Sunday, June 4, 2017

VLM Airlines plans autumn launch


The Slovenian registered VLM Airlines plans to commence services this autumn after it secures an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) for its Belgian unit. SHS Aviation, the parent company of the Maribor-based VLM Airlines, said that despite receiving a Slovenian permit from the Ministry of Infrastructure on May 10, it is also seeking a license from Belgian authorities for its subsidiary SHS Antwerp Aviation, which together with Slovenia's VLM Airlines will commence joint scheduled flights under the common trading name "VLM Airlines". In a statement, the company said, "The delivery of the AOC for the Slovenian subsidiary does not mean that the Belgian AOC has become obsolete. The procedure for the Belgian permit remains ongoing despite the delivery of the Slovenian AOC, because both are essential for the implementation of our business plan. We hope to receive the AOC for SHS Antwerp Aviation as soon as possible".

According to local media, the carrier will commence flights from Maribor later this year with a handful of Fokker 50 aircraft. It is yet to be decided how many of the six turboprops will be divided between Maribor and Antwerp. Furthermore, the number of Airbus A319 jets to be stationed in Slovenia is yet to be determined. According to its initial plans, the airline intended to launch flights from Slovenia's second largest city to Belgrade, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Podgorica, Split, Zurich, Xi'an, Chongqing and Nanchang this summer. However, the company now says that details regarding the number of aircraft to be used, planned routes and schedules will be announced at a later stage. Meanwhile, SHS Aviation acquired a stake in leisure carrier Thomas Cook Airways Belgium (TCAB) last month. It will take over certain contractual obligations, as well as forty of TCAB's ground staff employees.

SHS Aviation purchased the "Aerodrom Maribor" operator for seven million euros in December 2016. The operator recently announced its results for last year, showing that its revenues dropped from 876.000 euros in 2015 to 700.000 euros in 2016. Nevertheless, it managed to reduce its losses to 36.000 euros from 280.000 over the previous year. The Mayor of Maribor, Andrej Fištravec, believes the city will become a global player and specialist for Asian travellers as a result of SHS's ambitions to launch operations from Edvard Rusjan Airport. The company has also committed itself to investing millions into the airport.

63 comments:

  1. People were making fun of it but this project is now making more sense with the plan to establish an airline in Belgium and operate under one brand with the Slovenian airline.

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    1. Sorry, not making much more sense at all.

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    2. People are still making fun of it
      They just care less and comment less
      Funny airlines for a funny town with funny ambitions in a funny country

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  2. When will we be able to book flights from Maribor to Hong Kong direct? ;)

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  3. I hope they actually do fly to those European destinations they listed. I think it is a good mix.

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    1. Doubt they will keep the same destinations.

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  4. Don't get why people are so against this airline. Seems more realistic and serious then the numerous start up airlines in Croatia that we had and people were actually excited about.

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    1. I agree. It's a shame everyone dismisses it immediately. This is much more serious then the start ups in Croatia. It's a pan European project which also involves the airport.

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    2. It can't be compared to other start-ups in the region because none of the other ones had their own AOC.

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  5. Good luck. I hope this works out for Maribotlr's sake.

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  6. Financially it's still a joke. These guys could nit operate an airline successfully in a country where the aviation was booming for decades. How on earth will they do it in Maribor??

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    1. Which country?

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    2. But this is not run by the people who used to run VLM Airlines. SHS bought VLM after it went bankrupt, not before.

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  7. So let's say it works, which airport would be most impacted by loosing passengers from Maribor?

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  8. This is such a BS, cant believe people are buying it.

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  9. First they said it would launch within a month of getting a Slovenian AOC, now it's moved until autumn.

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    1. Well they got an AOC within the timeframe they promised.

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  10. wow so these guys bought Thomas Cook Belgium. Seems like they've got a lot of money to burn.

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    1. money laundering :D

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  11. This entire project seems very fishy to me.

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  12. I doubt this list of destinations will stay the same if they start flying in autumn. I doubt there would be too many passengers to Split, Belgrade or Podgorica outside of summer. Zurich, Hamburg, Berlin and London on the other hand could work year round.

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  13. good luck MXB!

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  14. Completely unrealistic.

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  15. I said it before and I will say it again. Who cares if it works or not. 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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    1. except a demage to the image of the airport being considered by the public as VERY unreliable- Flights come and go as they like- better not consider MBX then.

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  16. For the sake of Maribor I hope it's legitimate but I have a feeling this is a scam.

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    1. Putting the Belgian angle into the equation I think it has a bigger chance of becoming reality.

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

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    1. The Chinese! If you follow the development of the sale to THE CHINESE of the German airports like Frankfurt-Hahn and Parchim, which THE Chinese wanted to develop into a hub, you will- like the German state governments, realize that THE CHINESE in many cases are very unreliable partners. In the end its just hot air and money laundering!
      http://de.reuters.com/article/uk-germany-airport-hahn-idUKKCN0ZM20Y

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  19. "the company now says that details regarding the number of aircraft to be used, planned routes and schedules will be announced at a later stage."

    Let's wait and see before we judge.

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  20. The sad thing is that with them buying the airport, the chances of them trying to attract a serious airline are gone. Their only objective will be to launch VLM.

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    1. Completely agree. Very little chance of Maribor getting any serious airline now.

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    2. In January it was reported that Maribor Airport was again in talks with Ryanair but that was before the sale of the airport was finalized so I doubt that anything will happen.

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  21. There must be a reason why the Belgians haven't given them an AOC even though they applied for one last year.

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    1. Yes and we gave them in just 2 months. Fishy.

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  22. Anyone know from which cities there is actual demand for Maribor?

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    1. From where did Ryanair fly to Maribor?

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    2. They used to fly from London Stansted Airport.

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  23. Interesting. Could BEG be losing the Chinese hub prize over MBX?

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    1. hahahahaahah
      ahaahahahahaah

      Yes
      Belgrade loosing
      To Maribor and Slovenia

      hahahaha

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. OT:

    LX2513 INIZRH - 176 pax, version Y180 (all eco)

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    1. Shame they don't have more C-series then they could operate three weekly.

      Do you have any info on the return flight?

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    2. ZRH-INI
      C:12/3
      Y:162/84

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    3. Let see Germania with better rates how it goes.

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  26. There is always a project in this region like Bosnian Wand Airlines, Air Croatia or now VLM to keep us entertained.

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  27. Should VLM be born one day, I think FR will act fast and resume flights to Stansted and maybe add more destinations such as CRL, HHN and so on.

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  28. the only planes we are going to see are those which will land in MBX to be scraped. Airliners scraping is one of the businesses they have registred in Slovenia.

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    1. Seriously? They will scrap planes in Maribor?

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  29. I really wish Maribor the bsst in the future. Hope officials did not make a mistake by selling the airport to the Chinese.

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  30. Ako oni ne budu servisirali Banjaluku, ne znam ko ce.

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  31. So annauncement was to start with flights on June, but now it is authum.

    Is there anyone who really can believe this stupidity that they wait for Belgian AOC, and that it is crucial for their business. No, dear experts, it is not. You just need one EU AOC, and Slovenian one is EU AOC.

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    1. Yeah, you're right. Monkey business unfortunatelly.

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  32. In my opinion they have a good chance to realise this project, but how you see there have been a lot of airlines in Balkan which started and not survived in this business as a newcomer. There are too much low-cost competitors like Wizz air (Ryanair). I don't like the project because if they would make a good business out of it in a few years, a classic airline like Adria would loose in this business, and I like this airline since many years. I would always prefer to support them, but not VLM. Also LJU wouldn't profit of VLM...

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