VLM is grounded tonight (Aug 31) reports Belgian media

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Charles-P 3 Sep 2018
at 10:45

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  • Alex McWhirter

    Readers who have flights booked to Antwerp in the near future must note that VLM has ceased trading this evening.

    Reports from Belgium.

    SHS Antwerp Aviation (VLM) goes into liquidation


    Until tonight VLM was operating only two routes. One was between Antwerp and LCY while the other was from Antwerp to Zurich.

    Earlier this month VLM was operating various routings but these have gradually ceased in the past few weeks.

    VLM to suspend almost all international routes


    Add to this the demise of the Swiss airline SkyWork two days ago and so we begin a chilly autumn for the weaker airlines.


    More pilots, crew, aircraft and landing slots will become available for those willing to take them up.
    So which airlines are going to be next?


    It’s remarkable that operators are unable to make it pay at Antwerp. I was once a regular user of the Antwerp-London City route and it was nearly always full with ticket prices that were certainly not cheap however despite that first CityJet and now VLM unable to make money.


    Such a shame, and I remember them well having flown them when they first started. It amazes me as well that so many airlines have failed to make the Brussels / Rotterdam to LCY route a success, when it is linking three of Europe’s most important economic areas. I can think of so many carriers from days past that never made it, DanAir, Flexair, London City Airways, Netherlines (not sure if they actually flew to LCY), NLM and now VLM. There were others but the names escape me.

    Skyworks is another surprise as the rumour in Lugano was they would start to operate the Lugano – Geneva route shortly. A route that is desperately needed to link the second and third financial capitals of Switzerland though many in Geneva argue it links the first and third!!!). In fact an Adria painted aircraft was recently on the tarmac and the buzz was it had been leased to Skyworks to operate that route. Clearly not any more.


    There is already pressure on Antwerp airport to close from some in the Belgian ‘Green’ movement and as anyone who has used it knows there is no scope for expansion because of local housing. The short runway (4,900 ft) restricts the size of aircraft that can operate from it. I doubt the airport can survive without the revenue of the London City service. Some months ago there was talk of British Airways opening a service but nothing seems to have come of this.

    Alex McWhirter

    Not so long ago VLM was the largest airline at LCY. In fact at one time VLM made LCY, rather than Antwerp, its hub.

    So many routes have been operated from LCY. I recall flights to Jersey and the Isle of Man along with UK destinations like Manchester and Liverpool. Services to mainland Europe tended to operate into the Benelux and Germany.

    Now LCY has no flights to Belgium at all.

    Originally it was intended Eurostar’s London-Amsterdam services would be stopping at Antwerp. But that’s not going to happen … at least in the short term.


    Originally it was intended Eurostar’s London-Amsterdam services would be stopping at Antwerp.

    Alex – that has certainly been talked about in the Belgian media and would be popular with people along the E17 corridor.

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