VLM Airlines To Suspend Most Scheduled Flights
Belgian carrier VLM Airlines is suspending most of its scheduled routes as it pivots towards its charter operations.
In a statement, the Antwerp-based airline said it “has decided to temporarily reduce its scheduled flights activities” and will focus on Antwerp-London City and Antwerp-Zurich routes.
It said that scheduled services from Antwerp to Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cologne-Bonn, Maribor, Munich and Rostock will stop “in the coming weeks”. New routes from Antwerp and Ostend-Bruges to Manchester will be postponed.
VLM chief executive Johan Maertens said the aviation industry “is so dynamic that it is common for destinations and flight frequencies to be constantly evaluated and adapted according to the season, the performance of existing routes and new opportunities that arise on the market.”
He said aircraft capacity will be deployed on routes and activities that are more in demand and that are profitable.
VLM will also reduce its fleet as it prepares to replace its Fokker 50 aircraft. New aircraft are expected to be introduced in the second half of 2019.
VLM Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection in 2016, hoping to continue operations and emerge as a profitable carrier. Dutch company SHS Aviation reached agreement with VLM’s receivers to take over the regional airline and has been trying to rebuild its operations. The flight suspension suggests that it has been unable to make scheduled flights work and will now concentrate on charter work.