Start-up launches N.Y.-London service

 - September 12, 2006, 8:28 AM

Silverjet, a new UK-based all-first-class, long-haul airline, is recruiting captains and copilots for its initial London-New York route, due to begin service between December and April. The public company intends to operate Boeing 767s equipped with 102 flat-bed seats.

The operator is currently negotiating lease/finance terms for three 767s and intends to take delivery of the first of these in November. It already has an agreement to take a pair of 767-200s from UK airline ThomsonFly. The aircraft will be fitted with 75-inch seats provided by France’s Sicma Aeroseat. The seat pitch will be 60 inches.

The transatlantic route will be launched with two daily round-trips departing from one of the FBOs at London Luton Airport, with passengers permitted a 30-minute check-in deadline. The flights will operate to Newark Liberty International Airport, where check-in will be in one of the main terminals. The service could be increased in frequency to four daily round trips.

Initially, round-trip fares will be priced from £999 ($1,850), excluding taxes. A comparable, unrestricted first-class round-trip fare with British Airways from London to New York currently costs £6,535 ($12,100).

Silverjet also wants to start other services to the U.S., as well as to destinations in the Middle East and Africa. It expects to expand its fleet to eleven 767s over the next three years.

Prospective captains need to be 767/757 type rated, have 4,500 minimum total hours and 1,000 hours as pilot-in-command of a multi-crew, multi-engine jet. Co-pilots also need a 767/757 rating, along with minimum total hours of 1,000 hours and 500 hours PIC. Crewmembers must be able to report for duty at Luton Airport within 60 minutes of being called out from standby. More information is available at

In May, Silverjet floated its shares on the London Stock Exchange’s alternative investment market.