Kevin O'Toole/LONDON

DAIMLER-BENZ Aerospace (DASA) and the Dutch Government are in talks over a fresh bail out package for Fokker, which has admitted that it is on course for record losses this year.

The Dutch manufacturer warns that losses over the first half of 1995 alone will be greater than the DFl449 million ($290 million) it lost over the whole of 1994. The result is a crisis in the balance sheet, which has left Fokker in desperate need of fresh capital.

Fokker is in discussions with its shareholders over "a package of measures" aimed at strengthening its capital base. Analysts have been warning for some time that DASA would eventually be forced to make a substantial new capital contribution to the Dutch firm. Worst estimates suggest that it may need to provide DFl600 million, similar to the price it paid for a controlling stake in 1993.

Fokker was forced to put aside around DFl350 million to cover the sweeping restructuring plan unveiled towards the start of the year. The plan includes the sale of non-core manufacturing units and the loss of 1,800 jobs from the 8,800-strong workforce.

The company had originally forecast a return to profits in 1996, but says that this is now dependent on a rise in the depressed state of the US dollar.

Despite its financial stress, Fokker believes that the regional-aircraft market is starting to recover. Orders for 13 turboprops and 29 regional jets in the first half of 1995 compare with only 50 aircraft ordered in the whole of 1994.

Source: Flight International