CAA pulled plug on Silverjet

The Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed its role in scuppering the attempt to re-launch Silverjet on Friday.

A £50 million acquisition would have lifted the carrier out of administration, but had to be completed before the weekend under insolvency rules relating to staff. The deal collapsed when the CAA ruled the cash guarantees were inadequate.

A CAA spokesman said: “We were partly responsible, although there were other parties involved. We are duty-bound to ensure any airline has enough cash reserves so it can operate with no income for at least three months. Silverjet did not have enough cash.”

He pointed out: “Silverjet had ceased operating and cancelled flights. Its brand was damaged and consumer confidence was an issue. It would have taken time to restore that.”

Administrator Begbies Traynor said airline-leasing companies also raised objections to the deal proposed by the Irish arm of Swiss investment group Heritage.

Silverjet ceased flying at the end of May – the last of three all-business class carriers to fail in the UK. Founder and chief executive Lawrence Hunt called off attempts to re-launch the airline today, saying he would now seek to wind it up “as smoothly as possible”.

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