Australia becomes key market for Fokker in 2012

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Australia and the Asia-Pacific region remained buoyant markets for Fokker Services last year.

A total of 51 Fokker aircraft were placed with 11 existing and six new Fokker operators in 2012, including 16 Fokker 50s, five Fokker 70s and 30 Fokker 100s. This compares with 60 Fokker aircraft trading the year before.

"Operational versatility, modest fuel burn, low capital costs and continued support are the main reasons why operators keep on taking Fokker aircraft," says Fokker Services' director of aircraft remarketing, Peter van Oostrum.

The growth of the Fokker fleet in Australia continued throughout 2012, both in terms of aircraft numbers and operator numbers.

At the end of 2012, Australian carriers operated 50 Fokker jet and turboprop aircraft - up from 39 at the end of 2011 - with most of the Fokker fleets performing fly-in, fly-out services to support Australia's booming mining industry.

Brisbane-based Alliance Airlines is currently adding various Fokker 70s to its existing fleet of nearly 30 Fokker 50s, 70s and 100s.

Network Aviation Australia, a Qantas subsidiary, expanded its Fokker 100 fleet and now operates 13 of the type.

Skippers Aviation, a Fokker 50 operator, is adding its first two Fokker 100s to its turboprop fleet.

Meanwhile, two undisclosed Australian operators are each incorporating a Fokker 50 into their fleet, says Fokker Services.

Latin America continues to be a growing market for Fokker aircraft, after Dutch Antilles Express took on its third Fokker 100 on lease from AeroCentury, and Air Panama phased in its first two Fokker 100s last year.

Additionally, an undisclosed operator from South America has purchased six Fokker 50s for domestic services.

In Europe, Greek operator Minoan Air purchased four Fokker 50s - deploying them on ACMI services - while start-up Maastricht Airlines signed for its first two Fokker 50 operating leases with Italian lessor Miniliner. Malta-based Excellent Air introduced its first Fokker 100 last year.

Various undisclosed operators in Europe and Asia took another 16 Fokker 100s during the course of 2012.

In Africa, Kenyan operator Skyward International Aviation increased its Fokker 50 fleet by one, and has also purchased its first Fokker 100 aircraft.

The Fokker 70 market saw mainly sub-lease activity, with Carpatair temporarily placing aircraft with Alitalia.

According to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database, the global Fokker fleet comprises 466 aircraft, including 220 Fokker 100s, 47 Fokker 70s and 176 Fokker 50s. An estimated 103 aircraft are in storage.