A Maxjet plane taxis on the tarmac at JFK International Airport
A Maxjet plane taxis on the tarmac at JFK International Airport - 


Renita Jablonski: The weak economy is also doing a number on what's taking off in the airline industry. The collapse of the new company MAXjet is raising doubts about plans for other business-class carriers. From London, Stephen Beard reports.

Stephen Beard: MAXjet filed for bankruptcy on Christmas Eve. The carrier said it couldn't cope with the rising cost of fuel and the intense competition.

Now, it's emerged that other proposed business-class only operations are in trouble. Virgin has dropped its plans for a transatlantic service for business people. And a similar project by British Airways is also in doubt.

Project Lauren, as it's called, is scheduled to take off next summer. But some analysts suggest that Lauren may also be blown off course. The darkening economic climate won't help.

Meanwhile Silverjet, another British business only carrier, insists that its prospects are improving. The company was losing $2 million a month, but reckons it will move into profit early next year.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.