Category Archives: VLM Airlines

VLM Airlines declares bankruptcy and shuts down

VLM Airlines declares bankruptcy and shuts down

On June 22, 2016 VLM Airlines declared it was filing for bankruptcy and ceased all operations. The closure came after the People’s Viennaline announced it was canceling its ACMI contract with VLM due to its non-performance.

The carrier originally commenced operations in May 1993 as the “Wings of Flanders”.

Copyright Photo: VLM Airlines Fokker F.27 Mk. 050 OO-VLQ (msn 20159) LCY (SPA). Image: 927865.

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VLM expands again with new routes, from Ireland to Italy

VLM Airlines (Antwerp) is expanding again. As previously reported, the carrier will start Rotterdam-Hamburg flights on April 13 and Antwerp-Hamburg service on April 20.

This will now be followed on April 27 with new routes from Birmingham and London (Luton) to Waterford, Ireland.

Starting on May 1 the newly revitalized airline will add four new routes from Liege, namely to Avignon, Bologna, Nice and Venice.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Fokker F.27 Mk. 050 (Fokker 50) OO-VLX (msn 20177) sits at Rotterdam between flights.

VLM aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Expanding VLM Airlines Route Map:

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VLM 3.2015 Route Map

VLM Airlines to expand operations in April

VLM Airlines (Antwerp) in April is launching new daily scheduled flights between Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Hamburg (Germany) and between Antwerp (Belgium) and Hamburg.

The move continues VLM Airlines’ evolution as a scheduled operator, building on the launch of an Antwerp-Geneva service last month.

Passengers will be able to choose from two return Rotterdam-Hamburg flights each weekday from Monday April 13. Twice-daily return weekday flights between Antwerp and Hamburg will begin flying on Monday April 20. Both services will utilize VLM Airlines’ fleet of Fokker 50 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Fokker F.27 Mk. 050 (Fokker 50) OO-VLJ (msn 20105) rests between flights at Rotterdam.

VLM aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Route Map:

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VLM 2.2015 Route Map

VLM Airlines signs LOI for two Sukhoi Superjet LR aircraft, will take delivery in April 2015

VLM logo

VLM Airlines (Antwerp) under its new management ownership group has issued this statement:

VLM Airlines and aircraft lessor Ilyushin Finance Company (IFC) (Moscow) have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) that will see the airline become the first European operator of the long-range Sukhoi Superjet 100 LR (SSJ100 LR) regional aircraft (below).

VLM Superjet 100 (Flt)(VLM)(LR)

Image: VLM Airlines. This new image confirms VLM Airlines will go back to a basic version of its colorful dark blue 2004 livery.

VLM Airlines has selected the SSJ100 LR to spearhead the company’s launch of regional scheduled services in 2015, with details of its route network to be announced.

Under the terms of the LOI, VLM Airlines will take delivery of two SSJ100 LR aircraft in April 2015 under a 12-year operating lease, with options for two further aircraft. The deal also includes purchase rights for ten aircraft.

Arthur White, CEO of VLM Airlines, says: “While VLM Airlines will continue offering ACMI and charter services with our Fokker 50 fleet, we see an exciting opportunity as a niche scheduled operator. The Sukhoi Superjet 100 LR fits our new strategy perfectly, with its exceptional efficiency and performance, advanced fly-by-wire technologies and spacious cabin.

“We looked at a number of aircraft types in the 100-seat range to see which would give the best passenger experience, flexibility in short-to-medium range destinations and low operating costs – the SSJ100 LR won hands down. It has been great working with IFC and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company and I am looking forward to a mutually profitable long-term relationship.”

Alexander Rubtsov, CEO of IFC, comments: “This is a significant deal for IFC and the Sukhoi SSJ programme, as it represents our first customer in Europe, which we are delighted about. After intense competition and a detailed review, we are extremely pleased that VLM Airlines has chosen to base its future operation on the SSJ100 LR. We believe the aircraft will not only enable VLM Airlines to exceed its growth plans but will also give Europe a live insight into the excellent capabilities and passenger appeal of the Sukhoi SSJ, which represents a truly cost-effective regional aircraft solution.”

The SSJ100, Russia’s first serially manufactured passenger airliner, is a 103-seat regional jet designed and manufactured by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company in partnership with Alenia Aermacchi. The aircraft performed its maiden flight in 2008 and entered into service in 2011. The operating range of the long-range variant joining the VLM Airlines fleet is 2,470 nm (4,578 km), while the standard aircraft’s operating range is 1,645 nm (3,048 km). The SSJ100 is powered by two SaM146 turbofan engines manufactured by PowerJet, a joint venture between Snecma and NPO Saturn. There are currently over 40 SSJ100 aircraft being operated successfully around the world and the type is certified by a number of regulatory authorities including EASA.

In other news, Red Wings Airlines will lease three Sukhoi Superset 100s. The aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2014.

Red Wings plans to operate the SSJ100 from Moscow to Ufa, Makhachkala, Chelyabinsk, Sochi and Mineralnye Vody.

VLM Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Video:

VLM Airlines’ management team buys the company, will become a a scheduled carrier again and is considering new aircraft types

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.

VLM reborn

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:

 

CityJet to launch new routes from Cambridge to Amsterdam and Dublin

CityJet (Dublin) has announced it will be adding two more routes to its network this year, with flights launching from Cambridge International Airport to Dublin and Amsterdam.

Operated with 50-seat Fokker 50 aircraft, flights will start on May 12. The route to Dublin will operate twice-daily during the week, and daily at weekends. The Amsterdam route will also operate twice-daily, during the week, and daily at weekends,

CityJet already launched four new routes out of Cardiff Airport this year, with routes to Paris-Orly and Glasgow starting in January, followed by the Edinburgh route which launched on March 30 and Jersey on April 17.

In other news, Intro Aviation completed its acquisition of CityJet and VLM Airlines on April 30, 2014. One change being dictated by the new owner is VLM will operate charter flights under its own name.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. The VLM Airlines Fokker 50s are currently operated under the CityJet brand but this may change under the new owners. Fokker F.27 Mk. 050 OO-VLZ (msn 20264) taxies at Nantes.

CityJet (Ireland): AG Slide Show

CityJet (VLM Airlines): AG Slide Show

The VLM Airlines brand is now gone

Copyright Photo: Pepscl. Please click on photo for full view, information and other photos.

CityJet (Dublin) has repainted the last Fokker F.27 Mk. 050 of VLM Airlines. The VLM brand is now retired.

Copyright Photo: Pepscl. OO-VLI (msn 20226) was the last to be repainted. The airliner waits for its passengers at Paris (Orly).