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Airlines

Name: SOBELAIR
7JetSet7 Code: SBL
Status: Currently Not Operational
Region: EUROPE
City: LIEGE
Country: BELGIUM
Employees 450
Web: sobelair.be
Email: webmaster@sobelair.com
Telephone: +32 2 754 12 11
Fax: +32 2 754 12 88
Sita: BRUXOSN
Background
(definitions)

Click below for data links:
SBK-RANKINGS
SBL-737

FORMED IN 1946. INTERNATIONAL, CHARTER, PASSENGER & CARGO, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.

ADDRESS:
BRUSSELS NATIONAL AIRPORT, BUILDING 45
B-1930 ZAVENTEM, BELGIUM

BELGIUM (KINGDOM OF BELGIUM), WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1830, IT COVERS AN AREA OF 30,519 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 10.1 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS BRUSSELS, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ARE FLEMISH AND FRENCH.

DECEMBER 1995: SOBELAIR (SBL) IS A CHARTER SUBSIDIARY OF SABENA (SAB) (WHO OWNS 72%).

TO AUSTRIA, CYPRUS, CALIFORNIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, EGYPT, FLORIDA, FRANCE, GREECE, IRELAND, ISRAEL, ITALY, MALTA, MOROCCO, NETHERLANDS ANTILLES, PORTUGAL, SPAIN, THAILAND, TUNISIA, AND TURKEY.

1 737-400 (CFM56-3C1), EX-LUXAIR (LUX).

MARCH 1996: TO CODE SHARE WITH BALAIR/CTC (BAL) ZURICH, BRUSSELS TO SAN FRANCISCO (SFO), "GOLDEN GATE" CLASS & ECONOMY (Y).

1 767-300ER, LEASED, 270 PAX.

APRIL 1996: FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1995 = +113 MILLION BF (+16.2 MILLION BF) (20 YEAR RECORD!) 1.2 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX). = +$3.76 MILLION DUE IN LARGE PART TO LONG HAUL OPERATIONS OF 767 INTRODUCED IN JUNE 1994.

1 737-300 (CFM56-3B2), EX-BIRGEN AIR (BIR).

MAY 1996: 1 A300B4-103 (020), TRANSAER (TSD) WET-LEASED TO SEPTEMBER 1996.

JUNE 1996: 1 767-300 (CF6-80C2B6F) DELIVERY (ORIGINALLY DELIVERED TO AIR FRANCE (AFA) BUT NEVER OPERATED BY THEM). 2 727-200'S, EX-STERLING (STR).

AUGUST 1996: RUMOR OF POSSIBLE MERGER WITH BALAIR, A SWISSAIR (SWS) SUBSIDIARY.

SEPTEMBER 1996: PAUL REUTLINGER, CHAIRMAN, SABENA (SAB) CEO.

MAY 1997: 2 A300B4-103'S (012; 020), TRANSAER (TSD) WET-LEASED 9/97.

OCTOBER 1997: 767 120 MINUTES EXTENDED TWIN-ENGINE OPERATIONS (ETOPS) FLIGHTS/MONTH: 86 NORTH ATLANTIC.

DECEMBER 1997: 1 737-300, EX-GERMANIA (GER). 1 ORDER (APRIL 1998) 737-300 (29072), PEMBROKE CAPITAL (PEB) LEASED. 1 ORDER 737-35B (24221) IN MAY 1998.

APRIL 1998: 251 EMPLOYEES.

6TH 737-300 DELIVERY, PEMBROKE CAPITAL (PEB) 5 YEAR LEASED.

JUNE 1998: CHARTER SERVICE TO ZURICH - LAS VEGAS - SAN FRANCISCO (SFO) (767).

1 737-3B3F, EX-L'AEROPOSTALE (FPO), 7 MONTH LEASED. 2 A300B4-103'S (012, 020), EX-TRANSAER (TSD).

AUGUST 1998: ELIE BRUYNINCKX, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, EX-TECHNICAL MANAGER, AIR BELGIUM (ABL), REPLACES ANDRE MULLER, NOW TECHNICAL CONSULTANT.

1ST 6 MONTHS = -$2.3 MILLION.

SEPTEMBER 1998: INCDT: SABENA (SAB) A330-301 (030) STRUCK (SBL) 737-329 (23775), DURING TAXYING BY MECHANICS = ALL OK, BUT SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE TO 737.

737-3YO (23925), VIRGIN EXPRESS (EBA) LEASED.

OCTOBER 1998: 2 A300B4-103'S (012; 020) RETURNED TO TRANSAER (TSD).

APRIL 1999: 324 EMPLOYEES. (http://www.sobelair.com).

SITA: BRUXOSH.

737-400 (24271), VIRGIN EXPRESS (EBA) LEASED UNTIL NOVEMBER 1999.

JUNE 1999: OWNER SAIRGROUP'S, LEASING SUBSIDIARY, FLIGHTLEASE (FLL) STANDARDIZES ON CHARTER SUBSIDIARY FLEET: $450 MILLION, 4/4 ORDERS 767-300ER'S (PW4000), WITH 1ST 2 TO (SBL) IN MARCH 2000, AND 2ND 2 TO BALAIR/CTA (BAL) IN JULY 2000. TO BE OPERATED BY SOBELAIR (SBL), (BAL), (LTU), & AIR EUROPE ITALY (EIY), AS PART OF EUROPEAN LEISURE GROUP.

NOVEMBER 1999: GOVERNMENT CHARGES FORMER CEO, PIERRE JONNART, AND 27 SOBELAIR (SBL) CAPTAINS & MANAGERS WITH FRAUD, FOLLOWING 5 YEAR INVESTIGATION ON PILOTS FLYING FASTER, TO INCREASE PERIODS BETWEEN MAINTENANCE, AND REDUCE DRY-LEASE PAYMENTS TO SABENA (SAB).

FEBRUARY 2000: 767-300ER (PW4000), FLIGHTLEASED (SWS) (PW), REPLACES 1 767-300ER (GE), RETURNED TO AWAS (AWW).

APRIL 2000: 324 EMPLOYEES. SITA: BRUXOSN.

(http://www.sobelair.be).

1 767-3BGER (30563, OO-SLR), FLIGHTLEASED (FLL).

MAY 2000: 1999 = 86% LF LOAD FACTOR.

767-300ER DELIVERY.

JULY 2000: 1 A320 (405), TRANSAER (TSD) 3 MONTH WET-LEASED.

SEPTEMBER 2000: LUC THIELEMANS, INTERIM TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, REPLACES ELIE BRUYNINCKX, WHO RESIGNED.

NOVEMBER 2000: 1 767-33AER (27310), RETURNED TO AWAS (AWW). 1 767-3BGER (30566, OO-SLS), FLIGHTLEASED (FLL).

FEBRUARY 2001: 1 737-408 (24352, /89 31 14 OO-RVM), EX-BRUSSELS INTERNATIONAL (BIA), SUNROCK (SNR) 3 YEAR LEASED. USED FOR FLIGHTS TO TENERIFE.

MARCH 2001: REPLACES CITYBIRD (CBD) ON (ALM)'S AMSTERDAM - CURACAO ROUTE (767-300ER, 3/WEEK).

JUNE 2001: 1 737-329 (23774, OO-SDY), SABENA (SAB) WET-LEASED.

SEPTEMBER 2001: SOBELAIR (SBL) 737 ENGINEERING & MAINTENANCE IS BY SABENA TECHNICS (SAB).

(SBL) 767 ENGINEERING & HEAVY MAINTENANCE IS BY (LTU), DUSSELDORF.

1 737-448 (1742-24474, /89 26 25), EX-LUXOR (LXR), (GAX) LEASED.

NOVEMBER 2001: PARENT OWNER, SABENA (SAB) DECLARED BANKRUPT, AND SUSPENDED OPERATIONSS.

PLANS TO SELL SOBELAIR (SBL). (SBL) CONTINUES TO OPERATE, BUT MOVES ITS OPERATIONS TO LIEGE.

JANUARY 2002: LOOKING AT 737-800'S TO REPLACE 737-300/-400'S.

MARCH 2002: 600 EMPLOYEES. SITA: BRUXOSN.

SOBELAIR (SBL) EMPLOYEES SAY THEY PREFER A MANAGEMENT BUYOUT, RATHER THAN AN ACQUISITION BY PREUSSAG.

July 2002: Supposed to be purchased by Messrs Aldo Vastapane and L Mellaerts but no official announcement by Sobelair (SBL) yet. Later, Belgian World Airlines (CHJ), an investment company, recently formed by entrepreneur, Aldo Vastapane, acquired Sobelair (SBL).

+2 737's, and 1 767-3BGER (30564, OO-IHV), ex-Belair (BCT), Flightleased (FLL), for the summer season.

August 2002: In November 2002, Brussels - Johannesburg (767-300ER, 3/week).

October 2002: 737-3L9 (24221) returned to Pembroke (PEB).

December 2002: Will paint 2 of its airplanes in the "World of TUI" livery, with a large red "JETAIR" and "Operated by Sobelair."

1 737-86Q (30285, OO-VAS), Boullioun (BOU) leased, with blended winglets. To be used on services to the Canary Islands, Egypt, and other African destinations. 2-year maintenance contract to Sabena Technics (SAB) to provide full support for 737-800. 737-329 (23771) returned to CIT (TCI).

February 2003: 767-330ER (25208, OO-SLT), ex-Volare (VLR), Heller Financial (HEF) leased.

April 2003: Brussels - Zanzibar (weekly).

Aldo Vastapane, President, replaces Sylviane Lust, who has been appointed Director General of the Brussels-based International Air Carrier Association.

396 employees (including 104 Flight Crew (FC), 233 Cabin Attendants (CA), & 6 Maintenance Technicians (MT).

Parent organization/shareholders: BWA (Belgian World Airlines) (99.1%); privately held (0.9%).

(SBL) operates passenger charter and inclusive tour flights to the Mediterranean, Afrtican, and long-haul destinations.

Main Base: Brussels National (BRU).

International, Scheduled Destination: Johannesburg.

May 2003: 737-4YO (23980, OO-VJO), CIT (TCI) leased.

July 2003: 600 employees. (james.vanroey@sobelair.be).

767-3BGER (30564, OO-IHV), wet-leased to Ethiopian Airlines (ETH).

August 2003: (LTU) takes over 100% of Leisure Cargo GmbH, Dusseldorf, as a joint venture with Swiss Cargo. Leisure Cargo, headed by Ralf Auslander, markets belly hold capacity of the combined 75 airplanes of (LTU), Air Europe (EIY), Sobelair (SBL), Belair (BLB), Iberworld (IBW), Volare (VLR), East African Safari Airlines (EFZ), and Islas Airways. The company operates from Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich with 78 subagents worldwide.

737-8BK (33014, OO-VAC), CIT (TCI) leased.

October 2003: Luc Mellaerts, CEO, resigned over a disagreement with majority shareholder and Chairman, Aldo Vastapane.

December 2003: Has attracted the interests of a group of Arab investors who may acquire the shares of Aldo Vastapane and inject # EUR 10M into (SBL). The Brussels commercial court has requested (SBL) to submit a restructuring plan or face bankruptcy proceedings.

Luc Van Nerom, CEO.

January 2004: Filed for bankruptcy protection. All 450 employees layed off. Sobelair (SBL)'s main client, TUI Belgium, has confirmed it is interested in acquiring part of the carrier and possibly restarting it as TUI Belgium Airlines. The new carrier could be launched in April 2004 with 2 737's.

February 2004: Ramy Baron considered Sobelair (SBL) was too uncertain a risk for takeover and now its air operating certificate (AOC) license has been canceled. Former Chairman, Aldo Vastapane has appealed the bankruptcy judgement.

April 2004: Sold 3 737's to Islandsflug (ISF) for EUR 20 million/$23.7 million: 737-329 (23775, TF-ELR); 737-46B (24573, TF-ELJ); & 737-429 (25729, TF-ELP). 737-4YO (23980), CIT (TCI) leased.

Fleet:
(definitions)

Click below for photos:
SBL-1
SBL-737-800
SBL-767
SBL

April 2004:

2 727-200 (JT8D-17R/H), EX-(STR).

0 737-229 (JT8D) (358-20910, /74 51 41 OO-SDD), (SAB) LSD, RTND.

1 737-3M8 (CFM56-3B2) (2017-25040, /91 17 08 OO-SBX), EX-(TEA), (BBB) LSD, 149Y.

0 737-3L9 (CFM56-3) (1604-24221), RTND (GER), (BAY) LST (TBL). RTND (PEB) 2002-10.

1 737-3YO (CFM56-3) (1544-23925, /88 OO-LTV), (BBB) LSD.

1 737-329 (CFM56-3B2) (1443-23774, OO-SDY), (SAB) WET-LSD 2001-06. 23771 RTND (TCI) 2002-12, LST (MDZ). 23375 ST (ISF) 2004-04. 149Y.

0 737-33S (CFM56-3) (3012-29072, /98 01 01 OO-SLK), RTND (PEB), LST (ANZ).

1 737-4C9 (CFM56-3), (LUX) LSD.

1 737-4YO (CFM56-3) (1667-23980, OO-VJO), (TCI) LSD 2003-05. RTND 2004-01. LSD (AGAIN) 2004-04.

1 737-408 (CFM56-3C1) (1705-24352, /89 31 14 OO-RMV), EX-(ICE)/(BIA), (SNR) 3 YR LSD 2001-02. 170Y.

1 737-429 (CFM56-3C1) (2217-25729, /92 OO-SBM), EX-(SAB), 25729 ST (ISF (2004-04). 170Y.

0 737-46B (CFM56-3) (1844-24573, /90 OO-SBJ), TO (SAB). ST (ISF) 2004-04.

1 737-448 (CFM56-3) (1742-24474, /89 26 25), EX-(LXR), (GAX) LSD 2001-09.

0 737-86Q (CFM56-7B26) (1237-30285, OO-VAS), (BOU) LSD 2002-12. RTND.

0 737-8BK (CFM56-7B26) (1367-33014, OO-VAC), (TCI) LSD 2003-09. RTND 2004-01.

2 767-3BGER (PW4060) (786-30563, OO-SLR; 817-30566, OO-SLS, 2000-11), (FLL) LSD, 272Y.

0 767-3BGER (PW4060) (798-30564, OO-IHV), EX-(BCT), (FLL) 4 MTH LSD 2002-06. RTND, LST (ETH) 2003-07.

0 767-328ER (CF6-80C2) (531-27212, /94 07 02 OO-STF), EX-(AFA), (SNR) 3 YR LSD, (ETOPS), RTND 2001-02, LST (AAR).

1 767-330ER (381-25208, OO-SLT), EX-VLR, (GEF) LSD 2003-02.

0 767-33AER (CF6-80C2) (545-27310, /94 16 03), RTND (AWW) 2000-01.

2 A319, (DAT) WET-LSD AS REQUIRED.

0 A320 (V2500) (405), (TSD) WET-LSD TIL 2000-10.

Management:
(definitions)

ALDO VASTAPANE, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT (MAJORITY SHAREHOLDER).

LUC VAN NEROM, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) (2003-12).

JEAN PIERRE NOTTE, DIRECTOR FLIGHT OPERATIONS, (BRUXOSN),
(jeanpierre.notte@sobelair.com).

STEPHAN VANDENDRIESSCHE, CHIEF PILOT 737.

JEAN-LOUIS FRAIKIN, CHIEF PILOT 767.

MRS MONIQUE LEBERSORG, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR.

ERIK MOYSON, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR & ASSISTANT MANAGER MAINTENANCE (12/00), (BRUXOSN) (erik.moyson@sobelair.com).

CHRISTIAN UETEN, DIRECTOR FINANCIAL.

LUC JOSSET, ASSISTANT TECHNICAL DIRECTOR (2001-09).

ALEX DAZIN, ASSISTANT MAINTENANCE DIRECTOR (2000-01).

ANDRE MULLER, TECHNICAL CONSULTANT (1998-08).

OLIVIER MORIS, FLIGHT SAFETY INSTRUCTOR (BRUXOSN) (olivier.moris@sobelair.com).

 
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