Karl Rickard takes over as CEO at VLM Airlines

Karl Rickard takes over as CEO at VLM Airlines

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 — SHS Aviation B.V., the parent company of VLM Airlines, announced that Harm Prins has decided to leave the company. Karl Rickard will take over as CEO. It was also decided that Christian Heinzmann will join the board of directors of SHS Aviation.

Karl Rickard started his career as an engineer and held various senior technical positions in aviation maintenance companies (a.o. KLM, Luxair and Team Air Lingus). Since 2010 he was CEO of Power Jet Aviation, a Luxembourg-based company specialising in aircraft pre purchase inspections, asset valuation, aircraft disassembly and end of life solutions for retired fleets. Karl has extensive experience in the field of airline operations, route development, finance, regulatory matters and maintenance.

“I am glad to come on board at a moment that my predecessor Harm has laid a good foundation for the future. VLM Airlines is now ready to gear up its activities and we will start preparing the launch of our future long haul operations”, said the newly appointed CEO Karl Rickard. “I am looking forward to work with the staff of VLM Airlines in Antwerp, Brussels and Maribor. Their enthusiasm and passion for the company and aviation is known far beyond the borders of Belgium and Slovenia.”

Harm Prins was the driving force behind the successful resurrection of VLM Airlines. "As with other investment projects that I have worked on in the past, it gives me satisfaction when I can put a company back on track. The past few months have been very intense. With the integration of Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium and the three AOCs for VLM Airlines, I consider my job to be done. It is now up to others to run the business. I am already looking forward to a new challenge," says Harm Prins. "I sincerely thank the employees of VLM Airlines for the confidence they have in the vision that management has set out and their belief in the future."

The board of directors wants to thank Harm for his efforts and wishes him good luck with his future career. At the same time the board welcomes both Karl Rickard and Christian Heinzmann on board.

About VLM Airlines
VLM Airlines currently operates 19 scheduled flights per week on the popular business route between Antwerp and London City Airport. The VLM aircraft also perform charter, ACMI and private flights from Antwerp, Brussels, Maribor and other European airports.

VLM Airlines employs more than 100 aviation professionals and has three air operator certificates: a Slovenian and a Belgian AOC for its Fokker 50 operations and a Belgian AOC for the A320 operations. The fleet consists of 6 Fokker 50 turboprop aircraft and 2 Airbus A320-200s, which are all registered in Belgium. The A320 has 180 passenger seats while the Fokker 50 can carry 50 passengers.

The Belgian company SHS Antwerp Aviation N.V. is a subsidiary of the Dutch investment company SHS Aviation B.V.  SHS Aviation B.V.  is owned 60% by Dutch investors and 40% by Chinese investors. The Slovenian company VLM Airlines d.d. is a subsidiary of SHS Antwerp Aviation. Both SHS Antwerp Aviation N.V. and VLM Airlines d.d. are developing airline activities under the common trading name ‘VLM Airlines’. 

Karl Rickard, CEO VLM Airlines

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