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Ride in style and comfort on special planes.

While the North-East is currently only served by Eastern Airways as a specialist business service, the sector is getting busier.

Three specialist airlines are now flying out of south-east airports.

At Luton Airport, or London Luton as it now styles itself, a company called SilverJet offers business travellers direct flights to Newark Airport in New York.

At Stansted, MAXJet is offering not only New York, but also Washington and Las Vegas, claiming to offer business class accommodation at economy prices.

Also at Stansted, an airline called Eos is offering a luxury service to New York.

Eos operates 220-seat planes, yet it chooses to carry just 48 passengers and each one gets 21 sq ft of space, so you can sit down opposite a friend for your meal, sit in comfort to watch television, and sleep on a full flat, 6ft 6in bed.

Silverjet's offers what it calls "a low fare, exclusively business class" transatlantic service and is to build itself a dedicated terminal at Luton to ensure its passengers have a hassle free journey, taking only half an hour from arrival at the airport to departure.

Silverjet says its research has shown that apart from delays, passengers' biggest complaint about flying is the time taken to check-in, lengthy security checks, immigration and boarding experience, which frequently take over two hours.

Lawrence Hunt, chief executive of Silverjet, said: "We've created an integrated, seamless, truly fast track experience which is calming, relaxing and purges all the stress of boarding the aircraft.

"Airports like Heathrow and JFK in New York have become too big and too congested to cope with passenger volumes."

Laurie Price of Mott MacDonald said: "Carriers like SilverJet at Luton, and Eos and MAXJet at Stansted ( I call them Concorde without the speed.

"On SilverJet you get 100 people on a Boeing 767, which probably could carry 300. I think more niches like that will grow up. It will be about long-range operations on larger business jets."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 7, 2007
Words:327
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