Fokker Services has unveiled the first Fokker 100 to be refurbished in corporate shuttle configuration as it seeks to widen its share of the business aircraft market.

Calgary, Canada-based Platinum Jet is the launch customer for the 56-seat twinjet, with three aircraft on lease from UK-based management and charter company Aravco. The first two aircraft are to enter service in October and the third will join the fleet early next year. The aircraft will be used on scheduled business-class shuttle services on routes throughout Canada and the USA.

Farnborough-based Aravco, meanwhile, is to take delivery at the end of the year of what is believed to be the first VIP-configured Fokker 100 in Europe. The aircraft will be operated under management, but be available for ad hoc charter, Aravco says. The company also leases a VIP-configured Fokker 100 to an unnamed Indonesian operator.

Fokker Services, owned by the Stork Group, has been remarketing the Fokker 100 to business aviation operators since its launch in November last year. "There are three VIP-configured Fokker 100s in service to date," says Fokker Services business development manager Peter Van Oostrum. The aircraft, he says, fits a niche for customers who want a regional-airliner-size cabin, without the long range and huge price tag of the A319-based Airbus Corporate Jetliner or Boeing Business Jet. "A VIP/corporate-configured Fokker 100," Van Oostrum says, "is typically priced at between $11 million and $15 million, depending on the interior".

Fokker is to offer up to six auxiliary fuel tanks, which will boost range in 10-seat VIP layout from 3,700km (2,000nm) to 5,900km and in 56-seat layout from 3,300km to 4,250km, with three fuel tanks.

Source: Flight International