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VLM Troubles Ahead

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VLM Troubles Ahead

Old 13th Mar 2004, 13:23
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VLM Troubles Ahead

What news from that nice little carrier in Antwerp, or what used to be a nice little carrier in Antwerp. A good pal of mine has worked for them for a few years as a FK 50 Skipper. It seems that the new Director of Flight Ops, a retired factory pilot with no knowledge of general aviation is upsetting everyone he comes into contact with, staff are having nervous breakdowns...... also heard rumour that a letter signed by nearly everyone was sent to the owner of VLM regarding this guy, FOs are planning to strike and guess who the CEO is, none other than old Vanneste, he gets around doesnt he ?? Shame there are some fine decent people working at VLM, but it only takes a couple of a
Managment to put a stop to everyone enjoying their job. Any info on this would be appreciated also if anyone knows if there are any other FK50 jobs around !!! VLM is on the slippery slope down. Bring back Freddie Van Gaever.
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Old 13th Mar 2004, 22:31
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Rollo, 'a friend' of mine also worked there in the mid 90's.
Maybe you know him!

This friend of mine worked in various places all over the world, large and small, first world and third world, but he swore to me that VLM was the worst company he ever worked for in all his years.

Every two weeks there was another rumour that the company was about to go under...always over basic money issues. Not paying landing fees. Not paying handling fees. Not paying fuel charges. Not paying the staff. Not paying their contractors...it was a flying circus and the amazing thing was how it defied gravity for so long.

The pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground staff were mostly hard working and good people. They kept it airborne despite the bungling management, and got little thanks...but plenty of abuse for their troubles.

My friend regaled me with the Mr.Englebert story. What a fiasco! Internal struggles between competing managers/owners, Mafia connections, money laundering, ruined businesses, interfering partisan state politics, spying, even suicide!....VLM had it all.

I was amazed at how things work in Belgium! I thought it was a modern European Democracy!! These are the very same Belgians who administer much of the EU's business!
God Help Us All.
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Old 13th Mar 2004, 22:59
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Thanks for the info, thats what I heard, didn`t know the rot went so far back, morale I hear is at its lowest ever amongst the staff, mainly due to the new D.O.F.O. But the problem is as I see it they just keep shuffling around in Belgium the same old loosers to the top Management positions. Your right about one thing though, not sure which mag I read it in think it was The Economist, but I think that Belgium ranks as No 2. in the "worlds most corrupt countries", but there is a lot of decent folk in VLM and it is a shame for them, some of these people have ridden the storm and been through what you said and are still there, not too many aviation jobs in Belgium, nobody seems to be able to run an airline there for too long, think everyone of them is under investigation for something or the other. Shame for the pilots and the workers though. Reckon Belgium should export all its Airline Managers and CEOs to the No 1. most corrupt country. no guesses!!! and then maybe aviation will pick up again. None of the surviving Airlines in Belgium are actually run by Belgiums to think of it !!
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Old 14th Mar 2004, 12:56
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VLM - Never Again.........
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Old 14th Mar 2004, 14:12
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Kinda funny that it are all friends in the 90's, heard about it via via. No real insiders stuff thusfar.
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Old 14th Mar 2004, 15:20
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Yes you are right come on lets have some first hand info from out there, what is going on, I heard they had lost a lot of pilots but were hiring some ex KLM UK guys for the UK base... I think that is b.....t too. Who the hell would work for KLM and then go to VLM.
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Old 14th Mar 2004, 19:14
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Rollo,

I know someone who has left KLM UK for VLM recently. Seems it's out of the frying pan into the fire.
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Old 14th Mar 2004, 19:23
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Kinda funny that it are all friends in the 90's, heard about it via via. No real insiders stuff thus far.
SoakinInCider, my insider friend is really close...nuff said.

Don't know anything about whats going on there now...but all I can say is...you'd need to be desperate.
Really desperate.
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Old 15th Mar 2004, 04:57
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Yep you are right, I heard that. From KLM to VLM. Wow!!! must be really desperate. It seems that the DOFO is bragging and holding to ransom a lot of the pilots with this little snippet of information. I don`t need you kinda stuff when I have all these fine KLM pilots. I`m not sure it will be the 'fine' KLM pilots they get just the desperate ones. Think this explains the discontent with the FOs, will seem no upgrades imminent, as he is probably taking direct entry Captains again. How to your staff. Has anyone met this guy, would love to have seen his face when everyone signed this letter. Not that took a bit of planning and doing things must be bad. Move on guys there are other jobs out there, or just kick harder until the Management disintegrates.. either way seems like you have nothing to loose.
Good luck

Spelling error 'Now that, not 'not that'.
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Old 15th Mar 2004, 06:33
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Is this retired factory pilot RS? Looooong time since he was a factory 'pilot' at den Oud Meer!
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Old 15th Mar 2004, 07:51
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Right in one Soddit!!! do you know of him?? few people I know would be interested.
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Old 15th Mar 2004, 12:58
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As good as first hand info...

FO salary 1200 Euro after tax, the taxi driver taking the people from the airport terminal to the downtown area earns a lot more... and that's before tip.

Give this crews one good reason to stay... one only...
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Old 25th Mar 2004, 15:49
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Question

Why go from beautiful KLM to awfull VLM ?
From some pilots flying the 50 for KLC I've been told that social and caring KLM is making it very difficult for them (AirUK capt's) to stay. In what ways I don't know but if you are wanted at another company, why not switch?
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Old 26th Mar 2004, 09:32
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FYI VLM are accepting (maybe even looking at) CVs of low-houred newbies for FO positions. HR said "100s" of applications.
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Old 26th Mar 2004, 13:37
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Rollo and SoakinInCider, it's true about the ex-KLM uk Captains.
I know them personally, all great guys who are totally hacked off at the way they are treated by KLM since the marger into KLC.

The deal means that they can operate from Manchester which suits both parties.

Give them a break, 'cos the pals that they leave behind are in a worse situation.
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Old 28th Mar 2004, 14:28
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that bad?

hya

I've worked for VLM for several years until not to long ago and really enjoyed working for them. As any company they will try to make money with you. And as any in airline (that I've seen anyway) management makes a real mess of it. Don't accept any BS and enjoy the flying.

take care
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Old 30th Mar 2004, 18:58
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Red face

Flight Operation Managers seem to be a unique kind of race.
Exactly the same problem at West Air Sweden....
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Old 7th Apr 2004, 14:00
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Grrr

Just to put the record straight about VLM, from someone I know very well, & who is, as you say, on the inside....

So far this year they have lost approximately 15 pilots. Out of the eight F.O.s that they employ at Manchester they have lost two of their most senior, i.e one quarter of the base F.O.s. RS continues to insist that he is inundated with applications from suitably qualified Fokker 50 drivers; he's lying. One guy that joined them from an ex Danish Fokker 50 operator is (or was) so poor that after a total of something like 250 hours of line training, both with his previous airline & VLM, he still wasn't competant enough to pass his line check!

Yes, they have employed some ex KLC crew, &, yes they have started some new guys with very little total time, so great news for them. The shame is that this should have been for expansion with the advent of the LPL/LCY route but all that VLM is doing now is plugging holes where the experienced guys leave. Remeber that this airline's main route is into a challenging airport like LCY so they really can't afford to lose the experienced guys in one go like this.

So why are people leaving VLM? Well if you are a British crew member based in the UK with a VLM contract then you can expect to be treated as a second class citizen. You will have no rostering agreement, & under stupid Belgian flight time limitations this means that you can expect to work up to 11 days on the trot with as many early starts as they choose. You will need to get used to being constantly fatigued! Afterwards you may just get three days off if you are lucky. Put in a request day & watch it get rejected or have a leave day used for it. Talking of leave, they give you just one day off with your leave requests so your annual entitlement doesn't go too far at VLM. Then, just to add insult to injury, watch your European colleagues come to be based alongside you & constantly have five days off in a row, finish on an early shift, come back on a late shift, have days off alongside their leave allocation, receive hotel accommodation while your in a B&B at your own expense, & then get a far better pay rise for being with VLM for less time than you! When you approach RS listen to his empty promises of better thing to come & wait...& wait...& wait.

Can't think for the life of me why VLM are are struggling to keep crew!
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Old 7th Apr 2004, 15:53
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Devil

Sounds about par for the usual corrupt Belgian style of management. As a Belgian, I should know!
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Old 11th Apr 2004, 22:01
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Any updates about the situation?

Thanks
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