VLM uses bankruptcy protection to restructure

Fokker 50 VLM Airlines (Pedro Aragão / Wikimedia Commons)Fokker 50 VLM Airlines (Pedro Aragão / Wikimedia Commons)

VLM Airlines, who will operate the Cardiff Airport to London City Airport route for Flybe, have filed for Bankruptcy protection to restructure its operations after 2015 saw losses totalling 13m euros.

The European regional carrier filed for the protection in a Belgian court and asked for 6 months protection from creditors.

The restructuring is understood to include a consolidation of its route network along with the sale and lease back of its Fokker F50 aircraft, a common occurrence in modern aviation.

The carrier was dealt a blow when Cityjet ended its ACMI partnership with VLM in 2014 which forced the carrier to increase its scheduled network over its ACMI work.

VLM has already sold 4 of its aircraft and are in talks with several lessors to sell the remaining 6.

The plan set out by Chief Executive Hamish Davidson should see VLM break even by the end of 2016 with a return to profit in 2017.

Speaking about the Cardiff to London City route Flybe said: “These flights are booked with Flybe which is financially sound, and not with VLM, so there is no impact on Flybe customers.  If VLM were unable to meet its contract with Flybe then alternate ways would be found to provide the same service so that customers’ travel plans would not be compromised in any way.”

Belgian courts have until .Monday to approve the plans and grant bankruptcy protection for VLM.

 

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