Sunday, September 3, 2017

VLM Slovenia to expand fleet


The recently launched Maribor-based VLM Airlines will expand its fleet later this year with the addition of a jet engine aircraft, as it begins preparations for the upcoming winter season. The carrier will add a jet during the fourth quarter of this year, with Fokker 70s, Airbus A320s and A330s to follow. They will join the existing fleet of three operational Fokker 50 turboprops. The carrier recently completed its summer operations from Maribor, which saw it maintain one weekly flight each from the Slovenian city to Split and Dubrovnik. "We are extremely pleased with the commercial performance of our flights to Split and Dubrovnik, especially if we take into consideration that tickets went on sale just five days prior to the first flights, as well as the relatively short period of time that services operated in August", spokesperson, Yves Panneels, told the "Večer" daily.

VLM Airlines is believed to have handled a total of 213 passengers between Maribor and the Croatian coast this August. Despite initial plans to extend the service into September, this did not materialise, with the final flight to Split and Dubrovnik merged into a single operation. "There has been a positive response from passengers, tour operators, travel agencies and enthusiasts from Slovenia and Croatia. The entire VLM team feels encouraged", Mr Panneels noted. Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport handled some 2.040 passengers over the January - August period. On the other hand, the airport welcomed 8.890 travellers for the whole of last year.

The Maribor-based airline is in the process of drafting its 2017/18 winter operations which begin on October 29. "We are already negotiating with some tour operators for the 2018 summer season, when you can expect a broader program with more frequencies. We are also trying to define our winter flight schedule which will begin on October 29. We will be revealing more shortly. With the Fokker 50 aircraft, we will continue operating ad hoc charters. Because of the aircraft's size, there is a lot of interest for such flights", Mr Panneels said. VLM continues to maintain charters on behalf of an Italian tour operator from Ancona, Bari and Salerno in Italy to Brač, Split and Zadar in Croatia, Tivat and Podgorica in Montenegro, and several holiday hotspots in Greece.

54 comments:

  1. If the math is done it means that there was only an average of 10 passengers on each sector -.-

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    1. That is not all that bad considering they started selling tickets less than 5 days before they started flying.

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  2. Didn't SHS promise 300,000 passengers at MXB during the first year :D

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  3. "VLM Airlines is believed to have handled a total of 213 passengers between Maribor and the Croatian coast this August"

    And this airline is going to get A330s and become a connecting carrier between Europe and Asia!!!

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  4. I still think this was a big mistake for Maribor. It should have focused on attracting LCCs. With SHS running the airport and the airline, there is little chance of that happening anymore.

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    1. True. They now completely depend on one airline.

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    2. The real question is if they could have attracted any lowcost airlines? There were several attempts to do so and it seems like they all failed in the end.

      Chinese have a lot of cash. Just look at what they are doing with Cobalt in Cyprus. They launched flights a bit over a year ago and today they have 2 A319s and 4 A320s. In a recent interview they announced that their five year plan includes growing their fleet to 15-20 A320s and 10 A330s.

      All I am saying is that when it comes to the Chinese, anything is possible.

      As a final note, if this really starts to happen, I do wonder what tricks LH will use to sabotage them. Maribor is way too close to Vienna.

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    3. Nemjee are they going to base 10 A330s in Cyprus? Isn't that capacity too big for such a small island?

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    4. Yes, the plan is to base all of the planes in LCA. They are determined to build a big hub there.
      I think they started selling connecting flights this June and their network keeps on growing. They said their first long-haul destinations will be to China with HKG being mentioned a few times.

      LCA has been recording spectacular growth this year and they should handle between 7.5 and 8 million passengers. With Paphos they should have between 10 and 11 million passengers.

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    5. LOL why would LH sabotage VLM?

      Are you seriously comparing a European capital with 2 million+ people, a lot of history, businesses, established airline and hub with Maribor?

      It's like saying LH will try to sabotage INI if some airline opens a base there. The only difference is that INI actually has some traffic.

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    6. Before LOLing why don't you read what I wrote in my comment.
      If VLM really starts to build a true hub in Maribor and if they start stealing passengers from OS and VIE, I highly doubt LH will just let it happen. Lufthansa is very territorial and they are ruthless when it comes to protecting what they consider as theirs.

      Your comparison of Maribor and Nis is not correct because INI is not located in close proximity to a LH Group hub. On the other hand, Maribor is.

      Like I said, the Chinese have done wonders in Cyprus so we shouldn't jump to any conclusions. I am still skeptical about all this but if it happens, I won't be totally surprised.

      There are many hubs out there which are in business because of artificially created demand. KEF is a great example where only 12% of passengers are actually flying into the country.

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    7. Thank you for the great info Nemjee!
      I didn't realize that Cyprus's two airports had more passengers that all of Croatia's airports put together. Impressive for such a small country but also shows what potential for growth exists in our region.

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    8. I don't see many Austrians especially from Northern area driving 4 hours+ to fly from MBX for couple of EUR less than from VIE...

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    9. Flying out of VIE is not really cheap.

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    10. Bratislava is Austria's de facto low cost airport.
      People will travel if the price difference is large enough and Vienna is generally extremely expensive.

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    11. 4 hours?

      You are joking right. Even with traffic jam it is 2 hours maximum. You know there is no border between Austria and Slovenia?

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    12. Didn't VIE halve its charges because of BTS?

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  5. Their development looks somehow natural. It is not like they announced at first wben it was completely unrealistic. However profitability of Fokker 50 and also 70 remains a big question. Under the given link you can also find an interview with the director of VLM Airlines.

    https://maribor24.si/lokalno/foto-video-poletelo-letalo-za-split-taksni-pa-nacrti-za-prihodnost/

    Haplek

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    1. The interview with that lady is hilarious :D

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    2. Yes hhhhahaha

      Haplek

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  6. Anyone have an idea what destinations they could launch?

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    1. Munich and Zürich on the first stage. I guess those flights might happen already this winter.

      Haplek

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    2. I also think Zurich would be a good destination during winter. Perhaps London too.

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    3. Doesn't make sense. They do not have any code share, so who would fly MBX-ZRH?

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  7. So 6 F50, 15 A320 and 3 A330 finish as 6 flights during August with 200 passengers?

    What a scam

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    1. Totalno nategovanje naroda.

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    2. Who cares. It's their own money, not yours.

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    3. It is their money but their development is now linked to the development of the airport in my city.

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    4. Airport was build by EU + local community.

      If they manage it with just promises and nothing else that is at least coming out of my pocket. I want airport in which my money was invested throw budget to be operational with airlines and routes. Not just to be promise and talking.

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  8. This ridiculous business press releases nowadays: we are extremly pleased with the performance and are encouraged.....
    With 213 passengers? If so pleased why no extension to Sep and last flight operated as a merged operation MBX-SPU-DBV?

    Anyway we can just hope that JP will open by next SUTT Brac, Split and DBV or TIV then they at least can be called real ADRIA Airways

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    1. Koliko mislis para da ima slovenacka vlada da ulaze u njih preko "investicionih" fondova?

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    2. Good question ;-)

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  9. Good luck. I hope this works out for Maribor.

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  10. This airport deserves so much better and I hope the Chinese will actually develop it.

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  11. Hi Admin: regarding yr vintage photo: where did that flight head to? Airline?

    Thank u very much for this historical foto and event with us, didnt even know about this

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    1. The flight was operated by CFRNA (Compagnie franco-roumaine de navigation aérienne) between Belgrade and Bucharest. The service continued on to Istanbul. It was strategically scheduled to operate at night in order to beat the Orient Express train.

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    2. Merci beaucoup :-)

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  12. o be honest, I'm already surprised. Wasn't expecting that anything would come of this. They actually have operated flights and plan to add aircraft.

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  13. What a farce (not that it ever seemed to be anything else). So from grandeur plans to operate long haul Airbus to flying some clapped out Fokker 50s and soon Fokker 70s on random routes. Gone within a year..

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  14. Like someone said above, with them buying the airport, the chances of MXB trying to attract a serious airline are gone. Their only objective will be VLM.

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

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    2. Unlike Wizz, SHS will invest in expanding the airport, other infrastructure in Maribor and will try bring Chinese tourists to Maribor. Tourists who burn the most money of all others.

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    3. ^hope it turns out that way

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    4. Unlike SHS, Wizz carry passengers. Usually more than 213 on a single flight.

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  15. "The recently launched Maribor-based VLM Airlines will expand its fleet later this year with the addition of a jet engine aircraft, as it begins preparations for the upcoming winter season. The carrier will add a jet during the fourth quarter of this year, with Fokker 70s, Airbus A320s and A330s to follow."

    So, we are approaching the last quarter of this year, and they even don't know which type of aircraft they will add to their fleet in the upcoming quarter (hence multiple references to "jet aircraft").

    Amazing! Bravo Maribor!

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  16. Replies
    1. I think its ridiculous instead of interesting...

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  17. Will they hawe flight from maribor and ljubljana to brac in s18?

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    1. They don't intend on operating from Ljubljana. Maybe they will fly to Brac from Maribor, who knows. They have been flying charters to Brac from some Italian cities this summer.

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  18. Give them a chance people. Why so negative?

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