Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..  
User currently offlineSlz396 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4804 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.

69 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineSabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2748 posts, RR: 46
Reply 1, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4239 times:

Does this signal we might see VG's A330-200 alongside Bridy's A330-300 in those fantastic new SN colours on the Brussels tarmac real soon then?

 Wink/being sarcastic

User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4212 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.

Sabena 690

User currently offlinePressclub From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 775 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4179 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.

User currently offlinePressclub From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 775 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4159 times:

Please SN 690, don't pay so much attention to their schedules. These are just dreams by now !!!!!

User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4143 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?

Sabena 690

User currently offlineSlz396 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4134 times:

Indeed Pressclub,

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?

User currently offlinePressclub From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 775 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4137 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...

User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4118 times:

Thanks for clearing this out Pressclub  Smile

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...

Thanks and regards,
Sabena 690

User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4022 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.

User currently offlineFlying Belgian From Belgium, joined Jun 2001, 2433 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3994 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

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.


Life is great at 41.000 feet...
User currently offlineKenny From Belgium, joined Aug 2001, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3883 times:

This is kind of strange I think.

Imagine (i doubt it will be reality), that SNBA starts coöperating with VG Airlines, I think Sabena is back then? Or I'm I wrong?


User currently offlinePressclub From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 775 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3848 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.

User currently offlineSAS23 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3795 times:

Ceilidh was 100% right ... I hope all you guys apologise to him now!!

User currently offlineBlink182 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 5499 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3723 times:

I knew this whole idea wouldn't work, so I am not surprised one bit.


Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlineSpitfire From France, joined Feb 2001, 801 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3706 times:

"Ceilidh was 100% right ... I hope all you guys apologise to him now!!"

I 'll never do that... but check my post with him concerning that particular topic and you'll see I agreed with him ,...for once !!


Sabena ... Never to be forgotten (12 years already , what a shame !! )
User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3658 times:

I'm pretty sure SAS23 is Ceilidh or someone very very very close to him.

User currently offlineA320-Addict From Belgium, joined Apr 2001, 250 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3589 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  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
-Freddy wanting to sell his shares in the project .... ??

User currently offlineAir Orange From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3569 times:

According the Antwerp newspaper "De Gazet van Antwerpen" of Saturday 30 March 2002 and "De Financieel Economische Tijd" the following facts:

- Belgian entrepreneur Tony Gram, owner of Delsey leatherware, bought all the VG Airlines shares of Freddy van Gaever.

- The name VG Airlines is expected to disappear.

- The second A330-200 has been painted at the ISL-plant in Lemwerder (near Bremen) in VG Airlines livery but with "Delsey"-logo.

What will the future brings? I really don't know.

User currently offlinePressclub From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 775 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3544 times:

I hope, Air Orange, that these guys have paid you for your nice work.

The analyzis made by Airbus 320-addict is damned correct.

User currently offlineSpitfire From France, joined Feb 2001, 801 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3525 times:

Now you will receive a free luggage everytime you fly with them.....If they ever take off...  Wink/being sarcastic

Sabena ... Never to be forgotten (12 years already , what a shame !! )
User currently offlinePressclub From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 775 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3522 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

What's your opinion?

User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3495 times:

You are joking SAS23???

Actually, I don't find this funny!! I don't know which feelings you have, but...

Look to the posts of Pressclub, A320-addict, Spitfire, Air Orange, Flying Belgian, Slz396,...
Nothing to laugh with!

If you want to make fun, join one of the other boring and stupid 1-April topics here, but do not laugh with the people who tried to get this company in the air!!!

Sabena 690

User currently offlineLuchtzak From Belgium, joined Dec 2001, 473 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3487 times:

@ SAS23

Better think first before saying such stupid remarks,
if you followed all the threast you should have know better.

User currently offlineLuchtzak From Belgium, joined Dec 2001, 473 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3487 times:

So I mean the same like Sabena_690 but he was 1min and 21 seconds earlier  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

25 SAS23 : I'm serious. Birdy are a long way behind VG with their AOC application and they have no aircraft on line. VG have two A330s delivered already - it mak
26 Spitfire : Pressclub, I really don't know. I didn't apply for VG Airlines. I never felt that this guy could make something other that a company like VLM (I mean
27 Slz396 : SAS23 Who says Birdy has no aircraft on line? It's not because Birdy has not made such a huge PR stunt out of a total non-event as a delivery flight o
28 Lx-maria : @ SLZ396: Congratulations with your job at Birdy. When did they call you with the good news ? Don't forget that the law states 90 days minimum for an
29 Slz396 : Thanks, but I am not a pilot at all... In fact if you'd check my profile, you'd see I work for the BNB (Banque Nationale de Belgique/Belgische Nationa
30 Air Orange : Okay, Mr. Van Gaever sold all his stakes to Delsey's CEO Tony Gram. Tony Gram has no airline experience but has enough money to hire people with such
31 Flying Belgian : Well Air Orange, I like the way you work and your personnal talent. But it is time to be serious. Airline industry is something very serious. When I s
32 Air Orange : Many business people do business just for the money and for the money alone and this is nothing new... alas.
33 Swake : 'Belgium needs serious people' U to start with?
34 Flying Belgian : @ swake: I try to do my best to give my country a good image. I give my part let's say. It's not in my intentions to give lessons, but in that VG matt
35 Pressclub : Flying Belgian is right in his analyzis. For starting a transatlantic airline you need huge amounts of money. Freddy didn't have this money and I am
36 Air Orange : Regarding your remark about the lease company: they have a business to run and have to earn money to make profit by leasing aircraft.
37 Post contains images Pressclub : Must they really do so, air orange?? Amazing What I don't understand is why they gave VG these aircraft. The man had to sell his shares already by now
38 Lj : Pressclub, Why wouldn't "give" ILFC the A330's to VG? It's not that someone else wanted those planes. Moreover, they have probably cashed the deposit
39 SAS23 : ILFC hasn't been paid for the aircraft yet - so the purchasers of Van Gaever's shares will find that they have a rather large accrued liability. It's
40 SN-A330 : ILFC hasn't been paid for the aircraft yet @SAS23 : you seem to be well-informed... or are you just supposing Van Gaever didn't pay ? Regards, SN-A330
41 AirDD : This all means that no Belgian carrier will fly to the US anymore in the near future. If the Open skies agreement between Belgium & the US was to be
42 Flying Belgian : HERE ARE THE LATEST DEVELOPPEMENTS ABOUT THE VG AIRLINES SAGA: According to an interview of Freddy Van Gaever I've read in the newspaper La Libre Belg
43 Flying Belgian : For those who read french here is a copy of that article: _______________________________________________ Freddy Van Gaever:`Je suis découragé...´
44 Lj : "As long as no AOC ---> no booking possible. Forbidden by Belgian law. " Well why does SNBA accepts bookings on its African flights??? Or does this ru
45 Flying Belgian : LJ: Don't forget, the marketing carrier (SNBA) is not the operating carrier (Birdy) !! That makes all the difference. FB.
46 Lj : Why should there be a difference between SNBA who markets a flight without having an operator and VG who just doesn't have an AOC. If you ask me these
47 Slz396 : Hello LJ, nice to see you still follow the post-Sabena events. The different situation between SN and VG is indeed purely based on a legal issue; i.e.
48 SAS23 : Considering the upward trend of oil prices and the softening of the Euro against the Dollar, I do not think that the BCAA's requests were at all ridic
49 Air Orange : Delsey's owner Tony Gram is now the new owner of VG Airlines. Ex-President Freddy van Gaever is "Managing Director"...
50 Air Orange : VG will possibly not make it...pitty that the great colourscheme will be lost than, if I may speak for myself. By the way: VG Airlines A330-200 is at
51 Luchtzak : At least you got money for your work, other people where hoping to fly again!
52 Air Orange : There are still some complications...
53 Lj : Slz396, I know you need a business plan in order to get an AOC but as long you've a party who guarantees the reimbursement of all sold tickets I don't
54 Post contains links Slz396 : Hi LJ, the alternative you propose is not bad at all, although it would mean that start-up airlines can not cash in at all during their start-up, wher
55 Luchtzak : @ Slz396 Since Van Gaever was talking in the Press about 6 months ago that SN BA (ex-DAT) has AIDS because their mother (SABENA) had it and died of it
56 Slz396 : Indeed Luchtzak, if you are living in a greenhouse, you shouldn't trow with stones.... Seems Freddy still does not understand the basic rules of doing
57 AirDD : I do remember Mr. Hasson complaining a lot about SN cancelling the MD 11 contract. Well I don't think Mr. Hasson has a better track record than Van G
58 Lj : Slz396,maybe you can make the cash (or part of) available as soon as the airline has its AOC. Anyway, the rule that you're not allowed to sell tickets
59 Flying Belgian : @ Air DD: " The problem with Van Gaever is, that he is not part of the Brussels Francophone establishment who likes to rule "Belgique sa". " I hope yo
60 SAS23 : Seems to me that this is all yet another example of the ongoing corruption in the Belgian political scene. Bad news for everyone!
61 744rules : attn the flying belgian What about the fact that the former talks between sn and klm were cancelled by the french talking politicians because they wer
62 Flying Belgian : French speaking politicians defend their fellow because Flemish have invaded the Airport area. So simple. Currently 75% of the jobs on the BRU apt are
63 Post contains images SAS23 : 744rules is right. It was direct pressure by the King that caused the collapse of the planned merger by KLM and Sabena; and the subsequent 'shotgun ma
64 Flying_Tuur : Well, I didn't want to get involved in this stupid discussion.. but what FlyingBelgian is saying is an offend to all the Flemish people working at the
65 MrAirbus : Well said Tuur, I haven't posted in a long time, but this time I felt the urge to give a reaction. And @SAS23: who are you to say that we have to spli
66 Sheepster : Hi Ceilidh, good to see you back again using your SAS23 alter-ego!
67 Flying Belgian : @ Flying Tuur: 1/ The concession to build the airport outside Brussels, has always been done to the condition it stays a bilingual zone, it's the airp
68 Sterne82 : When I see such stupids comments, I'm think that we have to be in a children school... I'm not proud to be belgian (either flemish or walloon) when I
69 Lhb : In order to relaunch this important topic about the future of a new BELGIAN airline, can someone know more about the 'eventual)a rrival of the second
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
In Memoriam: 1 Year Ago First VG Airlines Flight posted Tue May 20 2003 18:08:07 by Luchtzak
Today Is The First VG Airlines Flight To Boston posted Thu Jun 20 2002 10:42:49 by Skippy777
VG Airlines First Revenue Flight Delayed posted Sat May 11 2002 10:00:31 by Lj
VG Airlines First Flight On 20 May? posted Tue Apr 23 2002 16:30:36 by SAS23
Wight Airlines First Flight posted Fri Aug 4 2006 10:59:48 by BMED
Delta Airlines First Flight To Kiev posted Tue Jun 6 2006 14:07:29 by Sushka
First Flight India Launches Cargo Airlines posted Tue Feb 21 2006 13:03:35 by Himmat01
Could Airlines "offshore" Their Flight Crews? posted Fri Feb 3 2006 23:04:46 by Poitin
787 - How Many Orders Before First Flight? posted Wed Jan 25 2006 12:48:59 by Art
Teens On First Flight Among Dead In Crash posted Sun Oct 16 2005 19:43:12 by Rsmith6621a