New routes boosts VLM passenger stats

VLM Airlines carried 681,751 passengers in 2006 - a 9 per cent increase
over 2005.The carrier attributes its growth to the increase in
passenger numbers on existing routes, and the launch of two new routes
in 2006.

2006 was a positive year for VLM Airlines as a regional business
airline, in which scheduled passenger numbers increased by 8.5 per cent
to 652,144. Total passenger numbers (including charter) increased by 9
per cent compared to 2005.


In the highly competitive airline sector, VLM Airlines has continued to
demonstrate that a focussed strategy leads to a successful business.
With around 80 per cent of its passengers travelling for business
purposes, the airline continues to focus on offering time-saving travel
solutions, convenient schedules and an excellent onboard service. 



Having received the coveted ‘Regional Airline of the Year for 2006’
award from Air Transport World in January 2006, VLM Airlines implemented
a number of successful initiatives, such as increased frequencies (up to
13 flights every weekday) on its London City to Amsterdam route and the
launch of two new routes: London City to Groningen via Amsterdam, and
Manchester direct to Antwerp.  At the beginning of November, the airline
celebrated its most important milestone yet with more than 100 daily
flights at London City Airport. From 26 February 2007, VLM Airlines will
be introducing direct flights from Manchester to Rotterdam. 


Further growth was seen in the number of online bookings made on the website with an increase of 34 per cent compared to 2005.  In
2006, online bookings represented 32 per cent of all bookings made for
the airline. Travel agents still represent the largest number of
bookings, as travel agents are still considered as important partners of
VLM Airlines. 


Johan Vanneste, Managing Director VLM Airlines says, “2006 has been a
challenging year for VLM Airlines, with increasing frequencies and the
launch of new routes. In the last quarter alone, VLM Airlines increased
its capacity by 23% and in December announced the new Manchester to
Rotterdam route. Combined, these new initiatives will see VLM Airlines
grow again by some 25% in 2007.  Our focus however will remain on
offering a quality and time-saving service to business travellers across
our network.”