Which Airlines Still Operate Fokkers?

Dutch aircraft company Fokker closed its doors in 1996, following almost a century of operation. Despite the company’s demise, many of its aircraft are still flying today. We take a look at which airlines still operate Fokkers, and where you can go to fly one.

Fokker F50
Who still flies the Fokker? Photo: Aero Mongolia via Wikimedia

Since the launch of Air Antwerp’s Fokker F50 service from London City, I’ve become slightly obsessed with these little Fokkers. In these modern times when most planes look very similar, the F50 really caught my eye as something rare and unusual. Needless to say, I’m wriggling with anticipation to get on board Air Antwerp’s little Fokker, but until I can, I thought I’d take a look and see who else was flying these increasingly rare Dutch made planes.

Here’s what I found out.

The Fokker 50

As much as I want to fly on all the Fokkers, it’s the F50 that really does it for me. The turboprop-powered, pointy-nosed beauty just oozes retro-coolness and has proven itself to be a reliable workhorse for many decades. Out of 208 ever built, 88 are still in service. As well as Air Antwerp with their new London City service, you can also find little Fokkers flying for a handful of other airlines.

Air Antwerp
Air Antwerp launched a service to LCY with a Fokker 50 this week. Photo: Air Antwerp

The largest operator by far is Amapola Flyg, a Swedish regional airline which was previously a cargo only operation. However, since 2018, it started running passenger services too. All the airline operates is the Fokker F50, of which it has 18 according to Planespotters. Of these, eight are set up as cargo only aircraft, so you’ll find just 10 little Fokkers with this carrier. All are around 30 years old.

Amapola Flyg
Amapola Flyg is the biggest operator of the F50. Photo: Amapola Flyg

Skyward Express, a regional carrier based out of Nairobi Wilson (WIL) in Kenya, has 12 F50s in its current fleet. Air Panama is another operator, a South American regional carrier with a motley assortment of small aircraft. They have just six F50s in the current fleet, although two are in storage.

The final operator on our list is Alliance Airlines, the Australian regional airline. Their small fleet of five F50s has an average age of 25.7 years, making them one of the newer fleets of Fokkers around. Aside of these carriers, there are a handful of other operators which have one or two F50s on lease, including BRA – Braathens Regional Airlines, Niger Airlines and FlyCAA, as well as a few military and governmental operators.

The Fokker F70

The middle sized Fokker, the F70, is the slightly bigger brother of the F50, and has been flying since 1993. Overall, 47 of the type were built, with 23 remaining in service around the world. Although the F70 was well thought out, being the notional replacement for the popular F28, and should have done alright for itself considering the lack of competition in the regional, 70 seat market at the time.

F70
Fly All Ways has a couple of F70s in service. Photo: Andrew J. Muller via Wikimedia

However, the sales figures speak for themselves. This makes the F70 the rarer Fokker to see in action today. In fact, the only airlines we can find with more than a couple in service are Alliance Airlines with nine, and Air Niugini with six.

Suriname based Fly All Ways has two and Tus Airways four, while PNG Air, Wayraperú and TransNusa Air Services all have one apiece.

The Fokker F100

The biggest of all the Fokkers is the F100, a medium sized twin turbofan jet airliner, and the largest plane ever to be built by the Dutch company. When it was launched in 1988, there were few other aircraft in the 100 seat short range jet class, so it did probably the best out of all the Fokkers produced.

Alliance F100
The F100 was the biggest Fokker ever made. Photo: Alliance Airlines

Altogether, 283 big Fokkers were built, of which over 100 are still in operation. With the last being built in 1997, that makes the youngest of this breed over 20 years old. The fact that they’re still in service is a testament to the build quality and operational efficiency of these aging jets.

Today, we’ve found 20 operators of the F100. The largest fleets can be found at:

  • Iran Aseman Airlines: 20 in total, although 13 are in storage
  • Alliance Airlines: 24 in operation
  • QantasLink: 17 in operation
  • Virgin Australia Regional: 14 in operation
  • Air Niugini: 7 in operation
  • Air Panama: 5 in operation
  • Bek Air: 6 in operation

There are a number of other carriers who have one or two in their fleets, including Avanti Air, Kish Air, Montenegro Airlines and Tus Airways.

Where to go to fly a Fokker

Without a doubt, Australia is a haven for a load of old Fokkers. If you want to fly this iconic and increasingly rare aircraft, down under is the place to go. Although most are used for mining activities and FIFO contracts, there’s still a good chance of snagging a ride on a Fokker in Aus.

QantasLink F100
A Fokker 100 in QantasLink livery. Photo: Bahnfrend via Wikimedia

Alliance Airlines is probably your best bet, with 47 Fokkers still in service. Network Aviation also has a number of Fokker 100s, and since it was bought out by Qantas in 2011, some fly for QantasLink in full flying kangaroo livery. The final carrier to look at is Virgin Australia, who bought out SkyWest in 2013 and inherited 14 Fokkers.

However, for those of us not too close to these antipodean operators, the most accessible Fokker has to be Air Antwerp’s. I, for one, am very excited to see this pointy-nosed plane for myself! Have you flown any Fokkers? Tried out Air Antwerp yet? Let us know all about it in the comments.

11
Leave a Reply

11 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
titan4

The puns are strong with this one.

Baxter

Alliance only operate there aircraft as charters mainly for mining flights. Although they do operate them on behave of Virgin Australia for a handful of flights. If your keen on getting on board the Fokker, Western Australia is your best chance. Qantas, Virgin and Skippers Aviation all fly F100 for most regional flights in the state from Perth.

Phil

Are there any of the older turbo prop F27s (the precursor to the F50?) still flying? Air Niugini used to fly them before they had any F28s, probably inherited from Ansett….

Toto

There is one F100 operate by Airfast in Indonesia

Dinesh

Little Fokker amd Big Fokker :-)))

Dinesh

Little Fokker and Big Fokker :-)))

Maziyar

Fokker 100 is Popular aircraft in Iran , its capacity of 100 seat is just right for operating to less popilated areas. Initial uses of this aircraft in Iran was by Iran Aseman airlines which use to operate Fokker 28 from before revolution under name of Pars Air.

Steve Overthrow

I flew on an F100 (Portugalia Airlines) out of Manchester UK to Lisbon in the early 2000s to perform NDT checks on the MLG Slider which was cracking in service. Portugalia had at the time about 10 F100’s and I had to check each one on a nightly basis in TAP’s hangar as Portugalia did not own their own hangar facilities. So, nights working in hangar and sleeping in hotel during the day!! Good job done, finished most nights at midnight so home to bed by 00-30 and up normal time discovering Lisbon during the day! Only one Sliding tube… Read more »

Evan

I used to fly from Perth to Geraldton on the F50 about 10 years ago when they were owned by SkyWest. They were great little planes. I got to do the same route on an F100 about 7 years ago and it was one of the smoothest, quietest jets I’ve ever flown on!

Daniel DM Goncalves

What about flying the F28 and the F27?

maxi4492

Montenegro still flys two F100’s regularly, but since it’s in a budget problems it’ll probably
trade them for something cheaper to maintain or just wet lease new aircraft.