Last month, we cast our eyes back to the age of the Fokker and had a look at which airlines still operated the aircraft. Today, we’re taking a look at one airline who retired all its Fokkers many years ago. What happened to Icelandair’s Fokker 50 fleet?
A brief history of Icelandair’s Fokker 50
Iceland’s flag-carrying airline Icelandair once had a fleet of six Fokker 50 aircraft according to its website. It’s Fokker 50 fleet was not its most numerous by far but was important for domestic travel.
The Fokker 50 were replacements for some of Icelandair’s more senior aircraft. They helped to make the Icelandair fleet one of the youngest in the skies in the 1990s.
The arrival of the Fokker 50 was done in style. The airline acquired all four of the aircraft in the same year. In 1992, once all the aircraft had arrived at their respective airports, they all took off to Reykjavík and arrived at the same time in a neat formation.
But by 1997, some five years later, all the Fokker 50 aircraft were gone.
Fokker 50 from Iceland to Africa
The Fokker registered TF-FIR was the first to arrive in February 1992. It operated with Icelandair until November 1997 when it was given to Air Iceland Connect.
Air Iceland Connect had it from 1997 until May 2001 when it changed the registration to TF-JMR. It kept the aircraft operating until May 2017 but in October 2017, the aircraft left for Buff Air Services which is a small Kenyan Airline.
According to Air Fleets, the aircraft is still registered to be active with Buff Air Services. Buff Air has a small fleet of just two aircraft, both of which are Fokker 50 that were previously owned by Icelandair.
The other aircraft now owned by Buff Air Services came to Icelandair in April 1992 and was registered TF-FIT. It served with the airline until November 1997 – the same as TF-FIR. Similarly, at the time it also went to Air Iceland Connect where it stayed until October 2017. It was re-registered with Air Iceland Connect as TF-JMT in May 2001.
The aircraft went into storage earlier than TF-FIR, in June 2016. When the time came for it to move onto Buff Air Services, it arrived behind TF-FIR by just 8 days. Since 18th October 2017, the aircraft has been with Buff Air and is still active.
The next two aircraft were operated twice by Icelandair.
The first to arrive to the airline was TF-FIS in February 1992. Less than three years after it arrived, the aircraft went onto Skyways Airlines. It had the Fokker 50 from January 1995 until June 1995. The aircraft came back to Icelandair on 8th June 1995. It stayed with the airline until November 1997 when it then went to Air Iceland Connect. Air Iceland Connect had it until 2008 when it went onto Air Baltic on 1st September 2008. It came back to Air Iceland Connect in May 2009 and was stored with the airline in September 2015.
In April 2018, the aircraft also went to Kenya but this time for Silverstone Air Services. Unfortunately, it did not have such a happy ending during its time there. Nearly two weeks ago, the aircraft overshot the runway during takeoff in Nairobi. The aircraft is now written off.
The last Fokker 50
TF-FIU arrived to Icelandair last. This aircraft was different than the rest because it was never sent to Air Iceland Connect. Nor did it ever operate in Kenya. But it did have a rich history despite this.
It was delivered in May 1992 and served for just over one year before it was sent to Austrian Air Services. Icelandair re-acquired the aircraft in October 1993, five months after it was in Austria. Icelandair operated the aircraft until October 1995 and then sent the aircraft to Skyways Airlines. It had it until October 1997 and then the aircraft went to Air Nostrum in Spain. It was there from October 1997 to October 2002. After that it went to Dutch airline Denim Air who gave it to Aero Mongolia in May 2003. It had no other owners after that but is now registered as stored.
The Fokker Friendship
Back in 1965, Icelandair acquired its first-ever Fokker aircraft. It was a Fokker F27 Friendship which arrived in May and started serving Iceland’s domestic routes. This was the aircraft that the Fokker 50 replaced.
These days, Icelandair has a fleet which is modern by today’s standards. It includes Boeing 737 MAX, 767-300ER and two models of 757.
Did you ever fly Fokker 50? Let us know.