KLM to withdraw its last Fokker 70
Still over a year to go...but KLM has already announced that it will cease Fokker 70 operations on 29th October 2017.
This will be the first time in several decades that there are no Fokker aircraft sporting KLM's trademark blue.
The tasks fulfilled by the small emblematic Dutch-made airliner will be taken over by Embraer E175 and E-190s, of which KLM has already 31 (30 E-190s and 1 E-175), with 16 more E-175s joining the fleet up to 2018. This will make of KLM the largest E-Jet operator in Europe.
As it might be expected from an airline so closely associated with its home country, The Netherlands, KLM has been an operator of most Fokker airliners.
This association between the Dutch aircraft maker and the Netherlands flag carrier goes back to the very early days of the airline, in the 1920s. More recently, KLM's regional subsidiaries, NLM Cityhopper and, later, KLM Cityhopper, operated pretty much the whole range Fokker's iconic airliners, the Fokker 27 Friendship, Fokker 28 Fellowship, the Fokker 50, Fokker 100, and its smaller derivative, the Fokker 70, that is now due for retirement.
Fokker went bankrupt in 1996, although the brand lives on as Fokker Technologies, a provider of aeronautical services that groups assets that were acquired by Stork BV, and later by GKN Technologies, after the bankruptcy. This means that there are less and less Fokker aircraft around, some mainstream airlines are still flying Fokkers in Europe, though, for example, just a few days ago I could spot this Austrian Airlines Fokker 100 at Moscow Domodedovo airport.
Fokker enthusiasts and, more generally, those curious about the topic, will be glad to know that the second hand Fokker aircraft market is still quite active, with 23 Fokker aircraft changing hands in the first half of 2016, including three new operators of the type!