History of the real V-bird

V-Bird was a Dutch charter airline with airport Dusseldorf Weeze (formerly known as Niederrhein) as its main hub. The company started flying on the 27th of October 2003. Its fleet consisted of three Airbus A320s, all leased from ILFC. For a while a fourth A320 (PH-BMC) joined the fleet, this one was leased from Dutchbird but was returned in May 2004. The aircraft were equipped with leather seats and a larger pitch of 32 inch to provide extra legroom, this meant the maximum passenger capacity was reduced from 180 to 162. The V-Bird aircraft were maintained by LTU, a former Dusseldorf-based charter airline taken over by Air Berlin in 2007.

V-Bird wanted to combine cheap airline-tickets with a lot of comfort for their passengers. Apart from the luxurious cabin the crew was very friendly, check-in was a piece-of-cake and the schedule was very agreeable. V-Bird provided a no-nonsense service by flying only to primary airports at major cities. V-Bird's destinations were Berlin, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Maastricht, Manchester, Munich, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Rome, Las Palmas, Prague, Thessalonica and Stockholm. Also the business travelers had benefits. If you had flown on business for nine times you would get the tenth flight for free! Included in their service were low fares without suprises. All ticket prices shown were including taxes or supplements. Prices ranged from 29 to a maximum of 99 euro's.

Although very popular with passengers, V-Bird didn't make much profit and they got into financial difficulties. V-Bird was negotiating a merger with the ExelAviationGroup, led by entrepeneur Erik de Vlieger. On the 8th of October 2004 the negotiations crashed and all flights were cancelled, after the leasing company grounded its A320s. On the 14th of October 2004 bankruptcy was pronounced by the court in Maastricht, the Netherlands. It was two months later when the news came out V-Bird would not restart its operations and was gone forever, leaving nearly 200 employees without a job.

It was in Januari 2005 when a report came out saying V-Bird had never made any profit. Even before any flight was conducted, it already had a shortage of 830,000 euro's. Two months after the start of the airline debts were reaching 15 million euro's. In the end the total debt was calculated to be 40 million, including 4.1 million euro's of German tax payers.

V-Bird