The Aviation Eye

Ex-CEO of VLM Airlines Brussels wants to take over the airline

© TLspotting / Thibault Lapers

Madness in the head of the ex-CEO of VLM Airlines Brussels (HQ/TCW), Harm Prins, as he wants to take over the airline but chances are small.

As reported “De Tijd”, Harm Prins, ex-CEO of the defunct Belgian airline, specialised in ACMI contracts and charter flights, which was based at Brussels Zaventem (BRU/EBBR), declared in bankruptcy on 18 December 2018, wants to take over the airline, and restart to fly as soon as possible.

When VLM Airlines Brussels employees had a meeting 2 weeks ago at Vilvoorde, about their future, they were able to see Harm Prins.

He also emailed to every former employees (~80), if they wanted to join his project.

“We have prepared a proposal in the bankruptcy procedure and we want to start the operations very seriously as quickly as possible, which depends mainly on the availability of former employees.”

Harm Prins, ex-CEO to his ex employees

Harm Prins told De Tijd, he was going to make everything he could to restart the airline.

Dirk De Maeseneer, one of the curators of VLM Airlines NV, has not received any concrete proposals yet. “We are certainly prepared to view proposals for a new start,but we are not particularly hopeful.”, he said.

Everyone has lost his trust in Harm.

Former top employee of VLM Airlines NV

Prins was active in Air Exel, Holland Exel and Dutchbird, which went bankrupt in suspicious circumstances in 2004 and 2005 (Air Exel, Prins was arrested on charges of fraud, blackmail and money laundering; Holland Exel, was bankrupt, and purchased by TUI to rename it Arkefly (now TUI fly Nederland); bankruptcy for Dutchbird).

Harm Prins has an experience full of failures, with 4 airlines which headed to bankrupt, including the ex Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium (2001-2017), which was divided in 2017, when 2 Airbus A320-214, OO-TCH and OO-TCV, destinations and slots were transfered to Brussels Airlines (SN/BEL) while SHS Aviation BV took over ground staff. SHS Aviation BV took over 2 Airbus A320-214, OO-TCT and OO-TCX (now returned to Thomas Cook UK, Condor and TC Airlines Balearics), to create again VLM Airlines (VO/WLM and HQ/TCW), which also restarted from Antwerp Deurne (ANR/EBAW) with 6 Fokker 50, which was the renew of the former VLM Airlines created in 1992 and declared in bankruptcy in 2016.

© TLspotting / Thibault Lapers
© TLspotting / Thibault Lapers

VLM Airlines was already active in Slovenia from Maribor Airport (MBX/LJMB).

3 AOCs were used during one year. Then SHS Antwerp Aviation sold to SoftFlight BV, based at Amsterdam, VLM Airlines Brussels. SHS Antwerp Aviation then ceased their operations on 31 August 2018.

VLM Airlines NV added an Airbus A321-231 to its fleet in July 2018 while OO-TCX and OO-TCT have left the fleet. VLM Airlines Brussels wanted to fly to China with Airbus A330-300 as from 2019, but VLM Airlines had its only aircraft, OO-SBA, the A321, blocked at Montpellier (MPL/LFMP) by the lessor.

Finally, the airline without any aircraft filed for bankruptcy and finished their ops on 18 December 2018.

Thibault Lapers

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