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Sobelair Bankrupt  
User currently offlineEham From Netherlands, joined Sep 2003, 448 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4112 times:

Belgian charterairline Sobelair went bankrupt a few hours ago !!!
Another Belgian airline is gone  Sad

[Edited 2004-01-19 12:03:59]

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGlobeTrekker From Netherlands, joined Dec 2003, 851 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3977 times:

I wonder what will happen to passengers travelling from AMS to CUR with DCA. The aircraft was in DCA colors, but belonged to Sobelair. It was a 767-300ER.
What a shame....

GlobeTrekker



The World Is A Book And Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only A Page
User currently offlineEham From Netherlands, joined Sep 2003, 448 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3945 times:

I think Air Holland has capacity to fill in the gap when Sobelair-aircraft have to leave !!!

User currently offlineManni From South Korea, joined Nov 2001, 4221 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3919 times:

Jetair, wich was planning to start up their own charter airline in april, beginning with 2 aircraft, will most likely start up with more aircraft, according to the news on the radio here in Belgium.

Eham,

Sobelair operated 3 767-300's and 7 737's, including 2 737-800's. The capacity of Air Holland is nowhere near that of Sobelair. Perhaps, it's time for SNBA to start a charter daughter.  Big grin



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User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3833 times:

After CTB and SN, it's the third airline that goes bankrupt in 2,5 years...  Sad

Yesterday I quickly made a picture of their latest B738wgl, and of their B763 flight to Mombasa. Probably my last pictures of them..  Crying

In memoriam

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Photo © Daems Guy



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Photo © Manuel Marín - IBERIAN SPOTTERS
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Photo © Tomás Coelho



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Frederic


User currently offlineSN-A330 From Belgium, joined Aug 2001, 1129 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3813 times:

There is an article about Sobelair on this site:

http://www.standaard.be/nieuws/economie/index.asp?ArticleID=DMF19012004_001&Snel=1

(only in Dutch, I'm sorry)

Regards, SN-A330



I would rather be flying...
User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3620 times:

I forgot to add Delsey Airlines in my posting...

Frederic


User currently offlineSterne82 From Belgium, joined May 2000, 397 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3538 times:

4th one in 2,5 years... we haven't learn everything yet in Belgium, I think.

Sad day for belgian aviation (one more, I would say), unless we have to look in the future and hope that SNBA and VEX will perform well in 2004.

Good luck to all Sobelair employees and to their families.

Regards,

Sterne


User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3491 times:

Another sad day for Belgian aviation indeed. For some reason, we are not good in setting up a decent airline and let it become successfull for a long period. Well, maybe we're good in starting up airlines, but after a while they must struggle in order to survive, especially now that many airlines are consolidating, joining worldwide alliances etc... I feel sorry for the employees. I can imagine some of them went from Sabena to VG/Delsey to Sobelair. What a pitty indeed. To all SLR employees over here: thanks for all the hard work! You guys did a great job and turned SLR into a magnificent charter airline.


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Anyway, some more info about today: I heard that today's flight to Tenerife still took place, Thomas Cook operated a flight to Palma I think, and a Spanish airline operated the flight to Madeira...

All we can do right now is wait for TUI Airlines Belgium I guess. That's all there is really.

Ivan



Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
User currently offlineAeroBELG From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3446 times:

Sabena Technics had parked three Sobelair aircraft in such a position that they can't be taxied away by Sobelair pilots (The company leased this aircraft from the pilots). So just have to wait what will happen tot the fleet... and how many people will loss there jobs (Sobelair, Sabena Technics & BGS (Belgian Ground Services).

TUI Airlines is looking to start with more aircraft than expected, they wanted to start with 2.

TOM



aeroBEL - Belgian Aviation Photographer
User currently offlineFlying lsd From Belgium, joined Feb 2001, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3391 times:

TUI wants to start with 737
but what about long haul flights operated for TUI AND Thomas cook to cariibean, mexico...


User currently onlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3382 times:

Wow I didn't see that one coming.....

Ok I lied, I did see it coming. What is with the Belgians and their national carriers?



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineKabila From Belgium, joined May 2003, 23 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3288 times:

Unfortunately, there are some more Belgian airlines that have failed in the last 5 years...

What about these ?


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or previously named
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And of course, the others that were mentioned already above...


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And now...


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Looks like Belgium is not the place to be to run an airline... Either Belgians are to 'stupid' to run airlines...  Nuts ... or the market is just to small... probably that last one  Confused





User currently offlineManni From South Korea, joined Nov 2001, 4221 posts, RR: 23
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3240 times:

Heads up please!

SN Brussels Airlines seams to do well, VLM keeps expanding (all be it slowly and only regional) and Virgin Express still exists.  Big grin



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User currently offlineGlobeTrekker From Netherlands, joined Dec 2003, 851 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3184 times:

I flew with Sobelair between AMS and CUR with Dutch Caribbean Airlines when it was still in Sobelair colors and the service on board was excellent. I am very sad to see it go. I wonder who will operate the flight to CUR tomorrow on behalf of DCA? Will the flight continue?

Ik wens iedereen van Sobelair veel sterkte!

GlobeTrekker



The World Is A Book And Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only A Page
User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3130 times:

Kabila:
Either Belgians are to 'stupid' to run airlines --> Please don't generalize. Maybe 'some' second-hand businessmen indeed don't know how to run a decent airline, but for every bad person there's also a good person so to speak I think. As far as I know, most of the time, it's a combination of several factors that leads to the succes or the demise of a(n) (airline) business. The only thing is, when you're well aware of the business and know a lot of decent management, you can better forecast some of these factors and take action.

Anyway, I admit that this isn't a good publicity for Belgian aviation (again)  Sad

Greetings,
Ivan



Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
User currently offlineAmerican 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3741 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3086 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

An other sad day in Belgian aviation today. Yes, you're right, it's already the fourth Belgian airline to cease operations within less than three years. I don't see much future in the Brussels National Airport, most Belgian airlines are dead (one that none of you mentioned is TEA), god knows if DHL will stay (we'll know that in September), there are always arguments about the departure paths over the city of Brussels,...what will that airport become? I see BRU as a regional airport compared to CDG and AMS.
The Belgian press was interviewing flight crews today, pilots said they would continue to fly anywhere but Belgium, F/A's said sadly they would have to reconsider another career! Some F/A's went through a demise twice: Sabena late 2001 and Sobelair early 2004.

A little bit of history: Sobelair was founded in 1946 and began flying to various destinations in Africa, the first aircraft was a DC-6 or DC-7, then they purchased the Boeing 707 at the beginning of the jet age. It was in 1960 when there was the revolution in Congo that Sabena had a large amont of stakes in Sobelair, Sobelair then became Sabena's charter subsidiary...until today (early 2004) unfortunately.
Sobelair has operated for a long time, like its parent company Sabena, the Boeing 737-200 aircraft on flights within Europe and points in the Mediteranean Sea, mostly holiday destinations. Then they added the 737-300, 400 but not the 500, it's normal because what they needed was extra capacity so that they could sell (through travel agencies and tour operators) more seats to holiday travellers at a low cost, I'm not surprised they didn't have the shorter 500 variant.
They added also the Boeing 767-300 aircraft for long haul flights, they had three or four of those, wasn't one of those leased from SAS? I think so, or maybe I'm confusing with a 767 painted in white that I saw one day parked near Sabena Technics. About the Boeing 767 and long haul network, they had a year ago a nonstop flight BRU-JNB but it turned out that the route was not profitable, it lasted not more than six months. A Sobelair-SNBA marriage has recently been ruled out.
They had a couple of winglet equiped Boeing 737-800 Series aircraft, but those didn't last long, of course not. The 800 is brand new so it didn't have much time to be in service with the airline before bankruptcy was declared. Sabena never flew NG737's.

Sobelair is now resting in peace.
1946-2004

Ben Soriano
Brussels Belgium



Ben Soriano
User currently offlineTurbotrent From Belgium, joined Jan 2002, 152 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2964 times:

Yesterday I heard the bad news on the radio  Crying
It's another tragedy for Belgian aviation. I always thought that SLR was a healthy airline, especially after their purchase of their new B738, some months ago...
I'll sure miss SLR  Sad

Best regards,

Tom



Man's flight through life is sustained by the power of his knowledge.
User currently offlineSN-A330 From Belgium, joined Aug 2001, 1129 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2899 times:

Hi all,

I am really going to miss Sobelair. I flew them a lot to and back from some nice holidays, in Greece, Spain, Italy,...

Last year in june I flew SLR to Gran Canaria I had the opportunity to fly their 737-800's.


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My thoughts go to all those wonderful people that worked (very hard) for SLR.

SN-A330



I would rather be flying...
User currently offlineLj From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4405 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2848 times:

Just to add Kabila's list: Hapag Lloyd Belgium also ceased operations.

SN Brussels Airlines seams to do well, VLM keeps expanding (all be it slowly and only regional) and Virgin Express still exists

Aren't we forgetting Thomas Cook????? The Belgian airline which even managed to oust Iberworld out of The Netherlands (and that after many many years of Iberworld)

I wonder who will operate the flight to CUR tomorrow on behalf of DCA? Will the flight continue?

Air Holland will take over the DCA flights untill they can use the SLR B767 again or have a replacement aircraft (which is DCA's ultimate goal).


User currently offlineKabila From Belgium, joined May 2003, 23 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2798 times:

SN Brussels Airlines seams to do well, VLM keeps expanding (all be it slowly and only regional) and Virgin Express still exists

Well,... Richard Branson announced today that Virgin Express is reducing its aircraft in BRU from 13 to 11. Maybe not everything is going so well either...


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And SN Brussels Airlines... well, I must admit, their service is SUPERB, the staff is GREAT, their airplanes are comfortable... I would just recommend it to everyone and every other airline employee should take an example to SN. Long are gone the arrogant and incapable Sabena attitudes of 'being the most important airline with the most important employees of the universe'... so again, SN is  Big thumbs up

However (and realizing that January is a very slow month), I took about 6 SN flights in Europe this month alone, and the loads were just terrible. Of those flights, I haven't counted more than 21 passengers on any one of those flights...

Again, they deserve a lot better and they offer a great product. Well worth its money ! I sincerely hope they will stay in business, but it will be hard...


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User currently offlineSN-A330 From Belgium, joined Aug 2001, 1129 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2709 times:

Please stay on-topic guys.

Is there any more news about Sobelair these last 24 hours ? I heard they will start fluing again next weekend. Can anybody confirm this?

Regards, SN-A330



I would rather be flying...
User currently offlineManni From South Korea, joined Nov 2001, 4221 posts, RR: 23
Reply 22, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2678 times:

Right now a LTU A330-200 is replacing one of Sobelair's 767-300 for a flight to Mexico.


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User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2550 times:

@SN-A330: they need the permission of Jetair AND Thomas Cook.

I think that this is some kind of 'operational agreement': they may fly till a replacement is found.

I thought I read this morning that 5 groups/organisations want to take over Sobelair. What the purpose of the new airline they want to create will be: I don't know. I don't see which market is left once TUI Airlines Belgium will have taken over the charter flights from Sobelair. Maybe Hasson makes a chance with starting a new small long haul airline to fly the charters for Thomas Cook / TUI?

1-2 years ago, SLR refused to be taken over by TUI (something like CityBird - Thomas Cook, although Thomas Cook told they would take over CTB but retracted their offer at the very last moment to start their own new airline not built on what was left from CTB). TUI will start a new airline (the name of the project is 'Sunrise') and will probably start with more than 2 aircrafts as orginally planned. No surprise for me: TUI knew very well that SLR was going to go bankrupt. In the meantime they started the planns for their own airline. Do you still remember the announcement of TUI ('SLR will keep on getting the biggest part of our customers')? Of course they knew this was bull sh*t (an additional charter airline would lead towards too much capacity). They counted on the fact that SLR would be bankrupt before Eastern 2004.

Thomas Cook Belgium is a very profitable airline with a very good organisation and a strong brand. After the success of the foundation of Thomas Cook (after City Bird) and SN Brussels Airlines (after Sabena), I hope to see that TUI Airlines Belgium becomes a success just like TCW and SN.

Sad to see SLR go, very sad, but it is important to look at the future now!

Frederic


User currently offlineSN-MD11 From Luxembourg, joined Dec 1999, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2455 times:

@ Sabena 690:

Thomas Cook Belgium is a very profitable airline with a very good organisation and a strong brand. After the success of the foundation of Thomas Cook (after City Bird) and SN Brussels Airlines (after Sabena), I hope to see that TUI Airlines Belgium becomes a success just like TCW and SN.

Let's hope so for them !!! Because I wouldn't be proud of myself if I were Mr Bart Brackx. The family Brackx digged the hole for Sobelair in 2003. Their will was to see Sobelair bankrupt by the winter 2004 to start a new airline venture (TUI Airlines Belgium) at lower costs (much lower !!!) for the high season.
I find it disgusting to see Sobelair's bankruptcy on monday and on-line job applications (www.jetair.be) for cabin and cockpit crews (737/767) on friday !!
Now they look for young people who will fly for 800€/month with monthly flat rates of 100h !! Those youngs won't have any other choices if they want to stay and fly in Belgium.

All this was carefully scheduled by TUI/Jet Air. Let's remember the same with TC and CTB in sept 2001 !  Sad
Of course other people are to blame: Mr Mellaerts, and the greedy 767 senior pilots who ruined all negociations in SLR's takeover attempts.

Poor, very poor Belgium !!! Embarrassment


25 Sabena 690 : Hi SN-MD11, Although I have no insider knowledge to comment on what happened in the whole SLR-sage, I find, just like you, that this case has a dirty
26 Kingsford : My very first flight was with Sobelair in 1980 going to Athens. This news is very sad, it's not only another belgian airline going bankrupt but again
27 Com3205 : Thomas Cook is bringing in a 767 and/or 757. Probably as from monday. Thomas Cook (operated by Condor) 767's wil fly the long haul part out of BRU. Th
28 LJ : TUI knew very well that SLR was going to go bankrupt. Given the fact that TUI was SLR's biggest customer this is correct. Basically TUI "owned" SLR an
29 Sabena 690 : @Lj, to comment on TUI and the B763: under the job section on the TUI website, they ask for B737 AND B767 pilots. Maybe they are going to operate one
30 SafetyDude : Belgian charterairline Sobelair went bankrupt a few hours ago !!! Another Belgian airline is gone With all of the bankruptcy going on, I thought that
31 Blink182 : What are the odds of SNBA buying Sobelair? I remember reading a story on SNBA in a recent Airways and SNBA said they were contemplating buying a stake
32 Sabena 690 : @Blink SN has announced three quarterly profits after eachother, but we still have to wait for the results of the whole financial year. There are 2 op
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