Fokker Services facilitates 23 aircraft deals during first half 2011

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Fokker legacy aircraft remain popular with operators around the world in spite of their progressing age, according to the aftermarket support branch of the former Dutch manufacturer.

Some 23 aircraft - comprising Fokker 50 turboprops and Fokker 100/70 regional jets - have been placed with five airlines during the first half of the year, Fokker Services says.

The number is slightly lower than last year - when 27 aircraft found new operators during the first half of 2011, followed by 33 aircraft in the second half - but the company attributes that reduction to lower availability of the types.

Earlier this year, Greek startup Minoan Air purchased four Fokker 50s to be used on wet-lease operations throughout Europe.

Australia-based Alliance Airlines also recently added a sixth Fokker 50 to its fleet, which already included 20 Fokker 100/70s. The new turboprop is leased from GAFinance in the Netherlands.

Qantas subsidiary Network Aviation is adding five Fokker 100s to its seven-strong fleet of the type.

Dutch Antilles Express will introduce a third Fokker 100, which has been leased from Aero Century, while Air Panama is phasing in two Fokker 100s.

A number of undisclosed operators have taken on another Fokker 50 and nine Fokker 100s, the company says.

"Operational versatility, timely product and service improvements, low capital costs and continued support are the main reasons why operators keep on taking Fokker aircraft", says Peter van Oostrum, director of aircraft remarketing.

Fokker stopped manufacturing aircraft in 1996 when the original company - then owned by Daimler-Benz - went bankrupt. The business was later taken over by Dutch concern Stork.