eham
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Sobelair Bankrupt

Mon Jan 19, 2004 8:03 pm

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

[Edited 2004-01-19 12:03:59]
 
globetrekker
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Mon Jan 19, 2004 8:20 pm

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

GlobeTrekker
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eham
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Mon Jan 19, 2004 8:23 pm

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

Mon Jan 19, 2004 8:29 pm

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

Eham,

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

Mon Jan 19, 2004 9:13 pm

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

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

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Frederic
 
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Mon Jan 19, 2004 9:16 pm

There is an article about Sobelair on this site:

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

(only in Dutch, I'm sorry)

Regards, SN-A330
I would rather be flying...
 
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:37 am

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

Frederic
 
sterne82
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:16 am

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

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

Good luck to all Sobelair employees and to their families.

Regards,

Sterne
 
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apuneger
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:30 am

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


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

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

Ivan
Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
 
aerobelg
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:53 am

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

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

TOM
aeroBEL - Belgian Aviation Photographer
 
flying lsd
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:32 am

TUI wants to start with 737
but what about long haul flights operated for TUI AND Thomas cook to cariibean, mexico...
 
N766UA
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:35 am

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

Ok I lied, I did see it coming. What is with the Belgians and their national carriers?
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Kabila
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:31 am

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

What about these ?


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


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And now...


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



 
manni
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:44 am

Heads up please!

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

Tue Jan 20, 2004 6:36 am

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

Ik wens iedereen van Sobelair veel sterkte!

GlobeTrekker
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apuneger
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Tue Jan 20, 2004 7:59 am

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

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

Greetings,
Ivan
Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
 
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Tue Jan 20, 2004 8:50 am

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

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

Sobelair is now resting in peace.
1946-2004

Ben Soriano
Brussels Belgium
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:17 am

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

Best regards,

Tom
Man's flight through life is sustained by the power of his knowledge.
 
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Wed Jan 21, 2004 4:37 am

Hi all,

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

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


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

SN-A330
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LJ
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:30 am

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

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

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

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

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

Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:48 am

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

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


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

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

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


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SN-A330
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:10 pm

Please stay on-topic guys.

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

Regards, SN-A330
I would rather be flying...
 
manni
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:25 pm

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

Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:27 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frederic
 
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Sat Jan 24, 2004 7:29 pm

@ Sabena 690:

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

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

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

Poor, very poor Belgium !!! Embarrassment
 
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Sat Jan 24, 2004 8:21 pm

Hi SN-MD11,

Although I have no insider knowledge to comment on what happened in the whole SLR-sage, I find, just like you, that this case has a dirty smell.

The curators will investigate the SLR bankruptcy to the bottom. Apparently several sources gave them enough evidence that something stinks in the whole story.

About the wages: several months ago, the salaries paid to TCW cabin crew members and pilots were one of the lowest in comparision with other European carriers from what I heard. I guess that TUI will be very simillar?

About the pilots they hire: is a B737 typerating required?

Frederic
 
kingsford
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Sat Jan 24, 2004 8:22 pm

My very first flight was with Sobelair in 1980 going to Athens. This news is very sad, it's not only another belgian airline going bankrupt but again a small piece of belgian heritage dissappearing.
 
Com3205
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:33 am

Thomas Cook is bringing in a 767 and/or 757. Probably as from monday. Thomas Cook (operated by Condor) 767's wil fly the long haul part out of BRU. The medium haul done by Sobelair for Thomas Cook will be flown by Thomas Cook (Belgium) as this period is not a high season period they have the capacity to fly most of the flights themselves.
Greetz
 
LJ
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Sun Jan 25, 2004 6:24 am

TUI knew very well that SLR was going to go bankrupt.

Given the fact that TUI was SLR's biggest customer this is correct. Basically TUI "owned" SLR and could decide what SLR should do. Touroperating is a low yield industry and the charter airlines know that every EUR 0.01 a seat counts for their customers. If you can't deliver the product against the right price, you're going to lose customers and thus go out of business.

They counted on the fact that SLR would be bankrupt before Eastern 2004.

Although I agree that the timing of SLR's is perfect (from a touroperator point of view), I don't think a bankruptcy was TUI's intention. Afterall who is now going to fly long haul for TUI? Thomas Cook? I don't think TUI likes this idea (although they're probably forced to use them in the meantime). Their own airline? I don't think so either as the long haul market probably isn't big enough for two airlines. Thus for long haul TUI lost (either by giving money to a competitor, losing money on a long haul flight or not being able to offer long haul destinations.

Thomas Cook is bringing in a 767 and/or 757.

Is TUI also going to use Thomas Cook for its long haul flights?
 
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Sun Jan 25, 2004 6:36 am

@Lj, to comment on TUI and the B763: under the job section on the TUI website, they ask for B737 AND B767 pilots.

Maybe they are going to operate one or two B763's?

Transavia is currently doing quite some flights for TUI, while TCW is using it's spare capacity (it's wintertime) to fill the gap, supported by Thomas Cook powered by Condor.

Frederic
 
SafetyDude
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Sun Jan 25, 2004 6:44 am

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


With all of the bankruptcy going on, I thought that they were long gone...

-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
blink182
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:18 am

What are the odds of SNBA buying Sobelair? I remember reading a story on SNBA in a recent Airways and SNBA said they were contemplating buying a stake in Sobelair. I hope SNBA goes ahead and does take up the remnants/employees of Sobelair.
I also read that SNBA financially have turned out a profit, is this true?

blink
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
 
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RE: Sobelair Bankrupt

Sun Jan 25, 2004 6:41 pm

@Blink

SN has announced three quarterly profits after eachother, but we still have to wait for the results of the whole financial year. There are 2 options: 1) they are break-even (with a profit expected during the next year, that's the condition when you talk about a break-even) or 2) they made a small loss.

I don't think it would be interesting for SN to buy a loss-making charter airline. SN focusses on business pax by offering a full-service quality product, and I think they need all their money for the fleet replacement (all BAe146-200's / ARJ's and probably the A333's too are going).

Regards
Frederic