VLM Airlines MBO; signs LOI for SSJ100

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP October 29, 2014 17:06

VLM Airlines MBO; signs LOI for SSJ100

The management team of VLM Airlines, the wet-lease and charter subsidiary of CityJet, is buying the company ten months its parent company was sold by Air France-KLM to Intro Aviation.

Peter Oncken, managing director of Intro Aviation said that he could not refuse such a good offer for VLM Airlines.

VLM Airlines CEO and majority shareholder Arthur White has commented that he will add scheduled services to its existing ACMI and charter services in the near future.
The now independent airline is studying a number of possible new routes from Antwerp International Airport. Today, the VLM Airlines and Ilyushin Finance have signed a Letter of Intent that will see the airline become the first European operator of the long-range Sukhoi Superjet 100 LR (SSJ100 LR) regional aircraft.

VLM Airlines has selected the SSJ100 LR to spearhead the company’s launch of regional scheduled services in 2015, with details of its route network to be announced.
Under the terms of the LOI, VLM Airlines will take delivery of two SSJ100 LR aircraft in April 2015 under a 12-year operating lease, with options for two further aircraft. The deal also includes purchase rights for ten aircraft.

White says: “While VLM Airlines will continue offering ACMI and charter services with our Fokker 50 fleet, we see an exciting opportunity as a niche scheduled operator. The Sukhoi Superjet 100 LR fits our new strategy perfectly, with its exceptional efficiency and performance, advanced fly-by-wire technologies and spacious cabin.

“We looked at a number of aircraft types in the 100-seat range to see which would give the best passenger experience, flexibility in short-to-medium range destinations and low operating costs –  the SSJ100 LR won hands down. It has been great working with IFC and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company and I am looking forward to a mutually profitable long-term relationship.”

Alexander Rubtsov, CEO of IFC, comments: “This is a significant deal for IFC and the Sukhoi SSJ programme, as it represents our first customer in Europe, which we are delighted about. After intense competition and a detailed review, we are extremely pleased that VLM Airlines has chosen to base its future operation on the SSJ100 LR. We believe the aircraft will not only enable VLM Airlines to exceed its growth plans but will also give Europe a live insight into the excellent capabilities and passenger appeal of the Sukhoi SSJ, which represents a truly cost-effective regional aircraft solution.”

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP October 29, 2014 17:06