VLM Airlines (Antwerp) is getting a new chance to thrive. The company has announced its management team is acquiring the airline from Romscope and Intro Aviation. The following announcement was issued:
Today (October 28) Intro Aviation, majority shareholder of Romscope, has announced together with VLM Airlines that Romscope has sold VLM Airlines to the management of VLM Airlines with formalities of the transaction to be completed by the first week in November. As a truly independent airline, VLM Airlines will continue to offer ACMI and Charter services, but will also be offering scheduled services again in the near future.
VLM Airlines – which started in 1993 with its inaugural Antwerp-London City Airport route – over the years has become one of the most successful airlines in the charter business based at Antwerp International Airport. With its Fokker 50 fleet VLM Airlines focuses on meeting the needs of the European charter market including ACMI/Wet Lease contracts and charter operations for tour operators, travel agents, music & film, special events, incentives, sports teams, government & military, NGO’s and emergency support.
“We received an offer from the management of VLM Airlines that we felt we could not refuse.” said Peter Oncken, Managing Director at Intro Aviation. “We are happy to see VLM now to develop as a wholly independent airline in the ownership of a management which is dedicated to VLM”.
“We strongly believe in VLM Airlines as a truly independent airline,” commented Arthur White, CEO and majority shareholder of VLM Airlines. “As an independent airline we will keep offering ACMI & Charter services, but we will also start offering scheduled services in the near future. We are already studying a number of possible new routes from Antwerp International Airport. We will communicate this as soon as the deals have been concluded.”
VLM Airlines is also seeking to add a new aircraft type to its fleet, for the moment VLM Airlines is evaluating a number of possibilities.
The history of VLM Airlines:
From a low key beginning in 1993 with its inaugural Antwerp – London City Airport route, to the time of its sale in 2008 to Air France – KLM, VLM Airlines had become Belgium’s most commercially succesful airline. With ten years of consecutive profit, a record never beaten in Belgian aviation history, and a route network that stretched from Amsterdam, Antwerp, Rotterdam, and Luxembourg to London, Manchester, and Jersey, the airline at its peak was operating over 500 flights a week from London City Airport making it the No.1 airline operating from the airport.
During this period VLM also won many awards, among them the highly prestigious Regional Airline of the Year.
In 2008 the airline was acquired by Air France-KLM via Cityjet and VLM’s fleet was re-liveried in Cityjet colors. By 2010 the combined airline was carrying over 1 million passengers a year.
In 2014, VLM Airlines became part of the Intro Group. Intro Aviation GmbH is a family-owned company and part of the Intro Group, which has over 40 years of aviation experience.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. With the new ownership group, VLM is likely to come up with another new color scheme or revert back to this colorful 2004 livery seen on Fokker F.27 Mk. 050 (Fokker 50) OO-VLX (msn 20177) at Rotterdam.
VLM Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: