SINGAPORE 2010: Fokker to support Dash 8s in Asia

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Fokker has decided to support older models of Bombardier turboprops in Asia.

The Dutch company already has a similar pact in Europe and North America but in recent weeks has extended it to cover Asia Pacific, says Fokker VP marketing and sales Erik Goedhart.

Fokker supports Fokker aircraft in Asia from its Singapore centre and plans to use the same centre to support Bombardier Dash 8-100/200/300s, says Goedhart. It has no plans to support Bombardier's newer turboprops, the Q-series, because Fokker's expertise is supporting out-of-production aircraft, he says.

The plan is to establish a Dash 8 spare parts pool in Singapore and have the Dash 8 come under Fokker's Abacus, he says. Abacus is a support programme that guarantees availability of serviceable components and offers flight-hour based component repair and overhaul services.

Fokker has yet to sign up any Dash 8 operators in Asia.

When asked how many Dash 8s Fokker would need to have under its Asian programme to justify setting up a spare parts pool in Singapore, Goedhart says: "If we have around 10-15 aircraft you can have reasonable stock on site."

"But if we only have five to 10 aircraft to begin with, we will start" the spare parts pool because establishing it will help fuel demand for the service, he adds.

Goedhart also says at the end of this year's first quarter Fokker plans to add another out-of-production aircraft type to its repertoire of support services.

The fact Fokker is adding more services means it wants to expand its operations at Singapore's Seletar Aerospace Park.

Goedhart says Fokker has yet to reach an agreement with Seletar on this and that the Dutch firm wants to have a larger plot of land at the park, at an affordable price, so it can expand.