VLM Airlines

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VLM Airlines
VLM Airlines logo.png
IATA
VG[1]
ICAO
VLM
Callsign
RUBENS
Founded 1992
Fleet size 12
Destinations 12
Headquarters Deurne, Antwerp, Belgium
Key people Arthur White, CEO
Website flyvlm.com

VLM Airlines is a Belgian airline offering scheduled, charter and ACMI services. It is headquartered at Antwerp International Airport in Deurne.[2]

History[edit]

VLM Airlines started operations in May 1993 with a scheduled service between Antwerp Airport and London City Airport. "VLM" is an abbreviation of Vlaamse Luchttransportmaatschappij, "Flemish Air Transport Company".

The airline now employs over 400 people, and carried 745,781 passengers in 2007. Its original hub was Antwerp, but the airline now has its base at London City Airport.[3]

On 24 December 2007, Air France-KLM announced that they had signed an agreement for a full takeover of the company from Panta Holdings.[4] In 2008 the airline reported its tenth consecutive year of profits for the year ending 31 December 2007, it had a net profit of 3.6m euros. Turnover grew to 112m euros and passenger numbers rose 9% to 745,781 during 2007.[5]

Air France-KLM announced on 28 May 2009 that VLM Airlines would gradually start to operate under the brand name CityJet. The name CityJet was already in use by the Irish regional partner of Air France-KLM. In 2010 the name VLM Airlines had been replaced altogether by CityJet. This merger was never completed. On 16 February 2010, CityJet launched a new configuration on their aircraft, including the Fokker 50's taken in the merger. They are now fitted with CityPlus, a 4 abreast premium economy class along with CityValue, the standard economy.[6]

Early 2014, following the sale of Cityjet by Air France to German Intro Aviation Group, the latter decided to "demerge" Cityjet and VLM. VLM would from then on provide aircraft and crews on ACMI basis. In October 2014 however, the airline was sold on by Intro Aviation to the VLM management. The company will continue providing services to Cityjet and offer charter services while reintroducing scheduled flights from Antwerp Airport to Geneva and other destinations in the near future.[7]

In October 2014 the Management of VLM Airlines undertook a Management Buy Out. The CEO Arthur White is the majority shareholder.

VLM used to promote itself as Europe's leading "Business Airline" and tried to reflect this in its pursuit of superior service. On board, passengers were served fresh meals, and were able to request a vegetarian or kosher meal at the time of reservation. Meals were presented on a half-tray, and all passengers were served drinks in real glasses with tea and coffee served in china cups. Such features are not commonly found on short haul airlines. After the CityJet/Air France takeover, this product was downgraded to move in line to reflect the Air France-KLM product on short-haul flights. There is now a simple service of sandwiches and drinks, with glassware and china cups replaced by plastic. Post-merger, through to today the airline continues to distribute boiled sweets to its passengers before take off and Belgian chocolates mid-flight.

Destinations[edit]

VLM Fokker F50 old livery

VLM Airlines offers scheduled routes under their own brand as well as charters. The airline also flies on ACMI-basis for other airlines, including Air France, Flybe and Stobart Air when extra capacity is needed.

The following destinations are offered under its own brand name as of April 2015:

Belgium
France
Germany
Ireland
Italy
Netherlands
United Kingdom
Switzerland

Fleet[edit]

VLM Airlines Fokker 50

The VLM Airlines fleet included the following aircraft as of October 2014:[8]

VLM Airlines Fleet
Type Total On order Options Passengers Notes
Fokker 50 12 - - 50 5x operated for CityJet
1x operated for Vizion air
Sukhoi Superjet 100LR - 2 12 89 Delivery in 2016[9]
Total 12 2 12

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IATA - Airline and Airport Code Search". iata.org. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Your VLM contacts." VLM Airlines. 1 August 2003. Retrieved on 6 July 2010. "Headquarters VLM Airlines Belgium NV Luchthavengebouw B50 B 2100 Deurne Antwerpen." "Antwerp office VLM Airlines Belgium NV Luchthavengebouw B50 B 2100 Antwerp Belgium Company registration number 0446.670.251."
  3. ^ VLM website map of destinations showing London City as the hub
  4. ^ Message on the VLM website announcing the takeover access date 24 December 2007
  5. ^ Annual financial summary 2007-08
  6. ^ CityJet launch CityPlus
  7. ^ http://www.hmgaerospace.com/news/show/7741
  8. ^ http://www.planespotters.net/Airline/VLM
  9. ^ http://www.flightlevel.be/40739/vlm-kiest-voor-russische-sukhoi-superjets

External links[edit]

Media related to VLM Airlines at Wikimedia Commons