Friday, May 12, 2017

VLM Slovenia prepares for takeoff


VLM Airlines Slovenia, a subsidiary of SHS Aviation Slovenia which runs Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport, has been granted an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) by the Slovenian Civil Aviation Agency for the transport of passengers and cargo. As a result, the ambitious carrier, which aims to link Slovenia's second largest city with eleven destinations this year (Belgrade, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Podgorica, Split, Zurich, Xi'an, Chongqing and Nanchang) with a mix of Airbus A320, A330 and Fokker 50 aircraft can now commence operations. One of the three directors at VLM Slovenia, Harm Jan Prins, has confirmed the airline's upcoming launch from Maribor. The company previously said that upon receiving its Slovenian AOC it will start commercial flights within a month.

According to Belgium's "Travel Magazine", the Maribor-based VLM will now inherit a fleet of six Fokker 50 aircraft from sister company VLM Airlines in Belgium and base all of the turboprops in the city, which will enable it to introduce its outlined European operations. The F50 has the capacity to seat up to 58 passengers. Furthermore, the first two Airbus aircraft are set to touchdown in Slovenia shortly. Ultimately, the carrier plans to register up to six A320-200s and fifteen A330-200s in the country. Although many have questioned the nature of the project, as well as the unrealistic targets set by the company, SHS is adamant its investment in both the airport and airline is part of a wider strategic project. "Maribor Airport, with good transportation links to Europe and Asia opens up a lot of opportunities for trade, tourism and investment in Slovenia. With our network partners in Europe and Asia, there are a lot of business opportunities for the opening of local enterprises in the tourism, food, real estate and services industries", SHS noted.

The new operators of Maribor Airport will invest at least 300 million euros into the city, which will include the construction of a new passenger terminal at the airport and the lengthening of the runway. SHS foresees Maribor Airport handling 1.54 million passengers and 82.000 tonnes of cargo by 2022. This number is expected to grow to two million passengers and 160.000 tonnes of cargo by 2028. During 2017 alone, SHS anticipates for Maribor Airport to welcome some 400.000 travellers through its doors, which would be a record. Some 139 million euros will be invested into the airport, including the development of long haul flights, over the next five years.

97 comments:

  1. Wow this thing is actually moving along. 6 Fokkers based in Maribor plus 2 Airbuses coming!

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    1. Well if they can start Belgrade, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Podgorica, Split, Zurich that would be great. Not sure how many passengers they will have but I guess the aircraft is ideal with less than 60 seats.

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    2. Can an F50 even make it to London?

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    3. To London in a turboprop. Would they manage to beat B&H Airlines' record of having the longest turboprop flight? They had SJJ-CPH.

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    4. At least it's not bad and ugly low cost. If they have metal cuttlery, the flights will be full!

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  2. Queue jokes about Maribor being linked to China...

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    1. Yep, AirSerbia must be crazy, they have only 1 A330 for 1 destination... And other ex-yu companies none! But Maribor will have 15 of them for 3 destinations :) Real story, bro... Is it 1St April yet?

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  3. It should be noted that although all those Airbuses will be registered in Maribor they won't necessarily fly from Maribor. A lot of them will be stationed in Belgium. They just needed a European AOC and now they have it.

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    1. They applied for one in Belgium and they still haven't received one.

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    2. Aha, here we go. The chances are, the company desperately needed European AOC and couldn't get it from Belgium somehow. Hence, applied to Slovenia and fabricated this story in order to speed up/ensure the approval of Slovenian CAA.

      I'll lmao if that's the truth behind this non-sense story.

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    3. Belgium apparently has concerns over safety with the investors

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  4. http://www.caa.si/index.php?id=418&L=-1%5C#c583

    So they can only fly with one Fokker 50. And only in good visibility conditions...

    Haplek

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    1. After you get a license for one plane the process of getting it for the remainder of the fleet is quite simple.

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    2. True, but Slovenian CAA has no experience with widebody/longhaul/ETOPS aircraft, so those approvals might take quite a while.

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    3. Not really. Flying widebody in pax or tp is a big difference. What u all forget is that the operator has to secure certain amount of cashflow for the size of ops. And btw S5 had now since years a/c's in register like A300, Globals, etc

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  5. I smell a rat!

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    1. I smell money laundering ;)

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    2. If it looks too good to be true it is too good to be true.
      Sorry ya'll but there is something very fishy about this!

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  6. So they get Slovenian AOC when they could not get Belgian and Netherlands one.

    Bravo for Slovenia. I am sure they know much better than Belgium and Netherlands

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    1. But can't they now use Slovenian AOC to fly from anywhere in EU?

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    2. Yes, they can.

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  7. This entire project seems very fishy to me. I think they will eventually start selling tickets and then scam people and never start flights. Just a feeling.

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    1. to me i looks like it will live a little while before it goes bust. you can steal a lot more money if you actually fly

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  8. It's a shame that any start-up airline in ex-Yu is met with contempt.

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    1. I guess Air Croatia, Dalamtian, Bosnian Wand Airlines and Golden Air have taught us a thing or two.

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    2. Hahaha what a blast from the past :D

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    3. You forgot Sea Air!

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    4. Also Limitless Airways, AWEX Croatia... Croatia used to be a hub for these so called start ups.

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    5. The funny thing is all of those 'airlines' listed above actually took off the ground and had a few flights with exception to Dalmatian. They just scammed people for their money and then disappeared.

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    6. "It's a shame that any start-up airline in ex-Yu is met with contempt".

      Ummm look at the track record.

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    7. We should also add European Coastal Airlines to the list.

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    8. Centavia too.

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    9. I don't think Centavia falls under that category. They successfully operated the whole summer and were killed off by Montenegrin and Croatian protectionist policies. Both countries refused to grant them the right to operate flights (TGD and ZAG).

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    10. Yap, something similar as excuse was in ECA and Air Croatia. It is always someone else guild.

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  9. Well the Slovenian government seems to be on board this project and don't think it's a scam unlike most experts here.

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    1. Even worse if they are involved

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    2. The Slovenian Minister for Infrastructure, Peter Gašperšič, said, "The plans are very ambitions and I am certain they will be mostly realised. This is an important day for the airport's development. With its location, Edvard Rusjan Airport undoubtedly has the potential to become an important logistical hub and the arrival of important investors such as the Austrian automotive giant Magna, which will be in close proximity, will surely contribute to this".

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    3. Where did you get that quote? As far as I remember, he was talking only about the airport. And even then Gov gave the benefit of the doubt, not that they belive in the plan 100% - they said it was far fatched, but they were glad to get MBX of their payroll, as EU ordered. Something in that lines...

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  10. Not gonna happen. There is not business case in this venture.

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  11. It would have been better and much more worthwhile for MXB if they just threw some money at Wizz Air to start flights.

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  12. Why is everyone so negative towards this? What's the issue? They got an AOC. Sure they can be ambitious but why not. They have the financial backing so let's wait and see before judging and discrediting it from the start.

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    1. Oh c'mon, airports work ages to secure flights, and it's a damn hard work, and now, you believe that somebody will base 15 (!) a330 in Maribor and connect Maribor to China (whole China!)???

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    2. It does not say that they will base 15 A330s in Maribor. It says they will register 15 A330s in Slovenia. Then they can base them wherever they want in Europe.

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    3. No surprises that such companies can find people to believe in them and sell tickets. If there are people to believe in these stories in an aviation blog, there will be certainly many people in society to be swindled.

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  13. I do not understand why admin publish this news about banana companies. Blind people can see that this company is fake and there will be no any flight operations... really cant understand.

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    1. I'm interested in updates and am looking forward to see how this turns out. Why not.

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    2. Bcs there is no "turn out" in this case... I am really suprised about you people, who read airline news and belive in this "company"... really can not belive, why?!

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    3. It is an interesting topic. Honestly I did not expect them them to get AOC at all. However I still believe that they will not keep their promises, since they are really abnormal.

      Haplek

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  14. How many passengers did Maribor Airport have last year?

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    1. Shame I think it has a lot of potential and a really nice terminal too.

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    2. It's still impressive considering they have no flights. Where are these passengers coming from? Charters?

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    3. 24 886 was in 2015 when they had MBX-SEN seasonal route with JP.

      2016 was less than 10 000

      Haplek

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    4. In February this year they had 43...

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    5. I hope they can handle all those passengers

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    6. The terminal building was quite busy throughout the whole month yes...

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  15. Bravo Slovenija!

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  16. Well it´s not even a year ago that VLM declared insolvency in Germany... Anyway good luck MXB!

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  17. Completely unrealistic. If they had only announced European routes with F50s then I might have even believed it.

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    1. Do you really think they're going to fly to China with F50s? They're waiting for A330s for that. F50s are going to be flown on European routes if this whole thing ever materialises.

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    2. I didn't mean they would fly with F50s to China. I meant had they not announced the China flights but just the European routes, I might have believed in this project.

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  18. This is a joke...

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  19. Most of the above comments ignore that the SHS company already paid € 7 million for the airport (10 million in reality since 3 million was placed to an escrow account last December to be invested into the airport). Yes, the plan seems to be extremely ambitious. The success will depend on the level of investment readiness, and Chinese strategic plans in spreading throughout Eastern Europe. Choosing Maribor as a base seems to be a very smart, cheap, and investment-friendly initial step.

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  20. At the end of March they said how they expect to get an AOC quickly. They did. Let's see if they start flights within the next 2 months.

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  21. Off topic: Turkish A330 at SKP https://scontent.fskg1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/18209177_10212593316658571_4409566370607476635_o.jpg?oh=a0582a2cededb2c75ddf6d9becc4e1b5&oe=597C0D32

    https://scontent.fskg1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/18193806_10212593315298537_7895909918829545746_n.jpg?oh=882a7dc18497837c7ebfd8401c5dd8ce&oe=59B0327C

    Probably they test the airplane for the eventual SKP to JFK route?

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    1. what are the numbers for SKP for April?

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    2. very nice retro look btw

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    3. Why are you being so disrespectful towards the Admin and the blog? Couldn't you wait a bit longer before starting with your OTs?

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    4. They are not testing anything. There is a massive demand for SKP in Turkey (and I mean really massive, not like massive demand for Zagreb in Gulf countries). Since Turkish carriers are not limited in terms of the size of aircraft they can use on the SKP route, they sometimes send widebodies - simply because there are so many pax on board.

      On some days they have enough pax to send a widebody to BEG as well - but they can't because the bilateral agreement with Serbia does not allow them anything larger than A321.

      Btw, the retro A330 on the photo is the one TK keeps on standby, ready to jump in on any route if there is a huge demand on a given day. In summer you can see it serving Bodrum every once in a while. Sometimes they send it to Ankara, sometimes on other short flights.

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    5. After all, TK is the sole legacy carrier in SKP. Its normal.

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  22. People with too much money to burn.

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  23. Is there anybody who really believes this?

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  24. Who cares it's not like the country is investing something in this airline. If it works it works if it doesn't there will be no damage done.

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  25. Has anybody worked out whether the "Slovenian company in talks with Sukhoi over new aircraft" is this VLM Slovenia or actually Adria?

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    1. I think it has to do with VLM. The Chinese ordered Sukhois for VLM Belgium for it to restart flights but in the end they scrapped the deal.

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    2. A lot of people are saying they are in talks with Adria but it seems highly unrealistic that they would shift from Bombardier fleet to Sukhois, especially with Ljubljana being the regional Bombardier maintenance service centre.

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    3. Well, if the price is right anything is possible.

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  26. OT: I see all ex-yu airports are soaring dramatically. That's great!

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  27. The whole project is very questionable and seems very unrealistic in my opinion. But who knows things are moving on. We will see.

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  28. Go Maribor! The airport deserves so much better and I hope the Chinese will actually develop it.

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  29. It would actually be great news for Belgrade, Podgorica and Split if this materialized. Extra passengers for them and a link to Maribor.

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  30. So this summer we will have direct flights from Belgrade and Maribor to China :D

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    1. Hahaha true! Two airports that are keeping it low but doing their thing.

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  31. I wonder how much they bribed the Slovenian civil aviation agency.

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    1. They bribed no one
      Go troll somewhere else

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  32. this is so obviously money laundering operation...

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  33. OT: Condor 757-300 just flew over my apartment, departing from Belgrade... a charter or Jat Tehnika customer? I see it's bound for DUS.

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    1. Diversion from Antalya... medical? DE203...

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    2. Doubt it as it flew a charter flight from DUS to AYT earlier today, maybe there is a sport's event or something?

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  34. Absolutely no doubt this is a scam of great proportions. Something just isn't adding up.

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  35. Air Serbia jedva izlazi na kraj samo sa jednim A330 a Maribor će ima 15 letilica istog Tipa. Da li se to neko šali?

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  36. Fokker 50 OO-VLN, previously of the Belgian VLM fleet, has done five round-trips between Antwerp (EBAW) and Ostend (EBOS) both on Saturday (May 20th) and Sunday (May 21st). Crew familiarisation flights?

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