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Arthur White knew he had his work cut out in July 2012 when he became managing director of VLM Airlines, the Antwerp-based charter and ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) operator.
Parent company Air France had already subsumed the VLM brand under CityJet, its exclusive ACMI customer, and was supposedly pursuing a full merger. Yet the flag-carrier’s new restructuring programme made no mention of either subsidiary, and within weeks of White’s appointment it was clear that a sell-off was the only option being considered in Paris.
German turnaround specialist Intro Aviation would soon emerge as a white knight for the sister carriers, offering to buy them in December 2013. But it was not long before VLM faced yet more headwinds...