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VLM Airlines Starts Antwerp - Frankfurt  
User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3952 posts, RR: 5
Posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5223 times:

VLM Airlines, so far pretty much focused on flights from RTM and LCY, will start a thrice-daily service from Antwerp to Frankfurt. It is an interesting move as the airline's short-haul services from LCY are coming under pressure from high speed trains. BRU and MAN have been reduced significantly, LPL gone completely. With the new high-speed train route between Brussels and Amsterdam via Rotterdam, both RTM and AMS may loose some business to the trains. ANR-FRA therefore maybe a move to escape from the LCY short-haul niche that may become less attractive in the future for an airline that operates turboprop aircraft which are only competitive within a 300mi perimeter from LCY.

That said, ANR-FRA is an interesting choice as there are three daily nonstop highspeed ICE trains from Brussels to Frankfurt that only take 3h33min.




Antwerp, 11 March 2009 – Starting 4 May 2009, VLM Airlines will operate three flights per day between Antwerp and Frankfurt using a Fokker 50 aircraft. The airline will offer flights in code-share with Air France.

With the opening of the new route between Antwerp and Frankfurt, two major economic cities are now connected with each other.

Johan Vanneste, Managing Director of VLM Airlines, stated, “We will cooperate with Air France on the Antwerp-Frankfurt route. From May 2009, we will be operating three flights per day”.

“Frankfurt is the second most important financial centre in Europe. Since the European Central Bank established its seat there, the importance of Frankfurt as a financial centre has only increased. A direct connection with Antwerp offers a lot of perspectives. The opening of our third destination from Antwerp is of great importance to Antwerp International Airport, which once again can play its trump card of being a comfortable and fast gateway to major European cities.”

Frederic Kahane, General Manager of Air France for Belgium and Luxembourg, added, “This code-share agreement is the first clearly visible form of cooperation in the Belgian market since VLM Airlines became a member of the Air France-KLM Group. The agreement will allow passengers of both Air France and VLM Airlines to do business in a comfortable way without having to spend a night in Frankfurt”.

“In addition, Antwerp International Airport offers free parking. A passenger needs only 15 minutes from the car-park to the aircraft, including check-in and security check. The huge time savings for the time-conscious business traveller is precisely the strength of a regional business airport such as Antwerp."

Frankfurt is VLM Airlines' third destination out of Antwerp, following London City Airport and Manchester.

Economy Class passengers can enjoy complimentary light meals on board all flights, along with coffee and tea served on real china and a choice of alcoholic beverages. Business Class passengers enjoy a range of additional benefits including enhanced meals, newspapers, fully flexible tickets and increased baggage allowance. The flights are operated with Fokker 50 aircraft equipped with comfortable leather seats. The flight duration is 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Antwerp – Frankfurt
Depart 09:05 AM – Arrive 10:25 AM
Depart 03:50 PM – Arrive 05:10 PM
Depart 08:25 PM – Arrive 09:45 PM

Frankfurt – Antwerp
Depart 06:45 AM – Arrive 08:10 AM
Depart 01:40 PM – Arrive 03:05 PM
Depart 05:55 PM – Arrive 07:20 PM


14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMHG From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 774 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5087 times:

Don´t forget SN and LH´s strong position on the FRA-BRU market ...

But VLM sees demand between ANR and FRA.
Also don´t forget that a train journey between Frankfurt and Antwerpen will take at least 45 mins more than to Brussels (if there´s an immediate connection ! ).
That pushes total travel time solidly over 4.5 hrs.
So, airtravel still makes sense between FRA and ANR ...



I miss the sound of rolls royce darts and speys
User currently offlineThestooges From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5070 times:



Quoting Vfw614 (Thread starter):
With the new high-speed train route between Brussels and Amsterdam via Rotterdam, both RTM and AMS may loose some business to the trains.

Has this started yet, it still takes a Thalys train 2 hours and 45 minutes to get from Brussels to Amsterdam, hardly high speed in my opinion, especially when you consider that from Brussels to Paris the distance is longer and its only 1 hour and 20 minutes. Granted, this is a nonstop service whereas the train from Brussels to Amsterdam stops in Antwerp, Rotterdam, Den Hague and Schipol, but still it should be faster than 2 hours and 45 minutes.

If the high-speed link between Amsterdam and Brussels is yet to begin, then when will it start, and how long should it take ? Also, how long will a journey from London to Amsterdam take, are there plans for through trains or will a change in Brussels be required. I can only see trains stealing any passengers from flying if they can do the trip in less than 4 hours, at the moment its still 5 and a half.


User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3952 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4989 times:



Quoting Thestooges (Reply 2):
Has this started yet, it still takes a Thalys train 2 hours and 45 minutes to get from Brussels to Amsterdam, hardly high speed in my opinion, especially when you consider that from Brussels to Paris the distance is longer and its only 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Brussels Midi to Amsterdam Central will be 1 hr 44, to Rotterdam 1 h. Trains should be running before the end of 2009. It will save 1 hour to Paris and London. I don't think that there will be direct trains to London as the two tracks using different technology, IIRC. London - Brussels is now 1 h 51.

Quoting MHG (Reply 1):

But VLM sees demand between ANR and FRA.

VLM have been eyeing FRA for more than 10 years. They had plans for that route as far back as 1998 but were never able to obtain decent slots in their own right. The slots they got now apparently are those vacated by Air France as a result of ending the FRA-LYS route.


User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1844 posts, RR: 42
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4970 times:
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As long as they have prices on the trains that are often more expensive then flying, I don't see a real competition yet.


Fly DC-Jets!
User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3952 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4932 times:

Depends when you book. You can get from Cologne to London by train for 49 EUR one-way all incl. Very difficult to beat unless you live next to the airport and go to a place near the destination airport. Getting to/from the airports can be that expensive...

User currently offlineThestooges From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4924 times:



Quoting Vfw614 (Reply 3):
Brussels Midi to Amsterdam Central will be 1 hr 44, to Rotterdam 1 h. Trains should be running before the end of 2009. It will save 1 hour to Paris and London. I don't think that there will be direct trains to London as the two tracks using different technology, IIRC. London - Brussels is now 1 h 51.

Well with a connection in Brussels of about 20 to 30 minutes that means that the fastest time by train from London to Amsterdam will be at best 4 hours. This will still take a bit longer than getting from central London to either LHR, LCY, LGW, STN or LTN, waiting an hour at the airport, flying to AMS and then getting from Schipol to Centraal Station. However the process of getting from central London to any of these airports is always a pain in the ass so being able to depart straight from St Pancras and only having to make one very easy change of train in Brussels might steal a significant amount of passenger from the airlines.

Trains will probably never have the same profound effect on London to Amsterdam flights as they have on London to Paris and Brussels flights and they might not even be able to steal many passengers at all especially if they can't offer significantly lower prices.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 4):
As long as they have prices on the trains that are often more expensive then flying, I don't see a real competition yet.

My thoughts exactly.


User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3916 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4880 times:
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Quoting Thestooges (Reply 6):
Trains will probably never have the same profound effect on London to Amsterdam flights as they have on London to Paris and Brussels flights and they might not even be able to steal many passengers at all especially if they can't offer significantly lower prices.

Take it from one who regularly takes the train between Paris, London, Brussels and Amsterdam (but not London - Amsterdam yet, full disclosure), in the price vs convenience battle, flying would have to be MUCH cheaper than taking the train for the train to lose my business. If the train is the same price, or marginally more expensive even, it's a no brainer... If the powers that be are smart and plan for quick connections at Brussels between London and Amsterdam once the Dutch high speed link is completed, I think I won't be seeing the inside of a plane between these two cities in a long time.

With the train, I can show up a few minutes before departure, settle once and for all for the entire duration of the journey, walk around if I want to stretch my legs, not worry about the weather in Zanzibar keeping my aircraft from showing up for boarding on time, step out of the compartment to make and receive calls, be comfortable, eat a decent meal without being rushed...
With the plane, well, I can't do any of that! Other than to connect at LHR, the only time I wouldn't take the train to London is when LCY is a more convenient option.

[Edited 2009-03-13 14:44:59]


I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3952 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4845 times:

Exactly my thoughts. If I am travelling on business, four hours on the train are much more useful than 3,5 hours of travel that include a 75 minute flight. On the train, I can sit down, power up my netbook and spend 3,5 hours working. I cannot do that on air travel.

User currently offlineThestooges From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4845 times:

BlueFlyer, its good to hear your opinion on the matter, seeing that you are someone who does travel by train quite a bit between London, Brussels and Paris. Am I correct to assume that you do in fact fly between London and Amsterdam at present ? When the high speed link between Brussels and Amsterdam is finally implemented would you in fact rather take the 4 hour train journey from St Pancras and change in Brussels or would you rather fly there, possibly arriving in central Amsterdam a whole hour earlier ?

User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3916 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4741 times:
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Quoting Thestooges (Reply 9):
When the high speed link between Brussels and Amsterdam is finally implemented would you in fact rather take the 4 hour train journey from St Pancras and change in Brussels or would you rather fly there, possibly arriving in central Amsterdam a whole hour earlier ?

I do fly between Amsterdam and London for the time being. I was an early rider when the first high-speed trains started operating between Brussels and Amsterdam, and based on their performance at the time, I decided to wait until the high-speed link between the two cities was fully operational before trusting it for longer trips.

Total travel time isn't the only thing I look at. Usable time is a factor as well. Let's assume the train does get me from A to B in four hours. I can probably get three and a half usable hours out of that journey. In the same four hours, I can spend three hours traveling by air, out of which I may squeeze at the most 90 usable minutes (60 minutes is more like it), then one usable hour on the ground. Under the best case scenario (and I really do believe it is the very best), flying has cost me an hour. More likely than not, it will actually cost me an hour and a half, not to mention the added stress. More importantly to my employer, it will cost them as well...

Of course, the location of my employer's offices in London makes me the poster child for train travel. An office is within walking distance of St Pancras, the other is two stops down on the Victoria Line and the hotel is just as close. The only headache is the third office, located in Canary Wharf, but even that will be a breeze when (if) Stratford International opens. On the other hand, offices in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam are not so fortunately located but the train still wins out.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineFlanders From Belgium, joined Oct 2008, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4434 times:

ANR is where it all begun for VLM in 1993. Later they focused more on LCY and it became their hub. It's good to see they are now investing again in new ANR routes . I'm a bit skeptic about ANR-FRA though, but the Fokker 50 has only 50 seats so it should work out easily.

Now, I realize this is not gonna happen but if they could code-share with - let's say - LH, this route could become very popular as many Belgians living in the northern part of the country, and some Dutch people as well, would prefer to fly to FRA from ANR in stead of BRU/AMS then connect to another carrier (LH). But since VLM is mainly focusing on city-to-city business traffic, this is probably not gonna happen. Just dreaming aloud!

Flanders.


User currently offlineSevernaya From Russia, joined Jan 2009, 1394 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4421 times:



Quoting Flanders (Reply 11):
Now, I realize this is not gonna happen but if they could code-share with - let's say - LH, this route could become very popular as many Belgians living in the northern part of the country, and some Dutch people as well, would prefer to fly to FRA from ANR in stead of BRU/AMS then connect to another carrier (LH).

you realize also that VLM is owned by AF/KL?



Всяк глядит, да не всяк видит.
User currently offlineFlanders From Belgium, joined Oct 2008, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4227 times:



Quoting Severnaya (Reply 12):
you realize also that VLM is owned by AF/KL?

And that's probably the first reason why it's not going to happen!  Smile
My mistake! When talking about VLM, my mind is in the nineties again, where code-shares with Lufthansa were actually a fact! But times have changed...


User currently offlineBrightCedars From Belgium, joined Nov 2004, 1288 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4207 times:

I'm skeptic about this service that will come in direct competition with the ever strengthening LH-SN partnership about to start between BE and DE as early as coming Mar. 29!

I don't see FRA being a business city and financial hub with the same flair and volume as LON to justify the route, especially as far as pairing it with ANR is concerned. If anything this will just last long enough to ease concerns by the EC regarding competition between the BE and DE markets.

However I do believe that an ANR-FRA by SN together with LH could make a lot of sense.



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