On December 18, 2018, VLM Airlines Brussels has filed for bankruptcy, ending the obscurity of the past weeks. The airline stopped operations earlier this month, as its only aircraft, an Airbus A321-200, was retaken by the lessor on December 8, 2018.
The airline used to operate ACMI and charter flights for Thomas Cook and other clients. A company’s spokesperson is quoted in local media explaining that despite a good performance in summer 2018, the airline was unsuccessful in securing enough funds to survive the winter. Similarly, VLM Airlines (Brussels) CEO Harm Prins reportedly warnedlast week about then-foreboding bankruptcy if the airline fails to bring in extra money by this week.
The airline employs approximately 80 people, both flight and ground crew.
Earlier this year, the airline had to deny rumours that it is insolvent. The mishap occurred after the majority shareholder of VLM Airlines Antwerp (a different airline) announced liquidation of the carrier on August 31, 2018. Similar names caused confusion, prompting VLM Airlines Brussels to publicly explain its ownership, pointing out that it was acquired in early 2018 by a Dutch investor and no longer had any connection with the Antwerp airline.