Belgian airline, VLM has announced a new link between Birmingham in the UK and the tourist centre of Antwerp in Belgium.
The new service will commence on October 5, 2015, and will operate three-times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Steve Blair, Chief Operating Officer of VLM Airlines, says: “Adding the Birmingham-Antwerp route to our network is another example of VLM listening to what business and leisure travellers want. There are strong business synergies between these cities for industries including fashion, diamond, automotive and chemicals.
We are confident this new route will also be attractive to people looking for a city break and can be used as a gateway to Bruges, Ghent and Brussels, all accessible in under an hour from Antwerp.”
There are currently no direct flights between the two cities, and VLM currently only operates one other service from Birmingham to the Irish city of Waterford.
The new Antwerp service will depart the Belgian city at 11:35am, arriving into Birmingham at 12:05pm, while the return journey will depart the UK at 14:30pm, arriving back into Antwerp at 17:00pm.
“We expect this service to be popular with business travellers, given the airport’s proximity to the city centre, fast check-in service, and parking options, as well as leisure travellers. Both cities are hubs for tourist activities, with excellent connections to onward destinations,” said William Pearson, Aviation Development Director of Birmingham Airport.
VLM Airlines now offer scheduled services to seven destinations in five countries including Geneva, Hamburg, Southampton, Waterford and London Luton.
Business leaders in Birmingham have already welcomed the addition of the route, including Paul Faulkner, Chief Executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, who said the new route is great news for the region.
“Not only does it suit many businesses in the area and locals’ wanting to visit this beautiful city, but it is another step towards cementing Birmingham’s future as a vibrant, global city,” he added.
The Belgian carrier now operates as an independent airline, following a management buyout in 2014, having previously been a subsidiary of Air France-KLM and subsequent German owner, Intro Aviation.