30 October, 2017

Final Fokker Farewell

Last weekend was a sad time for aviation enthusiasts and plane spotters alike when the Durch airline KLM operated the final six commercial flights with the airlines Fokker 70 fleet.

The very last Fokker flight took off from London, which was specially chosen as KLM deployed its first two Fokker II aircraft on 30th September 1920. Those were KLM’s very first passenger aircraft planes with a capacity of 5 passenger seats and flew to London. Therefore, it was perhaps most fitting that KLM's final Fokker departed from the same city, London and thus completing a full circle, landing at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam at 20.30 local time. The aircraft was decked out with a special farewell livery, featuring a classic portrait of Anthony Fokker.

The flight got a warm welcome at Schiphol, including a water cannon salute from the airport's fire service followed by a special celebration for the Cityhopper staff. There were, its fair to say, many moist eyes at the end of this eventful day. A sentiment echoed by numerous plane spotters, aviation enthusiasts and industry commentators who mourned the passing out of scheduled services for the Fokker 70's via social media.

Read on for more on the final Fokkers...

The Fokker 70 is such a striking and unique aircraft complete with its characteristic wing profile and typical T-shaped tail and as evidence of their strong build and reliable operation, the aircraft will continue to fly. KLM  confirmed it has already sold all its Fokkers to airlines in Asia, Africa and South America. 

To mark the special event and in celebration of the Fokker 70s service the Dutch airline has released a special Farewell Fokker 70 book entitled “Dutch at Heart”. This limited and beautifully illustrated book is available via www.fokker-70.nl.

On the morning of Sunday, 29th October, a special KLM-Fokker monument was unveiled at Schiphol-Oost. In the presence of guests and journalists, the monument was unveiled by KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers, former KLM Cityhopper Director Boet Kreiken and Fokker Vice President Frans van der Pol.

“Today marks the end of an era. After 97 years, the partnership between KLM and Fokker is coming to an end. We have pioneered together and written history in international aviation. With the unveiling of the KLM-Fokker monument, we honour everyone who contributed to this partnership. KLM Cityhopper will fly into the future with a fleet consisting entirely of Embraer E-175+ and E-190 aircraft, offering seats to more passengers, as well as greater comfort, higher speeds and improved economy." said KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers

The plaque on the monument reads: “This monument was erected in honour of all the hard-working employees of KLM, Fokker and KLM Cityhopper, who worked with these superb Dutch aircraft from 1920 to 2017, flying them across the globe and making aviation history.”

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