provisionally agreed to take over the Luton Airport-based carrier which went into administration a fortnight ago.

But administrator Begbies Traynor said that, due to "unusually complex negotiations" with third parties, Kingplace was "no longer in a position to acquire Silverjet as a going concern".

"As a consequence, we have today had to make the entire workforce formally redundant, in line with our legal obligations as administrator," Begbies partner Mark Fry said.

The airline's 300 employees were made redundant this morning, a spokesman for the administrator said, with Silverjet's assets now likely to be sold off to raise money for creditors.

Silverjet, which started in January last year and flew to New York and Dubai from London Luton, employed 260 pilots and cabin crew and 40 administration staff.

Mr Fry said: "We are extremely disappointed to have had to make these redundancies, which we had been working hard to prevent.

"We continue to negotiate the sale of Silverjet's assets for the benefit of the company's creditors and will provide an update as soon as we are able."

The airline grounded its flights a fortnight ago after a Pounds 2.5 million funding package from a Middle East investment group failed to materialise, wrecking travel plans for nearly 10,000 passengers.

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