Julian Moxon/PARIS Paul Lewis/SINGAPORE

SOUTH KOREA'S Samsung Aerospace has finally presented to the Dutch Government its business plan for the acquisition of Fokker Aircraft.

A response from the Hague is due by 18 October and, if the plan is accepted, will lead to the launch of a 130-seat derivative of the Fokker 100 and a civil version of the Fokker 60 military turboprop.

Under the proposal, Samsung will buy the assets of bankrupt Fokker, and a new Dutch-registered company will be formed, in which the South Korean company will take a 70% share. The remaining shares will be divided equally between the Government and Stork, which now owns Fokker's after-sales support business. "Their participation sends a very strong signal to the market," says a Samsung official

Sources close to the negotiations say that the 130-seater is the "-logical aircraft to continue the Fokker Jetline range". Under the business plan, the aircraft would be equipped with a new wing and engines, the wing being designed for retrofit to the existing Fokker 70 and 100 in a mid-life update which would keep them "fit and capable" for the next 15 years.

Development of the new aircraft would be centred in Amsterdam, with final assembly in South Korea. Major components, such as the wing, would be sourced "-where it makes business sense". Production of the existing aircraft - of which 70% is supplied externally - will remain in Amsterdam.

Fokker is believed to hold sufficient memoranda of understanding from airlines to account for all of the projected 1997 and 1998 production - about 45 turbofans and 15 turboprops - if the agreements are turned into orders.

Production is likely to be set at around 45 a year from 1998. In the longer term, Samsung hopes to increase this to 60-70 aircraft. Fokker's core workforce is expected to number around 1,000 initially.

Fokker plans a major campaign to convince airlines of the advantages of its 70- to 100-seat Jetline range and, under the proposed deal, a new leasing company would be set up to widen market opportunities. Samsung is seeking to involve a financing company to support aircraft leases and sales.

Fokker has 11 aircraft on its assembly line, as part of a third production batch approved earlier in the year by the Dutch receivers. As part of its plan to increase production, Samsung initially proposes adding a fourth batch by converting memoranda signed for extra aircraft into firm cash orders.

Source: Flight International