Slz396 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3347 times:
Today the Belgian financial newspaper De Financieel Economische Tijd brought the news that Freddy Van Gaever, CEO of the newly setup airline VG airlines is in final negociations to sell his shares in the grounded company to a invest group around the Delsey/Kipling CEO.
Rumors about the end of VG airlines as a stand alone have been going for weeks in Belgian Financial magazines since it became clear that the unconventional company was facing ever bigger administrative, legal and financial problems.
The recent PR stunts in which VG airlines publically rolled out their first painted plane in Brussels were already financed by alternative investors and VG's second plane will even be what is called a logo jet for the Delsey brand.
The idea behind the sell-off of shares seems to be the understanding that VG airlines has no future whatsover as a small intercontinental airline without feaderlines nor large partner and is missing sufficient financial strenght to grow on its own.
Therefor the new management team is reported to be in first stage negociations with SN Brussels Airlines in the hope of bringing their VG to the SNBA group as their America branche just as Birdy did for their Africa sector.
SN itself however is looking more for a US partner airline (Continental?) and although talks still go on, it seems VG will have to offer a very attractive deal to SN in order to make it.
Seems SN still is the centre of aviation in Belgium, with all other airlines willing to join them.
Sabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2755 times:
I read that article too. From the article, I could understand too that Freddy Van Gaever has the intention to sell it's shares.
The article reported too that they will probably have their AOC next week, and than they have to ask permission to fly to the US, which takes an other month too.
Like already mentioned in earlier topics, destinations are New York and Boston.
But that is new for me: in the article is written that NY will have one daily flight, I knew that, but that Boston is going to have 5 flights a week?! I thought that they would serve Boston on a daily base!
The second A330 will be fast in Brussels too. Instead of letting their airplanes grounded in Brussels, they are looking for a customer who wants to lease the aircrafts from now till they have all their permissions to start flying. I don't think they will find someone who wants to fly those airplanes for just one month.
Pressclub From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 773 posts, RR: 5 Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2722 times:
This is exactly what seriously people always expected.
It was a story with lots of wishful thinking. You can't be a transatlantic player when you just offer point to point. The Belgian market is too small for this, especially in at this moment of consolidation and integration (alliances).
Freddy Laker could not do it. City Bird could not do it... Everybody who tried ended grounded.
I am affraid that SN BA will not be interested at all in 'the VG dream' ... SLZ, your remarks are absolutely right.
SN BA's President Rob Kuypers mentioned already many times that a transatlantic program operated by SN BA doesn't make sense. The transatlantic market is too difficult today. Sabena made huge losses on all routes, except JFK. We now have already every day 2 flights to Newyork (JFK -DL-, EWR -CO), one flight to IAD (UA), one to Atlanta (DL), one to Chicago (AA). There is no need for more capacity. What you only can get more or tranfert pax and they just don't pay the tarifs you need to be profitable.
Sabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2686 times:
Mm, it is sad but it is the truth.
Sad, I liked Air Orange his livery a lot on this cute Airbusses.
And like you all say, if SNBA should be interested in VG Air, they should not be talking with Continental.
Pressclub: you just said that there is no place for new flights to the US. Now that the economic situation is going better, didn't studies say that Brussels-Miami can be a rendable operation?
And you just said too that NY was rendable for Sabena.
If I make a quick count, there were 4-5 flights a day from BRU to NYC.
1) CO to EWR
2) DL to NYC
3) SN to NYC
4) SN to NYC
5) BG to NYC 4 times a week (but I don't think that a business man will fly this crappy airline, so let's forget this one).
Now these airlines are still flying the same route, just without Sabena. And the aircrafts are the same.
After Sabena's bankruptcy, there are about 520 seats less on this flights a day.
If Sabena was rendable on this route, why can't VG be it? OK, SN had lot's of connecting passengers on this flights, but if they make an agreement with SNBA for Europe and Africa, why not?
Slz396 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2677 times:
It sounds as if Van Gaever is selling his shares to give VG airlines a last change of survival. It should be clear by now even to the most fanatic addict of VG airlines (Air orange springs to my mind) that with Freddy as CEO VG airlines is never going to get airborne for long...
The possible new owners of VG airlines clearly have a different idea as to where to go with their 'company'.
They are obviously looking at SN right now in the hope of getting from them a good feeder network, but what do they have to offer to SN? A single daily and for the moment sitll virtual NY flight... SN would be much better off with a US parter like Continental which already flies into Brussels (i.e. no inital additional capacity on a much frequented route) and which offers good onwards connections throughout North America.
The second idea seems to be to turn VG airlines into a wetlease airline which rents its planes to others, offically only in a first stage while awaiting all legal papers, but probably for a much longer period.
The question remains if there is any need for such yet another such airline right now with all carriers worldwide having to cut back capacity... and besides, wouldn't an old DC-10 (Electra is based in Brussels too) for instance be much better suited then a more expensive A330 for this kind of a job?
Pressclub From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 773 posts, RR: 5 Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2680 times:
SN 690: what you mean with rendable??? You mean profitable?? I think the market is big enough at the moment. Once again: the only pax you can add are transfert pax. Sabena fileld up to 60 pct of the seats with them. You know the result!!!
Why should there be a market for flights to Miami??? City Bird tried it and failed. Sobelair flew 2 years to Miami and Orlando for touroperator Jetair and ceased this operation: they all came to the conclusion that there is no market that makes the flight PROFITABLE. It's just a leisure destination. People spend 3.500 to 6.000 dollar for flying with CO in C class on the Newark-Brussels route. You will find nobody who will spend this huge amount of money on a Miami flight. You can find pax enough but only with bargain tickets. The only airline that makes profit on this for the moment is Martinair, but they can only do it by feeding the Schiphol flights with Belgian and German pax.
Don't make the mistake to confuse the transatlatlantic with the EU market. Many EU pax are point to point pax. This is not at all the case in the US. Why Delta flies to Atlantca? Because it's their Hub with about 100 connections possibilities after the Brussels flight arrives. Same for American Airlines and Chicago and for United and Washington.
As i was recently there i can tell you this: almost 50 pct of the pax of Continental Airlines are connecting pax. Newark is not their final destination but it will be Cleveland, Washington, Philadelphia, Columbus or so...
Sabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2661 times:
Thanks for clearing this out Pressclub
With rendable I meant indeed profitable.
I based my opinion on VG and about the rendable NYC route about what you said in an earlier post:
Sabena made huge losses on all routes, except JFK
With reading this, I thought that maybe VG Air could fill the gap of the lose of 520 seats a day on this route since the dissapearence of Sabena. And if they should coöperate with SNBA, than you would have lots of connecting passengers (to Europe and to Africa).
But my thoughts were wrong...
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 58 Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2565 times:
This is sad yet expected news for BRU; I agree with the analysis set forth above.
I fly out of BRU transatlantic 8 to 10 times per year; and since SN closed down and air traffic has begun to rebound, the CO flights are usually very full, both up front and and in coach. (getting an award ticket in business class on CO between BRU and EWR requires lots of advance planning!) A need will develop for more capacity between BRU and the US, I think especially on the New York route.
Yes, the SN transatlantic seats out of BRU have been lost, but much of that traffic did not originate in BRU but was instead transfer traffic (SN had quite a niche market in transporting pax between Africa and the US, aside from European transfer traffic.) Thus, unless SN BA wants to get into the transatlantic business with its own flights to the US, or with a code-share partner so it can offer "direct connex" via BRU, many of the ex-Sabena seats need not be replaced as those pax are now flying via other hubs.
I expect that the US carriers will add capacity in the BRU market at some point, and SN BA will find a US partner - its the simpliest alternative.
Flying Belgian From Belgium, joined Jun 2001, 2366 posts, RR: 10 Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2537 times:
What is realted is what I ALWAYS mentioned !!!
VG was a sweet arrogant dreamer and no ONE here is ready to follow him. This project was meant to be dead as soon as it was born.
Many US airlines struggle here in BRU and anywhere else in Europe to be profitable so what can an independant do in this market ?? I don't even mention the fact that:
1/ The airline is not even known by US & Belgian travel industry sector. Barely some Flemish are aware of its existence.
2/ VG is losing millions of since he is leasing aircrafts without being able to let them fly.
3/ He hasn't yet recorded a single booking.
The worst in this story is that VG gave hope to many ex-Sabena employees...
Flying is a hard business not an amateurist matter.
Pressclub From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 773 posts, RR: 5 Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2391 times:
Flying Belgian, I do agree for 100 pct with your remarks.
It's indeed very sad for all these ex Sabena people who believed in the wishful thinking of VG... Some of them even had the opportunity to work for Thomas Cook but choose for the virtual VG.... If they had choosen Thomas Cook they would have been flying today, tomorrow and for the next years...
Many of my colleagues in the media are guilty in this VG story. For many of them it was a story too nice to be checked... ! Especially the VRT television gave VG the attention it dit not deserve at all. Yesterday they cover the mad cow disease, today VG, tomorrow the traffic jam on the highway to Ostend... All that with no knowledge about aviation and with an approach that wa snot critical at all...
It's an occasion for journalists to reconsider their approach.
A320-Addict From Belgium, joined Apr 2001, 250 posts, RR: 7 Reply 17, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2132 times:
Although you can not blame Freddy for trying .... but still they should have come up with something more realistic than this.
It is sad that a lot of my ex-Sabena employees really put al their hope in this project....
But sadly enough the reality is that for the moment there is
-No permission to operate flights to the USA (depends on the issue of the AOC)
-Not a single contract for anybody (flight crews)
-No alliance with a feeder airline
-Jan De Graaf upgrading to captain.... what a blast
-Freddy wanting to sell his shares in the project .... ??
Pressclub From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 773 posts, RR: 5 Reply 21, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2065 times:
I really can't understand that so many of your colleages believe(d) in this project for point to point flights to the US.
As pilots crossing the atlantic they must have seen almost weekly that only established airlines with feeder networks can maintain a transatlantic service. They must have seen how many transf pax are onboard all the flights... And they must have known how difficult the transatlantic market is and how important alliances are (mileage programs, connections)... And they must have known that you can't operate longhaul service with a capital basis of only 3 million euro