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All business class carrier Silverjet has announced it is adding non-stop service to Dubai, making it the first biz class airline to try a route that doesn't cross the Atlantic. Service will start November 18 with introductory round-trip fares of £999 ($2,000).
Silverjet's London hub is a private terminal at Luton airport, where the airline has connecting flights to Newark, though travelers wanting to go all the way from EWR to DXB will have to endure an 11 hour layover in England.
Once in the air, the Silverjet experience will have a lot in common with the trans-Atlantic route: sleeper beds, lots of entertainment and flexible dining options. The Dubai route will add:
A specially tailored service including a Halal menu, Arabic menus, Qibla service [pointing toward Mecca] and ladies only loo to meet the needs of customers from the United Arab Emirates.
We're guessing there might be a bit less lav action on these flights.
While this ad would probably never fly in the United States, it is currently making the rounds across the pond. The ad offers quite a different view of the airline that was featured in an excellent video tour Susan d'Arcy put together back in February.
Is this really what flying Silverjet is like? Hardly. However, passenger reviews have been steadily getting better this summer, here is what a recent Luton to Newark passenger thought:
SilverJet sets itself apart from its competitors by offering one unique feature. A Private “terminal” at both Newark and Luton. Coupled with a compromise between an old fashioned arm chair business class seat offered by MaxJet and the fully flat bed of EOS, in the form its lie flat 6’3” lie flat-at-an angle seat, this is a good product filling a clear niche between the two more established start ups in this area, with the added fun of being able to take a helicopter transfer from Battersea for an additional charge.
A quick check of FlightStats, shows Silverjet to be on time over 60% this month, with no flight cancellations this week. Obviously, the airline only runs about ten flights a day out of the U.S., so these stats are a bit skewed, but if there is girl on girl action in the lavs do you really care?
You snooze, you lose. This amazing Silverjet sale ($401 r/t, all in for New York to London) seems to be gone. If we'd posted it yesterday, you'd have thought we were lying, what with April Fools' day and all. But the sale was real, and now we can only assume it has been put to pasture far, far away. Why post, then? For starters, it almost warms our heart that someone got in on this (key word: almost). Second, if it cheers you up to just try and find some available dates, we understand. No, we did not grab this one, so we're allowed to rub it in. We're mourning, too. Don't forget that Silverjet is all-business class. Check out our Silverjet coverage to wallow in what you're missing.
· Silverjet [Official Site]
· $401 all-in Silverjet EWR-London April 2007 [FlyerTalk]
· Silverjet coverage [Jaunted]
What happens when you're stuck at the airport? At Luton Airport, to be exact, because it's not the most bustling of transportation hubs. If you blog for Free Donuts, you settle in at the Silverjet lounge and mind map!
Is it ever really too early for champagne? Doesn't Silverjet have any orange juice for mimosas? The budget luxury life is tough.
[Photo: Free Donuts]
· Luton-ian Snow [Free Donuts]
· Lutonic [Free Donuts]
· When Layover Boredom Strikes [Jaunted]
We've been waiting for the Silverjet reviews to flood in at Airlinequality.com, but so far, there's just one lonely paragraph there. In the meantime, we have Susan d'Arcy's exclusive tour for the Times UK. D'Arcy was the only journalist invited aboard Silverjet's inaugural flight from Luton to Newark (or London to New York, if you want it to sound sexy), and wrote up and videotaped her experiences for the paper. The only downside is that d'Arcy can't comment on what it would feel like to be paying for the journey, but her evaluation is still thorough and useful. Plus, her video tour is the second most relaxing since Ogilvie hit the scene.
As we suspected, Silverjet, the latest all-business class transatlantic airline, falls below Eos but above MAXjet on the quality scale. Of course, Silverjet is also cheaper than Eos, so the balance between price and amenities depends on personal preference. As d'Arcy's video shows, Silverjet's pods are not fully flat beds, but angled flat seats, though their sketchy marketing might leave you to believe otherwise. Promising-looking perks included Silverjet's shiny dedicated terminal at Luton, edible food, and service that d'Arcy praises as "refreshingly sassy" and "bistro-sleek."
She also ran into Kaiser Chiefs front man Ricky Wilson onboard, so make of that what you will. Silverjet has plans to expand to South Africa, China, the Caribbean and beyond.
· Cut-price club class [Times UK]
· Times Online onboard Silverjet - Windows Media stream link [Times UK]