Collapsed business class airline Silverjet PLC plans to be back in the skies within weeks after its administrators accepted a buyout offer from a Swiss investment firm.
Begbies Traynor, which took control of Silverjet last month when it ceased operations after a key funding deal fell through, said it has agreed to principle terms from Kingplace Ltd. to acquire and relaunch the airline.
The administrator did not disclose financial details of the deal, which it expects to complete by June 13.
“If these negotiations are successful, we expect to take on all of the existing staff, to honor Silverjet’s existing customers’ tickets and see Silverjet return to the skies in a matter of weeks,” said Ian Ilsey, a director of Kingplace.
Irish-based Kingplace is managed by Geneva-based management company Heritage Cie SA.
Silverjet, which had not turned a profit since it began operating in 2006, was the last business-class only airline flying between London and New York after the collapse of U.S. peers MAXjet Airways Inc. and EOS.
Already under pressure from soaring fuel costs and a slowing global economy, the crunch point arrived for Silverjet when it failed to receive funding agreed under a deal with Viceroy Holdings LLC, an international luxury development fund based in the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
The carrier ceased its service to Newark airport in New Jersey and to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from its base at Luton Airport, 30 miles north of London overnight, leaving scores of unhappy travelers stranded when they arrived at Luton for scheduled flights.
In total, some 10,000 customers were affected by the collapse.
“We will be working around the clock to launch our New York and Dubai services as quickly as possible and we will make an announcement about the date for relaunching our services in due course,” Silverjet chief executive Lawrent Hunt said on Wednesday.