VLM Airlines goes into liquidation


VLM Airlines, which has a joint Belgian and Slovenian Air Operator's Certificate, has entered into liquidation and immediately suspended all operations. It comes just weeks after the airline discontinued the majority of its flights, including its services from Maribor to Munich and Antwerp. In a statement, VLM said, "SHS Aviation B.V., the majority shareholder of the N.V. SHS Antwerp Aviation (VLM), today decided at an extraordinary general assembly to dissolve the airline and to liquidate it. The settlement takes effect immediately. Youri Steverlynck and Birgitta Van Itterbeek were appointed as liquidators. They are responsible for the contacts with potential buyers".

VLM Airlines is no longer owned by the operator of Maribor Airport. SHS Aviation purchased the "Aerodrom Maribor" operator for seven million euros in December 2016 and won a concession to run the airport for a period of fifteen years. Originally owned by Dutch (60%) and Chinese investors (40%), the company's ownership structure changed recently. The Dutch SHS Aviation stake has been taken over by Villa 1, owned by the Chinese co-director of Maribor Airport, Lingkun Meng. Last year, VLM Airlines announced plans to operate flights from Maribor to Belgrade, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Podgorica, Zurich, Xi'an, Chongqing and Nanchang, however, none materialised. Speaking in 2017, Maribor's mayor, Andrej Fištravec, said, "I believe that in the second half of this year, SHS will start with flights inside Europe and once the infrastructure at Maribor Airport is developed, I think that they will start continental flights to China".

Slovenia's national carrier, Adria Airways, has ruled out flights from the country's second largest city. The airline's Chief Operating Officer, Christian Schneider, said earlier this year, "We do not intend on establishing a regular service from Maribor. Adria Airways is a Slovenian airline with its home base in Ljubljana. Over the past years, we invested heavily in our network of flights from Ljubljana and via Ljubljana Airport. We are the only airline that connects Western and Eastern Europe via Ljubljana. This proved to be a very good strategy. We also have a very good business relationship with Fraport Slovenia and these are the main reasons we fly from Ljubljana". Maribor Airport recorded a loss of 1.7 million euros last year, up from the 35.000 euro loss in 2016. It was generated as the airport handled only 6.000 passengers in 2017, while the operator also had to cover its fifteen-year concession fee, which it is now seeking to extend to fifty years.

Comments

  1. This had disaster written all over it since day 1.

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  2. my, my, what a surprise

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  3. Fokker 50 turboprop aircraft are ready for sale,in very good condition the maintenance service has been finished(OO-VLS)

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    1. With Adria being a Saab operator, they could take some Fokkers too :D

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  4. Out of all the airlines in the world I still can't believe MBX got in bed with these guys.

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    1. They are playing the same game as BNX did for a long time, only working with "proper airlines".

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    2. Maribor would be interesting for Turkish airlines or Air Serbia.

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    3. It would feed Turkish's connections to middle east and Asia. They fly to every village in Balkans.

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    4. But they already fly to Ljubljana, Zagreb and Graz which are all close by.

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  5. Were the pilots and cabin crew from Belgium or Slovenia?

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    1. All are from Belgium.

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    2. I'm surprised at this Wouldn't Slovenian workforce be cheaper?

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    3. They already had trained and qualified crew from the old VLM. Training new crew would have been more expensive.

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    4. Ok, makes sense.

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  6. They promised a fleet of 20+ aircraft including widebodies and now all that's left is nothing. What a scam.

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    1. And I don't get who believed in that.

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    2. The Mayor of Maribor.

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    3. And some who posted here

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    4. Their fleet plans were:
      6 F50, 15 A320 and 3 A330

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    5. That was optimistic lol

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  7. Founders of this company were well-known crooks with already several bankrupt airlines under their belts.

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    1. Which ones were that?

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    2. The Exels - Holland Exel, Belgium Exel and Air Exel.

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    3. Never head of any of them

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    4. ^ Not a surprise really since they all operated for less than a year.

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  8. I think their should be a rule prohibiting politicians commenting on aviation related matters.

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  9. Pity that Adria does not want to give Maribor a second chance.

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    1. MBX only makes sense in terms of LCCs, since there is not a lot of LCC coverage between LJU-GRZ-ZAG. Otherwise, it's a money pit.

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    2. It is big pity that Maribor did not manage to keep FR.

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

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    1. That worked out well.

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    2. They will be lucky if they have 6,000 passengers this year.

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    3. Maribor has quite a few charters this summer, so that should help with the numbers.

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    4. Most were just ad hoc sports charters which have very few passengers.

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  11. 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. With VLM gone maybe they will open up to other airlines and try to attract other airlines.

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    2. Yes, they were very successful with that before VLM.

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    3. Truth be told they were under different management before VLM came into the picture so who knows, maybe the Chinese attract another airline :D

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  12. Money laundering! the end

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    1. it is stupid to launder money in aviation. too much expenses and you cannot inflate costs easily because of many different stakeholders. there is no leasing company willing to participate, no jet fuel trader and finally you cannot inflate the sallaries, because if you that, you will just end up paying more taxes. and that covers about 85+% of the cost in the industy.

      it is not like construction or movie making where you can inflate a lot.

      also, not every money loosing business is money laundering. it is something i hear too much these days.
      most notable and laughable was couple of days ago, when somebody was crazy enough to say that WIZZ is laundering...

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  13. Who cares. It's their own money, not ours.

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

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  14. This airport deserves so much better.

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    1. I agree and I thought things would pick up with the new terminal. But unfortunately it's just a pretty building serving a couple of charters per year.

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  15. Koliko ja znam iza VLM i firme koja je dobila koncesiju za MBX stoje isti ljudi. Sto je jos gore, ti isti ljudi stoje iza otkupa tvrtke Vinag koju su takodjer jos vise unistili. Ali to je ionako sve islo po sistemu pola pije pola Sarcu daje

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  16. Maribor needs to do exactly what Nis, Osijek and Banja Luka did.

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    1. For Maribor it is a bit more complicated because they compete with several nearby airports that already have large LCC presence.

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    2. All of the airports anon 13.08 listed also have several close by airports with a lot of LCC competition. Maybe BNX is an exception.

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  17. This aircraft price for VLM Fokker 50 turboprop aircraft(OO-VLS) is not officially published, the average historical price for aircraft like this is $1,699,500 ready for sale.

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  18. Seems like the same Chinese "investors and businessmen" are trying to sell the scheme to Osijek Airport.

    In Croatian only:
    http://www.seebiz.eu/kineski-investitori-zainteresirani-za-zracnu-luku-osijek/ar-180512/

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    1. Hope they don't fall for it.

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  19. Slovenija shouldn't feel any shame. Those Belgians were nothing but scammers.
    Slovenia being the prosperate state of Yugloslavia should care about its airports and economic development.
    Imperialist companies like VLM with funny ageing aircraft should never be allowed to fly for the safety of Slovenes.
    Thank you for informing us anyway

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    1. LOL which century did you get stuck in?

      I'm not saying that those Fokker F50s were new, but they were newer than ALL of the Air Serbia's B737s and some ATR72s and they are about the same age as F100s that Adria is wet leasing from Carpatair.

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  20. Unfortunate news for Maribor.

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  21. What a surprise... not

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  22. well.... i was that one that was against all of you to say at start it will not work. Maribor local politicans showed that they just wash money and have no interest to develop Maribor as a low cost base as it would be the only possibility to gane bigger passenger numbers! the same people that are in JP now destroyed styrian spirit airline and if we just go back to see how they started promoting and selling tickets.... no words needed! shame on you Mr. Bobek, shame on you Mr. Fistravec! I hope you will as your previous colegue Mr. Kangler never come back on mayor seat! Maribor needs a cousin from Mr. Jankovic the best mayor of the most beautiful city on the world.... a shame!

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  23. this will make adria's life easier, but from the look of it, adria will also close the shop
    this is not bus business. it is airlines. you don't this mid connection when the flight time between A to B is max 2.5 hrs. especially between major hubs where there is already a decent market saturation.

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  24. VLM aviokompanija vise ne postoji,tako da sada ADRIA moze da uzme njihov trzisni udio i poveca svoj profit u ovoj godini,jedan Fokker 50 najvjerojatnije ide kod novog sopstvenika u Budimpestu ostala su jos 3 aviona za prodaju.

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