Today VLM Airlines made its comeback on the legendary route between Antwerp Airport and London City Airport. This morning one of VLM Airlines’ Fokker 50 (OO-VLI) took off from Antwerp Airport to the British capital. Aviation24.be was present for the ceremony, and got invited on the flight to London City.
The first VLM flight to London City already left at 07:00 am, the inaugural ceremony was foreseen for the second flight.
A reception for the first guests with the VLM Chief pilot, CEO Harm Prins and two ladies representing the Chinese investors.
“Today is an important milestone for our airline. We are proud to be back and we are more determined and resilient than ever before”, said Harm Prins, VLM Airlines CEO. “Everyone in the company is very happy that we are able offer again our services to the travelling public in both Antwerp and London.”
Richard Hill, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport said: “It’s great to see VLM Airlines return to London City, connecting our passengers with Antwerp up to four times daily. This is an important service for London – the only direct route from the UK capital to Belgium’s second largest city – and I’m sure business travellers in particular will value it greatly.”
“The Antwerp-London City route links two of the most important economic centres in Europe. The route has proven to be the fastest travel alternative for both business people as leisure passengers”, said Marcel Buelens, CEO of Antwerp & Ostend-Bruges Airports. “Both Antwerp Airport and London City Airport offer short check-in times, short walking distances and are both located close to the city centres.”
VLM Airlines offers three daily services in each direction on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On Thursdays and Fridays there are four return flights. On Sundays the airline will operate two services.
Antwerp and London are linked with a direct flight since 1993, first by VLM Airlines (from 1993 until 2008) then Cityjet. About one month ago the latter announced that it decided to discontinue its activities on the route by the end of the Summer season.
About the ceremony: No press conference, no question time. But aviation24.be could speak to one Chinese lady representing the Chinese shareholders. She told that VLM expected to launch long haul flights from Brussels to Shenzhen in April 2018 and later to 5 Chinese cities. When we replied that Hainan also applied for slots to Shenzhen. She said she would try to be the first.
Today also VLM’s online booking facility went online. Seats can be booked via www.flyvlm.com or via travel agents.