Farewell KLM Fokker 70 Flight

The sad farewell of the KLM Fokker 70 fleet is upon us, ending a long history between the Dutch national carrier and the now-defunct manufacturer.

At one time Fokker was behind some of the world’s most innovative aircraft, produced at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, until its demise in 1996. 

KLM and its Cityhopper subsidiary have been long-standing supporters of these home-grown aircraft, but all good things must come to an end. The remaining fleet of Fokker 70s have steadily been sold off or retired over the past couple of years, and 28th October 2017 marks the final flight of the type with the airline, operating from London Heathrow to Amsterdam.

 

My Final Fokker 70 Trip

With these Fokker 70s being a regular sight at my local airport, I was lucky enough to fly them one last time on my own farewell flight. 

Flying a day trip to Amsterdam Schiphol from Durham Tees Valley airport I was able to experience the ‘pocket rocket’, which is still immaculate inside – a testament to the care KLM takes of its fleet. 

KLM Fokker 70 cockpit

KLM Fokker 70 cockpit. Photo (c) Chris Smith

KLM Fokker 70

PH-KZB was our aircraft out to Amsterdam, taking around an hour and fifteen minutes, owing to landing on the “Polderbaan” runway which is a long taxi from the commuter ramp.

Once off the aircraft I was able to take some photographs before taking the bus to the terminal.

 

Amsterdam Panorama Terrace

Dutch Dakota PH-PBA seen on the Schiphol Behind the Scenes tour.

After a day enjoying the sights of Amsterdam Schiphol, including time spent on the Panorama Terrace, and an hour or so spent on the Behind the Scenes Tour which offers an insight into the airport and its workings, it was time to check-in again and see what was visible from inside the terminal.

 

[Our Guide to Spotting Airside at Amsterdam Schiphol]

 

Our flight home was on PH-KZS, which was again in great condition and still has some years left in it by the looks of it (most of KLM Cityhopper’s Fokker 70s have been sold on to other carriers in Asia and the Caribbean).

Taking off from Amsterdam in the dark, I took this video of my final Fokker 70 flight. You can see how powerful it is on takeoff:

We arrived back at Durham Tees Valley an hour later, taking one last picture of the aircraft.

KLM fokker 70

 

By November KLM Cityhopper’s Fokker 70 routes will be flown by Embraer 175 and 190 aircraft which are much newer, more technologically advanced and efficient. However, these older aircraft will be missed a great deal from our skies, and fondly remembered.

 

 

 

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5 Responses

  1. Andrew Perrott says:

    …flying on a very bumpy flight in October 1980, NBO-MBA, on Kenya Airways F27 5Y-BBS (DBR 10 Jul 1988)…the cockpit door was open and there was a box of sandwiches on the ‘dashboard’ from which the pilot and co-pilot were feeding themselves. Those days are long gone…

  2. Matt Falcus says:

    Fantastic memory! Thanks Andrew.

  3. Martin Dennett says:

    My only Fokker “memory” is flying LHR-LPL on 22nd January 1988. Flight BD590, last flight of the day (21:00 departure) operated by F-27 G-BMAP, and I’d been at LHR since around noon. My log shows 33 frames and 3 scrapes but I was too hungover to know what was going on.

    I was doing a 2-week course in Windsor, staying at the hotel at the end of the A4 spur from the airport (my ageing memory has forgotten the name), and the night before, me & my fellow course-attendees had a few (too many) to drink. I knew I had my expenses for the course to follow, so I decided that instead of taking the train home (which would have got me home about 7 hours earlier), I’d fly out of Heathrow for the first time.

    I tried to get an earlier flight (in those days, BMA were flying 3x daily between LPL & LHR) but the flight between me arriving at the airport and my actual flight was full. I’d have killed to have got the earlier flight, and a few extra hours in bed 🙂

  4. MERVYN CROWE says:

    Have had 199 Fokker flights in total between F27 all models, F28 1000/3000 and 4000; F100 and F50
    First flt was May1970 F27 VH-FNM Port Moresby to Lae,New Guinea and latest was F100 VH-FZO in June 2017.Broome to Perth.

  5. Matt Falcus says:

    Fantastic, that’s pretty impressive!

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