slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Sat Mar 30, 2002 8:46 pm

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.



 
sabenapilot
Posts: 2442
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2000 6:18 pm

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Sat Mar 30, 2002 8:52 pm

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
 
Sabena 690
Posts: 6065
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2002 12:48 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Sat Mar 30, 2002 8:54 pm

Hey,

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.

Regards,
Sabena 690
 
pressclub
Posts: 754
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 10:24 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Sat Mar 30, 2002 9:07 pm



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.











 
pressclub
Posts: 754
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 10:24 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Sat Mar 30, 2002 9:09 pm

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




 
Sabena 690
Posts: 6065
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2002 12:48 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Sat Mar 30, 2002 9:20 pm

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?

Regards,
Sabena 690
 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Sat Mar 30, 2002 9:21 pm

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?

 
pressclub
Posts: 754
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 10:24 am

Vg/transatlantic

Sat Mar 30, 2002 9:32 pm

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
Posts: 6065
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2002 12:48 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Sat Mar 30, 2002 9:41 pm

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
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Sun Mar 31, 2002 12:44 am

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
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 12:45 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Sun Mar 31, 2002 1:58 am

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.

FB.
Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
KENNY
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2001 2:14 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Sun Mar 31, 2002 9:07 pm

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?

Greetz,
Kenny
 
pressclub
Posts: 754
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 10:24 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Sun Mar 31, 2002 10:25 pm

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.
 
Guest

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Mon Apr 01, 2002 12:27 am

Ceilidh was 100% right ... I hope all you guys apologise to him now!!
 
blink182
Posts: 5269
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 1999 3:09 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Mon Apr 01, 2002 3:04 am

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

blink
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
 
Spitfire
Posts: 697
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 2:16 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Mon Apr 01, 2002 3:49 am

"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 !!

Rgds.
Spitfire

Sabena ... Never to be forgotten (12 years already , what a shame !! )
 
Guest

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Mon Apr 01, 2002 5:55 am

I'm pretty sure SAS23 is Ceilidh or someone very very very close to him.
 
A320-addict
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2001 1:24 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 2:23 am

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 AOC
-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 .... ??


 
Guest

Freddy Van Gaever Seems To Be Out?!

Tue Apr 02, 2002 3:22 am

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.
 
pressclub
Posts: 754
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 10:24 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 3:24 am

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

The analyzis made by Airbus 320-addict is damned correct.
 
Spitfire
Posts: 697
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 2:16 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 3:42 am

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 !! )
 
pressclub
Posts: 754
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 10:24 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 3:49 am

Spittfire,

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?
 
Sabena 690
Posts: 6065
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2002 12:48 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 4:38 am

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
 
luchtzak
Posts: 456
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2001 1:03 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 4:39 am

@ SAS23

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

 
luchtzak
Posts: 456
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2001 1:03 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 4:41 am

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

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 5:29 am

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 makes more sense for SNBA to take them than wait for Birdy's to transpire. My money is on the Birdy management (Guetelmann etc) joining forces with Tony Gram who after all has no airline experience. Why would he stand any greater chance of success than Freddy Van Gaever?
 
Spitfire
Posts: 697
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 2:16 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 5:31 am

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 a small one, depending mostly of bigger operators). Don't talk me about DAT. In the beginning they have only a very, very old DC3 (p**sing oil from everywhere... try to have a picture of the gate 29 at BRU at the old south finger- just in the corner -, and you will see what I'm talking about).This company was almost out of the air when he was "fired" and then he created VLM.

That's not a brilliant history nor a solid experience to make a "profitable transatlantic company", certainly not now!! Plus his declaration concerning his AOC in november-december. Should be stupid to say that on the face of BCAA when you are waiting some help from them ....

BUT, as there were no jobs in view from SNBA for those qualified on A330, I can understand that a lot of them jumped onto this opportunity, hoping to have a job for at least a few month or one year, waiting for better days in the airlines industry.

Rgds.
Spitfire
Sabena ... Never to be forgotten (12 years already , what a shame !! )
 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 5:49 am

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 of their first painted aircraft that there are no Birdy aircraft...

In fact Birdy has 2 planes standing ready in Bordeaux, one waiting to be repainted early next week. A 3rd one is waiting in Toulouse.

Oh, and as for as their AOC; you can count on it that it will be delivered as planned, because all paperwork for it has been done correctly right from the start by a team of professional lawyers, rather then by a cowboy like Freddy Van Gaever who -for the first 4 months of his project - did nothing more then go to all possible newspapers and TV studios to tell everybody he was ready to go, yet could not start flying because he needed documents from the Belgian CAA, but who consistently forgot to tell that you have to apply for those documents according to international rules rather then sit at home waiting for them....
It might have come as a shock to this non-conformist, but the Belgian Civil Aviation Administration does not automatically ship an AOC to every person publically expressing his interest in starting his own commercial airline...

 
LX-Maria
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2001 6:44 pm

@Slz396

Tue Apr 02, 2002 9:01 am

@ 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 AOC.
So the professional lawyers won't change that ....
... but politician Mr.Decroo Herman who was at Citybird before with Hasson, will help Birdy.
 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 5:16 pm

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 Nationale Bank) as a government policy advisor on economic issues.... Aviation just is one of my passions.
 
Guest

What'll Bring The Future?

Tue Apr 02, 2002 5:27 pm

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 experience.

The name "VG Airlines" will propably disappear although I've seen a picture of the just painted OO-SFR with the titles behind the Delsey logo: Operated by VG Airlines.

Will the fleet become an all over logojet fleet? Will the first VG Airlines A330 (OO-SFQ) be painted over again. Will Mr. Gram do the same as Sir Richard Branson namely flying his own brand as being an airline brand? Is he a money maker and will he sell the whole to another airline (SNBA, Birdy, Virgin Express) in the near future?

Pressclub: Van Gaever payed me correctly for my job. No worry! Together with my clients I work according fair, clear but detailed and waterproof conditions and contracts.
 
Flying Belgian
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 12:45 am

You Cannot Be Serious That Way...

Tue Apr 02, 2002 5:41 pm

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 see your stories of shares sales and buy back and "you buy this I will buy it back..." Flying a fleet of A330's and being profitable is not selling french fries at the street's corner or breeding pigs in the "Platteland".

I hope this joke of VG will not exist at all. Belgium needs serious people, serious and reliable "entrepreneurs".
Not people who try to make black money laundring as I suspect VG doing.

Kindest regards,

F.B
Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
Guest

Flying Belgian

Tue Apr 02, 2002 6:05 pm

Many business people do business just for the money and for the money alone and this is nothing new... alas.
 
swake
Posts: 227
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2001 4:47 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 6:16 pm

'Belgium needs serious people'

U to start with?
 
Flying Belgian
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 12:45 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 6:22 pm

@ 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 matter I was right from the very firts days on...

When I hear "Antwerp's business man" I am always very, very, very carefull and mistrustfull.

FB.
Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
pressclub
Posts: 754
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 10:24 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Tue Apr 02, 2002 7:53 pm


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 affraid Mr Delsey / Gram doesn't have it either...

I still don't understand why ILFC gave these Airbus 330 aircraft to VG...

About VG: his track record doesn't look that nice as you may think. Ask the management of VLM what he has done there before he HAD to leave that company. Or ask some older people who know him from his DAT period and you know enough. He has ideas but is seldom with his feet on the ground.





 
Guest

Pressclub

Tue Apr 02, 2002 10:03 pm

Regarding your remark about the lease company: they have a business to run and have to earn money to make profit by leasing aircraft.
 
pressclub
Posts: 754
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 10:24 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Wed Apr 03, 2002 12:29 am

Must they really do so, air orange?? Amazing  Smile

What I don't understand is why they gave VG these aircraft. The man had to sell his shares already by now to avoid the crash of his airline.
 
LJ
Posts: 4103
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 1999 8:28 pm

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Wed Apr 03, 2002 2:37 am

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 and thus made more money by this deal than they would have otherwise

BTW on TV I saw that Freddy VG gave to ILFC a banker's cheque issued by ABN AMRO. Have they [ABN AMRO] been the financial backers of this airline?

Regards
Laurens
 
Guest

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Wed Apr 03, 2002 2:40 am

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 interesting that Van Gaever and his supporters make such a big thing about him starting VLM - the reality is that it was mismanaged by him almost to the point of extinction and was only turned around after he was forced out.
 
SN-A330
Posts: 1052
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2001 4:38 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flig

Wed Apr 03, 2002 4:33 am

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
I would rather be flying...
 
airDD
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2001 3:06 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Wed Apr 03, 2002 5:28 am


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 negociated today, I guess it would different and less beneficial for US carriers. There are many restrictions for the Belgian carriers in the agreement which were there at the time to protect SN's alliance with Delta in the mid nineties.

airDD





 
Flying Belgian
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 12:45 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Fri Apr 05, 2002 12:20 am

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 Belgique, VG described himself as being very very discouraged. He explained he could hope to begin operations in early may at the best. As soon as the AOC arrives in fact. But it's only once the AOC is granted that he can apply a licence to fly to the US with the FAA.
As long as no AOC ---> no booking possible. Forbidden by Belgian law.
He had to provide an extra business plan taking into account a fall of the Euro against $ and the new fuel prices.
All he can hope is to do some charter flights in the EU or to Africa to wait and avoid losing extra millions of Belgian Francs each day (!!!) whil the A330's are grounded.
You've understood, VG is quite upset and that's why he sold his shares in the airline. In the meantime, I've seen the first VG A332 in front of the SN Technics hangar in EBBR. But not yet the "Flying Suitcase".



FB.
Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
Flying Belgian
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 12:45 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Fri Apr 05, 2002 2:14 am

For those who read french here is a copy of that article:

_______________________________________________
Freddy Van Gaever:`Je suis découragé...´
V.S.

Mis en ligne le 02/04/2002

VG Airlines va-t-elle bientôt décoller? La compagnie créée récemment par l'homme d'affaires anversois Freddy Van Gaever attend toujours de l'administration belge de l'aéronautique deux documents indispensables: l'AOC (NdlR: Aircraft Operation Certification, le permis de vol) et la licence d'exploitation. En attendant, les trois Airbus A 330-200 de la compagnie - l'un d'entre eux est actuellement dans l'atelier de peinture - sont toujours cloués au sol. `Nos avions sont prêts, nos équipages aussi. Mais tant que nous n'avons pas l'AOC, nous ne pouvons pas vendre de billets´, regrette Freddy Van Gaever. Après avoir reçu le feu vert de l'administration belge de l'aéronautique - probablement d'ici une à deux semaines - VG Airlines devra encore patienter avant de pouvoir déployer ses ailes sur l'Atlantique (Boston et New York). `Nous avons fait une bonne partie du chemin et nous avons déjà transmis aux Etats-Unis bon nombre de documents. Mais dès que nous aurons l'AOC, nous devrons encore patienter une à deux semaines. Nous prévoyons donc le décollage pour les Etats-Unis pour le début du mois de mai´, ajoute encore l'homme d'affaires. En vitesse de croisière, VG Airlines pourrait employer plus de 200 personnes. En attendant, Freddy Van Gaever n'exclut pas de faire du charter, pour le compte d'autres compagnies, sur l'Europe ou l'Afrique. Des contacts auraient déjà été noués avec des clients potentiels.

`JE SUIS DÉCOURAGÉ´

L'immobilisation des trois Airbus coûte en effet une véritable fortune. `Quelques millions de francs belges par jour

´, estime Freddy Van Gaever visiblement amer. `Depuis des semaines, l'Etat belge n'arrête pas de nous mettre des bâtons dans les roues du matin au soir. On nous demande de présenter un compte de pertes et profits pour l'année 2003 et de nous baser sur une centaine d'hypothèses complètement hypothétiques. Qui peut prédire comment évoluera dans les prochains mois le prix du fuel ou la valeur du dollar par rapport à l'euro? Les plus grandes sociétés pétrolières et banques les plus réputées en sont incapables... On nous demande de donner copie des contrats passés avec nos clients alors que légalement nous ne sommes pas autorisés à signer de tels contrats. Tout cela n'a pas de sens. Je suis totalement découragé. Je regrette d'avoir passé, depuis la faillite de la Sabena, mes jours et mes nuits à avoir tenté de redonner du travail à des centaines de personnes. J'ai honte de vivre en Belgique et mon souhait est de quitter ce pays...´, explique-t-il.

Freddy Van Gaever, administrateur délégué de VG Airlines, a d'ailleurs cédé ces actions VG Airlines à Tony Gram, un homme d'affaires anversois qui a fait fortune en achetant puis en revendant le maroquinier Kipling et qui avait un moment envisagé d'investir dans un projet de sauvetage de Lernout & Hauspie. Un projet resté sans suite.

© La Libre Belgique 2002
_______________________________________________

Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
LJ
Posts: 4103
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 1999 8:28 pm

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Fri Apr 05, 2002 2:36 am

"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 rule not apply for SNBA as they only lease an airplane from an airline without an AOC?

Regards
Laurens
 
Flying Belgian
Posts: 1906
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 12:45 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Fri Apr 05, 2002 3:20 am

LJ:

Don't forget, the marketing carrier (SNBA) is not the operating carrier (Birdy) !! That makes all the difference.


FB.

Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
LJ
Posts: 4103
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 1999 8:28 pm

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Fri Apr 05, 2002 4:28 am

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 two situations are similar from a customer point of view (allthough from a legal point of view they're porbably not). If Birdy doesn't get an AOC then there is no operator (if SNBA can't find a replacement) and thus a breach of contract (or better an unwinding of the contract as SNBA is very wise to note to any prospective buyer that flights are subject to government approval). VG's case is similar. If they don't get an AOC, they can't operate the flight and have to unwind the contract (if they can't any operator who, legally, can operate the flight).

Okay, the chances of SNBA not being able to operate its African flights are close to zero (too much at stake), but in essence both VG and SNBA's Africa operations have the same consequences and in my view should be regarded as the same situation.

BTW it's maybe a good idea for Van Gaever next time just to market the flight and let somebody else (a new airline) to operate the flight.

Regards
Laurens

 
slz396
Posts: 1883
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 7:01 am

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Fri Apr 05, 2002 5:42 am

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. to sell tickets you need an AOC.

SN has an AOC and thus may sell tickets to every destination they like, even though right now they do not have the suitable planes to fly to the intercontinental destinations they are selling for.
VG on the contrary has the planes, but not the AOC, so no right to sell tickets.
It might sound stupic, but it isn't. In fact it is a very good thing as it protects the clients (i.e. you and me)from airlines with a cowboy approach to business.

One of the things you have to do when applying for an AOC is to prove b.m.o. a detailed business plan that you have sufficient financial resourses available to survive for at least a few months without any revenue in very unfavourable economical situations.
This has of course everything to do with the fact that the Civil Aviation Authorities do not want to take the risk to see a whole bunch of questionable start-ups sell tickets at ridiculously low prices and then go bust after a very short time, taking the money from the sold tickets with them. (Something very popular in Turkey for instance...) (Freddy quoted the BCAA asked him to make a projection with less optimistic Euro vs. dollar exchange rates and higher fuel prices in his business plan, something he calls ridiculous...)

Can you imagine what things might be looking like for those 'would-be clients' if VG would have been allowed to sell tickets for their New York and Boston flights which were first announced for February..., March..., then April... and now maybe May....?

At SN the situation is different. They have already sold tickets and they will fly you on that date to the destination of your choice on condition the local government agrees to the proposed SN flight scedules. This is what is ment with "subject to government appoval". It has nothing to do with the AOC for Birdie. BTW, In the very unlikely event that Birdie should not get its AOC in time, SN has already made it clear they will start with wet leased planes...
 
Guest

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flight..

Fri Apr 05, 2002 8:23 am

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 ridiculous!

A very few people on here said from the outset that VG's business plans - or lack of them - were very fishy and the whole operation was highly unprofessional and generally cowboy material.

They were spot on!!
 
Guest

RE: VG Airlines Stops Dead Before Their First Flig

Fri Apr 05, 2002 8:34 am

Delsey's owner Tony Gram is now the new owner of VG Airlines. Ex-President Freddy van Gaever is "Managing Director"...