Austrian seals long-term Fokker 70/100 support pact

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Austrian Airlines has signed a long-term support agreement with Fokker Services covering 24 Fokker aircraft operated by the carrier.

The agreement is linked to the new FlyFokker programme, unveiled at the end of last year, which is designed to provide assistance to new and current operators of Fokker types.

Austrian's pact centres on the 'Take Care' module of the programme, aimed at supporting mature operators, and will apply to 15 Fokker 100s and nine Fokker 70s.

The support agreement is valued by Fokker Services at €130 million ($184 million) and extends to 2020. Austrian says the arrangement has been developed over the past year and is "crucial for the sustainable reliability and cost-effectiveness" of its Fokker operations.

Part of FlyFokker's 'Take Care' scheme aims to improve the aircraft for current and future users, and the Austrian jets are being fitted with new cabin lighting.

"We expect to fly our Fokker fleet for many years to come," says Austrian director for operations procurement Martin Schmidt.

Austrian's Fokker 70s are 14-15 years old while the Fokker 100s are aged 16-19 years. The Rolls-Royce Tay-powered twin-jets are operated by its Tyrolean Airways division, under the Austrian Arrows brand.

The FlyFokker programme consists of four modules and Fokker Services has already signed up carriers for two others.

KLM Cityhopper is engaged in the 'Take Over' option, to phase out Fokker jets, while Denim Air is a partner for the 'Take Off' option for wet-leasing aircraft to new operators.