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VLM Airlines

Taken at Antwerp in August 1997, the Fokker 50 is presenting the first color scheme based on previous operator, "Busy Bee" of Norway. (Photo: Skystef)    



Base: Antwerp
IATA: V4,VG (VO after restart, HQ for the Brussels ops)
ICAO: VLM (WLM after restart, TCW for the Brussels ops)
Fleet: 19x Fokker F50 all history (OO-VLC, OO-VLE, OO-VLF, OO-VLG, OO-VLI, OO-VLJ, OO-VLK, OO-VLL, OO-VLMOO-VLN, OO-VLP, OO-VLQ, OO-VLR, OO-VLS, OO-VLT, OO-VLV, OO-VLX, OO-VLY, OO-VLZ) + leases 1x from Fokker (PH-DMO), 1x from Newair (OY-EBD), 2x from Denim Air (PH-FZG, PH-LMT), 1x BAe146-300 from Flightline during 2007-2008 (G-BPNT).

VLM Airlines Brussels
2x A320 all history (OO-TCT, OO-TCX)
1x A321 history (OO-SBA)

History: Vlaamse Luchttransportmaatschappij (VLM) was formed on February 21 1992 by Freddy Van Gaever, initially to boost traffic on Belgian regional airports. Operations were started on May 1 1993 with a charter flight to Belfast, followed by a scheduled service on May 15 1993 linking Antwerp with London City. Throughout the years this English STOLport became VLM's main operational center with links from/to Antwerp (1993-, and in cooperation with Sabena 1997-2001), Rotterdam (1994-), Mönchengladbach (1996-2003), Luxemburg (1998-), Brussels (2001-2009), Manchester (2002-2008), Liverpool (2004-2007), Amsterdam (2005-), Jersey (2004-) & Isle of Man (2005-2009). But scheduled services were also expanded from its home base with links to Nice (summer of 1996), Munich (in cooperation with Lufthansa 1997-1998), Geneva (in cooperation with Sabena 1999-2001, ended in 2002), Manchester (2002-2003) and summer charters to Jersey & Guernsey (1999). Between January-November 2005 a scheduled link between Brussels and Southampton was undertaken. VLM undertakes also various intra European ad hoc charter work. On April 17 2007, VLM entered the jet age by leasing a Bae146. Wearing their full colors, it was used between Rotterdam and London City. Not very successful, it ended on February 28 2008. On December 24 2007, it was announced that VLM was fully acquired by the group Air France - KLM, main interest were VLM's slots at London City airport. In order to become part of this group, VLM had to sell 7 slots at London City. However due to the high fuel prices several airlines sold their slots at LCY, making VLM slots not very attractive to find a buyer. In November 2008 it was decided to give these slots for free to British company "Eastern Airways", so integration plans could go ahead. On May 28 2009, it was announced that during 2010 the trademark "VLM" will disappear in favor of "CityJet" and this indeed materialized on January 11 2010. It was sold to Intro Aviation during May 2014 for reorganisation, and on October 27 of the same year, it was re-sold to the managment of VLM Airlines, thus again rebranded to its original name. On June 22 2016, the company ceased activities anouncing its bankrupcy. Its assets were bought by Dutch / Hong Kong investor "SHS Aviation" with the big ambitions to start an European feeder service for haul operations into Chinese destinations for which an Airbus A330 was sought. Charter operations restarted with a Slovenian AOC on July 7 2017 using three F50s. On October 30 2017, scheduled pax services restarted from Antwerp to London City. Belgian AOC was finally granted on November 14 2017. The cease of Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium end October 2017 implemented a foot at Brussels Airport when they took over the flight license and could lease the two remaining A320. At Antwerp several routes to European points such as Aberdeen, Birmingham, Rostock, Cologne, Munich, Maribor & Zurch were launched. A route from Ostend to Manchester was also in the pipeline. But signs of deteriorating began already shortly afterwards when in February 2018 the activities at Brussels were sold to an unknown Dutch investor. In August 2018 it was announced that from Antwerp only London City & Zurich would survive, ops from Ostend were indefinite postponed and the search for the Airbus A330 turned out to be very difficult. On August 31 2018 it was announced the company would be liquidated making its final flight two days later on September 2. Candidates were searched to take over its activities but on December 3 2018 none were found and with the sale of their three remaining aircraft and all spare parts, the game was over for this carrier.
The operations at Brussels Airport had no connection anymore with the Antwerp one and in July 2018 an all white A321 was added, marketing name and color scheme of the Brussels operator would be announced later in 2018. However on December 8 2018 its only aircraft was ferried to France for storage and 10 days later they filed for bankruptcy ending their story as well.


Belgian Airlines