Now a budget airline fails before take-off

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The Independent Online

The Luton-based budget airline, Now, crashed yesterday without ever getting airborne. The carrier, launched last year in a blaze of publicity by a former tax-free shopping executive, Lars Welinder, and a former Virgin Express pilot, Nick Grimwood, called in the receivers before it had launched a single route.

The Luton-based budget airline, Now, crashed yesterday without ever getting airborne. The carrier, launched last year in a blaze of publicity by a former tax-free shopping executive, Lars Welinder, and a former Virgin Express pilot, Nick Grimwood, called in the receivers before it had launched a single route.

Now blamed its demise on the failure of a Luxembourg-based syndicate of wealthy individuals to come up with the £10m of launch funding it had promised the airline.

The collapse of Now is the latest in a long line of failures in the no-frills sector. Other low-cost carriers to go under include the Birmingham-based Duo, Air Planet, which was based at Leeds-Bradford, and the Irish airlines SkyNet, JetGreen and JetMagic.

Michael O'Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair, has forecast a "bloodbath" among European airlines this year.

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