VLM Airlines

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VLM Airlines
VLM Airlines logo.png
IATA
VG
ICAO
VLM
Callsign
RUBENS
Founded 1992
Hubs London City Airport
Antwerp International Airport
Fleet size 15 + 2 orders
Destinations 15
Headquarters Antwerp International Airport
Deurne, Antwerp, Belgium
Key people Arthur White (CEO)
Website Flyvlm.com

VLM Airlines (where "VLM" is an abbreviation of Vlaamse Luchttransportmaatschappij, "Flemish Air Transport Company") is a Belgian airline whose head office is in Airport Building B50 at Antwerp International Airport in Deurne, Antwerp.[1][2] Some flying operations are carried out for CityJet and selected Fokker 50's aircraft fly in CityJet livery.

History[edit]

VLM Airlines started operations in May 1993 with a scheduled service between Antwerp Airport and London City Airport. 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]

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.[4]

On 24 December 2007, Air France-KLM announced that they had signed an agreement for a full takeover of the company from Panta Holdings.[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.[6] As a result, VLM Airlines replaced its frequent flyer program, VLM Encore, with Air France-KLM's Flying Blue and flyvlm.com was merged with the CityJet website.

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 until at least the summer of 2015 and will keep offering chartered flights but plans to reintroduce scheduled flights from Antwerp Airport in the near future. [7]

Destinations[edit]

VLM Fokker 50 final livery
VLM Fokker F50 old livery
 Belgium
 France
 Germany
 Ireland
 Netherlands
 United Kingdom
  Switzerland

Destinations no longer served by VLM include Liverpool, East Midlands Airport (Nottingham/Leicester/Derby), Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Southampton, Isle of Man, Brussels, Geneva and Frankfurt.

VLM Airlines has one Fokker 50 on standby for ad hoc-charter flights, available for flights across Europe & Northern Africa. The airline also flies on ACMI-basis for other airlines, including Air France, Flybe and Aer Arann when extra capacity is needed.

Starting from January 26th 2015, VLM Airlines will operate two daily return flights from it's home base Antwerp Airport to Geneva International Airport. The two departures from Antwerp are in the early morning and early evening, which makes them very attractive for both tourists and business travelers. Tickets are for sale starting from December 19th 2014.[8]

Fleet[edit]

Current[edit]

The VLM Airlines fleet includes the following aircraft (as of October 2014):[9]

VLM Airlines Fleet
Type Total On order Options Passengers Notes
Fokker 50 12[10] - - 50
Sukhoi Superjet 100LR - 2 12 89 To be leased.[11]

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.[12]

Retired fleet[edit]

In the year 2007 VLM used a BAe 146-300 wet leased from Flightline.

Service[edit]

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.

In 2014, VLM is back as an independent carrier following Air France's sell of the Cityjet business to German Intro Aviation Group.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Our Offices." CityJet. Retrieved on 6 July 2010. "Antwerp office VLM Airlines Belgium NV Luchthavengebouw B50 B 2100 Antwerp Belgium Company registration number 0446.670.251."
  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."
  3. ^ VLM website map of destinations showing London City as the hub
  4. ^ Annual financial summary 2007-08
  5. ^ Message on the VLM website announcing the takeover access date 24 December 2007
  6. ^ Belgian Newspaper about VLM and Cityjet (in dutch)
  7. ^ http://www.hmgaerospace.com/news/show/7741
  8. ^ VLM Airlines starts daily scheduled flights Antwerp-Geneva, VLM Airlines, 4th December 2014
  9. ^ http://www.planespotters.net/Airline/VLM
  10. ^ http://www.planespotters.net/Airline/VLM
  11. ^ http://www.flightlevel.be/40739/vlm-kiest-voor-russische-sukhoi-superjets
  12. ^ CityJet launch CityPlus

External links[edit]