Airlines

Published on May 3rd, 2015 | by Jim Lee

0

Great day for Waterford Airport as new VLM services commence

27th April was a great day for Waterford Airport as it inaugurated its new service to Luton followed later that morning at 11:50 by its new service to Birmingham. The two new services, operated by Belgian-based VLM Airlines, will offer a combined total of 16 flights in each direction, twice-daily Monday-Friday flights, as well as a Saturday and a Sunday service to Luton and a four times a week late morning service to Birmingham. The inaugural flights were operated by Fokker 50, OO-VLJ flown by Captains Lindeboom and De Jong. The aircraft and crew had positioned to Waterford the previous day. There were 18 passengers on the inbound flight to Waterford from Luton and 95% of them said they were there on business. VLM say it has seen significant demand in advance bookings exceeding expectations ahead of the summer tourist season. The CEO of Waterford Airport, Desmond O’Flynn, believes the new relationship with VLM is of significant importance to the economic and social infrastructure in the region. “We have always enjoyed tremendous support from business and leisure passengers in our catchment area and we look forward to that continuing,” he said.

Co-pilot Björn Lindeboom, Alix DeWeerdt - CCO, VLM Airlines, Neil Thompson - Operations Director, LLA, Captain Eimar de Jong at Luton

Co-pilot Björn Lindeboom, Alix DeWeerdt – CCO, VLM Airlines, Neil Thompson – Operations Director, LLA and Captain Eimar de Jong at Luton

Welcoming the aircraft to Luton with the traditional cake, Neil Thompson, Operations Director at LLA, commented; “We are delighted to welcome VLM to London Luton Airport and the return of this popular route to Waterford is great news for passengers. Adding new destinations and bringing in new airline partners is central to our £100 million (€135.17 million approx) redevelopment project, which is set to transform the Airport over the coming years.”

Arthur White, CEO of VLM Airlines, added: “Our new Waterford-London Luton service provides the most convenient link between south east Ireland and the London region. With twice-daily services operating Monday to Friday, and a daily service at weekends, we are making Waterford highly accessible for London’s Irish community and leisure travellers drawn to this beautiful part of rural Ireland. Meanwhile, London Luton’s superb onward connections provide invaluable access for Irish businesses to international markets.”

Finally Dan Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to Great Britain, said: “As a Waterfordman and a regular visitor to Ireland’s oldest city, I am delighted to learn of the resumption of flights from London Luton to Waterford Airport. I hope that this new service will encourage more and more people from Britain to sample the attractions of heritage-rich Waterford City and its hinterland – the scenic Copper Coast and Ireland’s Ancient East”.

VLM launched additional services from Southampton to Antwerp and Hamburg on 23rd April and from Hamburg to Rotterdam and Antwerp, on the 13th and 20th April respectively. Further services from Liege to Venice and Nice and to Bologna and Avignon were added on the 1st and 2nd May respectively, all operated by the airlines fleet of Fokker 50s.

Since the sale by Intro Aviation GmbH, (the new owners of CityJet), of VLM to its management In November 2014, the exact number and disposition of its Fokker 50 fleet has varied. It would appear that 16 aircraft are operated but only 10 of these have been noted flying recently. Four of these have been on lease to CityJet since last October and some still appear to be operating on CityJet or Air France services. Based on flights noted recently, the following would appear to be the current disposition of the fleet:-

OO-VLF      White VLM c/s       Noted flying for VLM, CityJet and Air France late April and 1st May.

OO-VLJ      White VLM c/s       Noted flying for VLM since 26th April.

OO-VLL      CityJet c/s              Noted flying for CityJet late April and 1st May.

OO-VLM     White VLM c/s       Noted flying for VLM and Air France late April and 1st May.

OO-VLN     CityJet c/s              Noted flying for CityJet late April and 1st May.

OO-VLO     Vizion Air c/s         Not noted flying recently.

OO-VLP      Vizion Air c/s         Noted flying for CityJet and Air France late April and 1st May.

OO-VLQ     White VLM c/s       Noted flying for VLM and Air France late April and 1st May.

OO-VLR     CityJet c/s              Noted flying for CityJet and Air France late April and 1st May.

OO-VLS     White VLM c/s       Noted flying for VLM since 25th April.

OO-VLZ     White VLM c/s       Noted flying for VLM and CityJet late April and 1st May.

OO-VLE/I/K/T/V and Y have not been noted flying recently.

Tags: , , , ,


About the Author

Avatar

Jim has had a life-long interest in military matters and aviation. Initially, he fused both of these interests together with a passion for military aviation, initially as a photographer. He has travelled extensively over the years and has been the guest of many European air forces, plus the air forces of the United States, Russia and others throughout the world. His first introduction to journalism coincided with an interest in the civil aviation industry was when he initially wrote for and later edited, ‘Aviation Ireland’, the club magazine of the Aviation Society of Ireland. Jim was a contributor to Flying in Ireland since its inception over 10 years ago and is now a key contributor to this site. He has also contributed items for a number of other aviation magazines and has produced a number of detailed contributions to Government policy documents, most recently the Irish Government’s White Paper on Defence. He is also deeply involved in the local community and voluntary sector and has worked both in local government and central government.



Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑