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Airline Management, Airline Restructuring, Charter & Leisure Airlines, Regional Airlines

We had two VLM Airlines, and a joint AOC between Belgium and Slovenia, each with its own AOC, but VLM Airlines (Belgium) with 2 x A320’s under the old Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium AOC, which they bought and VLM (Antwerp) with 5 x F50’s? When the company is confusing, you know the business model is as well. The operation is owned by SHS Aviation (Netherlands) which is 60% Dutch owned and 40% Chinese owned and its business model was confusing as hell from the start. It is why they are now closing VLM (Antwerp), as that old VLM business model did not work before and did not work this time around either. Fokker F-50’s to London City, Aberdeen, Cologne, Rostock, Munich, Marbor and Birmingham and a planned big hub at Maribor, Slovenia from where regular flights to China would take place from, very similar to Air Belgium’s (4 x A340-300) plan to fly to China from Charleroi, and also a confusing business model, flying to China for China’s U-Tour, freighter aircraft, flights to the US, ACMI, now flying for BA, etc.? One thing you spot quickly on a start up is its focus or lack of, if it’s all over the place with its strategy, run! they are not focused, and trying to be everything and anything, is a recipe for failure everytime.








RŪTA BURBAITĖ – Aerotime News Hub – 4th September 2018

VLM Airlines (Brussels) unaffected by VLM (Antwerp) liquidation




VLM Airlines (Belgium) is to be dissolved and enter into liquidation. That was the decision made by SHS Aviation (Netherlands), the majority shareholder of SHS Antwerp Aviation (VLM), at an extraordinary general assembly on August 31, 2018. Relaunched in October 2017, the Antwerp-based unit of VLM Airlines had big plans for 2018, restructuring its operations to focus on charter and ACMI services. The news of liquidation comes just weeks after the airline discontinued the majority of its routes.



An official press release from SHS Antwerp Aviation (VLM) on August 31, 2018, points out that earlier in August, it was announced that VLM would discontinue routes to Aberdeen and Birmingham (UK), Cologne-Bonn, Rostock and Munich (Germany), and Maribor (Slovenia), instead shifting its focus on business charter flights and the Antwerp (Belgium) -London City (UK) and Antwerp-Zurich (Switzerland) routes.



But the scheduled flights from Antwerp to London and Zurich are now cancelled, to the dismay of many travelers, particularly those in Britain. The flight route between Aberdeen and Antwerp was just introduced, in June 2018. The route reportedly did not prove to be viable and bookings have been cancelled. “We only recently started the route and it was the developmental stage,” a VLM spokesman was quoted as saying by Aberdeen-based The Press and Journal. “Unfortunately, we have taken the decision to end the route as of August 31”.



In a statement on VLM’s website the company confirmed it was going into liquidation, saying that it is ceasing all activities effective immediately and that no flights will be carried out from September 3, 2018. Meanwhile, SHS Antwerp Aviation said in its press release it has already appointed liquidators Youri Steverlynck and Birgitta Van Itterbeek (Monard Law) who will be responsible for negotiating the sale of the business with potential buyers. VLM employs 85 staff.



Dutch, Belgian or Slovenian Airline?

VLM Airlines was a scheduled, ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) and charter carrier headquartered at Antwerp International Airport (ANR) in Belgium. The carrier started operations in 1993 with a scheduled service between Antwerp and London City Airport (LCY). The name “VLM” is an abbreviation of “Vlaamse Luchttransport Maatschappij” or “Flemish Air Transport Company”.



VLM Airlines was relaunched by a Dutch aviation company SHS Antwerp Aviation, which, trading under the brand name ‘VLM‘, is a subsidiary of the Dutch investment company SHS Aviation, owned by a consortium of Dutch (60% share) and Chinese (40% share) investors.



VLM Airlines had already filed for bankruptcy once before, suspending all operations on June 22, 2016. But, according to CAPA – Centre for Aviation Airline Profiles, back in May 2017, SHS Antwerp Aviation acquired a controlling stake in the now defunct Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, following a partnership agreement between Thomas Cook Group and Brussels Airlines.



SHS Aviation utilized Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium’s air operator certificate (AOC) and operating license to relaunch VLM Airlines. When Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium finally ceased operations on October 27, 2017, this allowed SHS Aviation to operate scheduled services through the new brand.



The re-launched VLM Airlines commenced scheduled operations on October 30, 2017, with the same good-old London City – Antwerp service. The flights were operated under a joint service schedule with its sister VLM Airlines Slovenia. The carrier is headquartered at Maribor Airport (MBX) in Slovenia and wholly owned by SHS Antwerp Aviation.



VLM Airlines, in fact, has a joint Belgian and Slovenian AOC. With its sister carrier VLM Airlines Slovenia, it operated a total of five Fokker 50 turboprops, ch-aviation reports. A separate entity with a separate AOC, VLM Airlines Brussels unit, based at Brussels International Airport (BRU) in Belgium, is unaffected by VLM Airlines’ Antwerp termination of operations.




About Aviation Doctor - Helping aviation companies to transform the present into a more profitable tomorrow

I am a Canadian and EU national with an MBA and 33+ years experience in aviation business development with 20 years overseas and work in 30+ countries. A former investment/merchant banker (mergers and acquisitions to corporate turnarounds). airline and OEM senior executive and past owner of 6 successful aviation companies in 3 countries (executive jet charter/management companies, aircraft sales, aircraft broker, airline/aerospace consulting to aircraft insurance). I have a very diverse aviation background with 75+ aviation companies (50+ airlines of all sizes, OEM's, airports, lessors, MRO to service providers) as consultant, executive management, business analyst and business development adviser. Excellent success track record in International Business Development. Most work with airlines is with new start-ups and restructuring of troubled carriers. I sold new business jets, turboprops and helicopters for Cessna, Raytheon, Gulfstream to Eurocopter as an ASR as well as undertaking sales and marketing of commercial aircraft for Boeing, de Havilland, Dornier, Saab and Beechcraft. Brokered everything from LET-410's to B747's and from piston PA31 to G550 business jets. I look beyond the headlines of the aviation news and analyze what the meaning and consequences of the new information really means. There is a story behind each headline that few go beyond. Picked the name Aviation Doctor, as much of my work has been with troubled companies or those that want and need to grow profitably. I fix problems in the business for a better tomorrow. You can reach me with comments or suggestions at: Tomas.Aviation@gmail.com I write a lot of Articles and Posts on LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/


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