The ailing airline VLM Airlines has filed for bankruptcy this Wednesday morning, as reported by both management and union sources to news agency Belga. All flights have been cancelled with immediate effect. According to Gazet van Antwerpen, management had convened the unions to come to a meeting around noon.
The VLM Airlines bankruptcy comes as no surprise, since the end of May the airline had requested and obtained six months of protection from its creditors. That’s often a bad sign that a company is in very poor shape.
The Antwerp Commercial Court had given protection to VLM to give time to implement its ongoing restructuring and thus to be able to repay its historical debt.
VLM Airlines employs approximately 150 people. The airline kept flights from Antwerp to Hamburg and Southampton, and from Friedrichshafen to Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Berlin. VLM was also operating flights between Antwerp and London City on behalf of Cityjet. Cityjet just announced that all its flights to/from Antwerp are cancelled. Passengers will be bussed to Rotterdam, Amsterdam or Paris Orly.
Last year the company had a €13 million loss and the debt would be increased to €6 million. One of the creditors is Antwerp Airport, the airport in Deurne-Antwerp.
Source: VRT, Belga, Gazet van Antwerpen
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CityJet press release
We regret to inform customers that due to Belgian airline VLM, which operated our Antwerp route, ceasing operations from June 22nd, the following flights have been cancelled
From Antwerp to London City Airport
WX236 STD 14:15
WX238 STD 18:05
Ground transportation will be provided to Rotterdam and customers will be transferred to the next available CityJet flight to London City Airport. Alternatively you can submit for a full refund by clicking here
From London City Airport to Antwerp
WX237 STD 14:55
WX239 STD 18:45
Customers will be offered the next available CityJet flight to Rotterdam, Paris Orly or Amsterdam. Ground Transportation will be provided on arrival to Antwerp Airport.
CityJet is developing its plans for operations from tomorrow onwards on the Antwerp route and will advise these soon.
Alternatively you can submit for a full refund by clicking here
After this press release, CityJet announced that it would operate the Antwerp-London City route itself with Avro RJ85 aircraft, effective 23 June.