Airline news: Bye-bye Silverjet

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Silverjet airlines stopped flying today. The airline offered business-class, transatlantic flights out of Newark, connecting the U.S. with London and the Middle East.

The explanation--high fuel costs, shrinking business travel--is the same as it was for Eos, a rival airline that closed recently, too.

About 10,000 ticket-holders are stuck, says the London Times. Virgin Atlantic will offer reduced fares for customers who can show Silverjet tickets they've already purchased and can no longer use. Call Virgin Atlantic at 866/258-0951 for details. (Hat tip to LA Times Travel Deals Blog]

In other news, Alitalia continues to struggle. Potential bidder Aeroflot has backed away from its offer. And the European Union is expected to fine the Italian government for violating international agreements by giving Alitalia a surprise 300 million euro loan. It seems like the Italian government will swallow the fine, but eventually, that loan will be used up by the poorly managed Alitalia, and a bidder must be found. Agence France-Presse hints that the government may become more open to re-starting negotiations with Air France and other foreign carriers. Italian competitor Air One may benefit from Alitalia's turmoil.

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