Belgian carrier VLM Airlines is to temporarily reduce its scheduled activities and is to focus on the Antwerp-London City Airport and Antwerp-Zurich routes while also expanding its charter activities.
The airline’s parent company is SHS Aviation who said connections from Antwerp to Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cologne-Bonn, Maribor, Munich and Rostock will be stopped in the coming weeks and planned routes from Antwerp and Ostend-Bruges to Manchester will be postponed.
VLM will also deploy its aircraft more for private, charter and ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, insurance) flights and has placed one aircraft with a fixed crew in the market with The Aviation Factory.
VLM chief executive officer, Johan Maertens said: “The current 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.
“The existing routes are also continuously monitored at VLM. The available aircraft capacity is then deployed on routes and activities that are more in demand and that are profitable.”
VLM is to also replace its Fokker 50 aircraft fleet. Maertens added: “At the same time, we will also implement a fleet reduction. It is no secret that we are preparing the replacement of the Fokker 50 aircraft for some time now. The expected commissioning of the new aircraft is planned for the second half of 2019.”
VLM Airlines has had a turbulent history as it went bankrupt in March 2016 after accumulating €6 million of debt, but restarted operations after being taken over, restarting the London City to Antwerp route on 30 October 2017 before adding other routes.