Work/Life: Silverjet Strikeout Makes Three

And then there was one.


L’Avion is the last of the pure business-class airlines still flying.

Silverjet, which flew the London-to-New York and London-to-Dubai routes, died last week. Although officially they are still in discussions to revive the company and its stock (trading has been suspended), it would take a minor miracle for Silverjet to dodge the bullet that claimed its business-class brethren.

MaxJet died in January and Eos Airlines followed in April.

Talk about being in right place at the wrong time.

Or is it the wrong place with the right concept?

Either way, all-business airlines were and still are a great idea.

I never had the opportunity to fly Silverjet, MaxJet, or Eos, and I really regret that. You cannot imagine how much it hurts a dedicated road warrior like me to hear that three of the four carriers tailored specifically for the comfort and convenience and special needs of business travelers – and doing so at a fair price point – are kaput.

Like so many creative concepts, even those that had solid business models when they launched, the concept of the all-business-class airline succumbed to changes in the marketplace that occurred too rapidly for any of these carriers to adapt.

Skyrocketing fuel prices seem to have been the main culprit. But it didn’t help that their investors got cold feet. At the end of the day, those holding the purse strings figured that the all-business math just didn’t compute.

Now, with network carriers slashing their schedules as well, the outlook for the road warrior is bleak. One small ray of light: Business Traveller notes that Lufthansa still provides an all-business class service from Frankfurt to Newark International.

What do you think the future holds for the airborne road warrior?

Road Warrior • Miami •