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Report: ArabJet launches bid for Silverjet

Report: ArabJet launches bid for Silverjet

ArabJet, a Dubai-based business-class airline, has launched a bid to buy the London-based Silverjet PLC, a government-owned business daily reported Tuesday.
Emirates Business 24/7 reported that ArabJet "has allocated sufficient funds to purchase" Silverjet, a business-class airline that suspended operations in late May after a key funding deal fell through. The newspaper did not say how much ArabJet was willing to pay for the airline.
When contacted by The Associated Press, ArabJet's CEO Mohammed el-Shanti said the company is interested in SilverJet's survival but would not confirm the Emirates Business 24/7 report.
ArabJet "had discussions with Silverjet administrators ... and we remain interested in Silverjet's survival," he said in an e-mail.
"We have great believe in the viability of (Silverjet's) business model, confirmed by its positive customer satisfaction," he said.
Silverjet had operated services to Newark airport in New Jersey and to Dubai from its base at London's Luton Airport. But the carrier ran into trouble after it failed to receive funding agreed under a deal recently signed with Viceroy Holdings LLC, an international luxury development fund based in the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
The funding shortfall came at a difficult time for Silverjet, which was already under pressure from soaring fuel costs and a slowing global economy.
On Monday, the administrator of Silverjet, Begbies Traynor, said that the airline has received a formal offer from a Swiss investment firm to buy and relaunch the airline. Begbies Traynor also said two other parties have expressed an interest in the carrier.
ArabJet Airlines plans to begin service in 2009, with a focus on the Middle East market, according to the company's Web site.
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On the Net:
http://www.arabjet.com