A Fond Farewell to Fokker

Posted by at 11:54

KLM has, of course, constantly replaced older aircraft with newer models, but the latest round of fleet renewals began in 2008. Since then, more and more Embraer 190s and 175s have joined our fleet, replacing our Fokker 50s and 100s, and now our Fokker 70s. And so the final farewell for the Fokker fleet is fast approaching at KLM Cityhopper. A date has been set: 28 October 2017. It will be a festive day full of gratitude, particularly to the legendary Anthony Fokker (1890-1939) and the company he founded.

Expressing our gratitude

To honour our country’ s leading aviation pioneer, we have decorated the fuselage and tail of our last Fokker 70 with a portrait of Anthony Fokker, which is part of a festive livery marking 97 years of shared history between Fokker and KLM.

Personally, I knew very little about Anthony Fokker, although I was aware that a whole series of planes had been named after him. To find out more about him, I did some online research, but also rooted around in the KLM archives, where I soon discovered how important Anthony Fokker had been for the airline industry in general, and for KLM in particular.

Here are some of my surprising discoveries about Anthony Fokker:

  • He was one of the most important entrepreneurs in Dutch history.
  • His first propeller-driven plane, which he designed and built in 1910, was called “De Spin” (The Spider). On 31 August 1911, Fokker took his Spin for a spin over Haarlem for the first time. He took off from a nearby meadow and circled above Haarlem’s central square, de Grote Markt, before landing safely in Kleverpark. He went on to test many more of his own designs, earning worldwide acclaim and the nickname “The Flying Dutchman”.
  • Anthony Fokker once said: “When I was about sixteen years old and first heard about flying machines, my only goal in life was to become a pilot. Pilots were a new kind of hero. Maybe that’ s what appealed to me most: I wanted to be a hero too!” He dedicated most of his life to making that dream come true.

He was a visionary

Fokker said the following in 1931: “Looking back on days gone by, it seems I have achieved quite a lot since I was a small boy, practising the art of flying with paper models. But when I look to the future, I know that this is just the beginning, considering the incredible opportunities aviation presents; the things I dreamed of in the pioneering days, long ago.”

Fokker and KLM – a great duo

During the coming months, we will regularly commemorate the 97 years of shared Fokker and KLM history. I wouldn’ t be surprised if the final farewell leaves lots of KLM staff teary-eyed. So, before we fully embrace the Embraers, we’ ll be giving our Fokkers a fantastic farewell. And we’ ll be doing it in style.

Highlights of “Farewell Fokker”

The superb photo of Anthony Fokker, gracing the livery of our last Fokker, has also been displayed on Hangar H73 at Schiphol-Oost, which is where Fokker once delivered its newly constructed aircraft to airlines. The livery is not just a tribute to the pioneer, but also a token of our gratitude to the many who have served Fokker as a company.
I spoke to Stefan Vermeeren, fleet manager for the Fokker 70, and asked him about the special livery. He said the following:

“We wanted to find a way to thank everyone who has worked on Fokker 70s for their efforts and dedication. What better way to do this than by way of the aircraft itself? That’ s a lot more festive than a thank-you message by email, right?

By decorating the plane with the festive livery, we not only thank all our colleagues at KLM Cityhopper, but also that staff at all outstations, suppliers, ground handlers at other airlines, and aviation aficionados. It’ s also a tribute to Dutch aviation, to our air transport industry, and it’ s a special way to celebrate the bond between KLM and Fokker.

The words ‘Thank you’ on the fuselage, together with the photo of Anthony Fokker, acknowledge the bond between KLM, Fokker and the industry, but the words of gratitude are also intended for the broader community and other colleagues, companies and suppliers all over Europe, to thank them for the many years of cooperation.”

Book about Fokker and KLM

But that’s not all. There’ s more on the programme for this festive farewell. A film and photo flight, for example, because KLM want to capture its last Fokker from as many angles as possible. And we’ll also be celebrating the 97-year history of KLM, KLM Cityhopper and Fokker with the book “Farewell Fokker 70, Dutch at Heart”. You can order a copy here.

We won’t be revealing the full programme yet, of course. Our last Fokker will complete its final commercial flight for KLM on 28 October, but we’ ll be keeping the destination secret. The day thereafter will be very special too, but that’ s another secret. All will be revealed in good time!

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83 Responses to A Fond Farewell to Fokker

  1. Colin Wills

    Sad to see these great aircraft consigned to history – have many happy memories flying on them (as well as the F50 and F100 aircraft). Onwards and upwards with the new Embraers – a fitting successor!

  2. Harry

    was een mooi en goed vliegtuig en een fantastich bedrijf waar ik met plezier 8 jaar gewerkt heb

  3. Tom

    Thank you for giving fokkers the farewell they deserve. Like the MD11 februari years back and hopefully the 747 aswell in the near future. I will visit Schiphol for sure when the fokkers say goodbye to KLM.

  4. Onno Oudewortel

    If there will be a farewell flight. Pls count me in . I worked for both KLM 12yr and Fokker 3 yr and now a freq flyer. KLM pax on a (prefered) Fokker plane. Thx Onno Oudewortel

  5. Ron Meijer

    Wat een fantastisch eerbetoon aan deze Nederlandse luchtvaart pionier, de KLM laat haar in deze van haar beste kant zien om nog een te bevestigen dat het een lang en gelukkig huwelijk is geweest met Fokker. Jammer dat er een einde aan dit tijdperk komt maar er komt veel goed voor terug.

  6. Leonardo

    Flew the Fokker 100 several years and is still my favourite airplane such a beautiful design, a joy to fly. Thanks for this beautiful retirement celebration.

  7. Joost

    Still enjoying the flights with the Fokker 70 and 100’s out inland of Australia. They fly them like fighter planes up here, never have and had my doubts on these planes. Ashamed they leave the Netherlands though as I’ve always proudly said “this comes from my country, the Netherlands”!!

  8. George cobb

    Always very comfortable aircraft to fly back and forth from Amsterdam to Glasgow . Loved how the cabin crew would fit the blue cushion above the boarding door so you wouldn’t bump your head ❤️

  9. Kristian

    I was cabin crew on the F100 and F50 for KLM UK. Many happy memories!

  10. Richard Oxenburgh

    Pictures of friendship?

  11. Emma

    Meteen besteld, mijn vader heeft jaren bij Fokker gewerkt en deze vliegtuigen gebouwd, en binnenkort begin ik aan mijn avontuur bij KLC!

    • Kim Lammertse

      Superleuk, veel succes bij KLC!

  12. Alex kenney

    Hi there, it will be sad to the the KLM Fokker fleet retiring. I have worked on a lot of the Tay engines at R-R East Kilbride.Can you please tell me if there would be any mementos from the aircraft themselves available or, are they going to another operator?

    Kind regards

    Alex Kenney

  13. nuria

    Pls inform ushow to participate. Fokker is a highlight not only in aviation but also in the history of NL❤️

  14. Keith Harbor

    I had the pleasure of a tour around the factory in the 70’s and I have always considered Fokker airliners to be the most beautiful of aeroplanes. I said goodbye last year with a flight to Amsterdam specially selected to make sure that I flew on a Fokker 70. I am still trying to find somewhere to get a flight in a Fokker 50 and with the resurrection of VLM I’m hoping my chance will come. It will be a sad when they are retired but all good things come an end I guess

    • Jake Schulze

      A lot of small regional airlines in Australia, like Alliance, still fly Fokker 70s because they’re so reliable. I saw one the other day land at Geraldton, flying from Perth. If you live in Europe it will be different, but I’m sure that Fokker’s planes will still be used for a long time coming.

  15. Fred

    In mijn diensttijd in gevlogen. Altijd een prachtig toestel voor mij geweest met een mooie herinnering.

  16. Mark Lewins

    My First ever flight on an aeroplane was on board a KLM Fokker 100 flying from Newcastle to Amsterdam. A perfect introduction to flying. I have spoken about it ever since.

    This really is sad news. Such a fantastic aircraft to fly on that planted a seed for my interest in aviation to slowly grow.

    For that, thank you KLM. Thank you Fokker. The fleet that will be missed.

    • Steve Lawton

      Same here for me with my first ever flight on a Fokker 100 from BHX to AMS on Valentines Day 1994 followed with a longer flight on a KLM DC-10 from AMS to LOS.

  17. Ronald Dijkstra

    You mention 97 years of cooperation between KLM and Fokker.
    The last pre-war Fokker left the KLM fleet in 1946.
    NLM started in 1966 with the Fokker F27.
    So there is a gap of 20 years!
    KLM flew the Douglas aircraft for a longer time than Fokker aircraft.
    As pilot I have good memories of the almost seven years I flew the F27 for NLM CityHopper.

    • Kim Lammertse

      Point taken, thank you.

      • Maarten J. Vermeulen

        If you take the point you might as well re-phrase the first section of your blog…

    • Prashanth Dwarakanath

      Surely there would have been cooperation in terms of service, support, and spare parts? That cooperation stayed all the way up until 28 October 2017.

  18. Junji SATO

    In 1997, My first flight was by Fokker 100 from Amsterdam to Berlin at that time.
    Long years ago, but I had a good memory of this flight.
    I love Fokker and it will be missed!

  19. André Fokker

    Ik heb belangstelling voor zowel het boek als voor de afscheidsvlucht. Als Fokker met directe familie banden vind ik alles wat met DE Anthony Fokker te maken heeft erg interessant.
    Mijn broertje heet ook Anthony Fokker en onze hele familie is best trots op alles wat aan vliegtuigen is ontwikkeld en gemaakt binnen de Fokker fabrieken.

    • Kim Lammertse

      Wat bijzonder om te lezen, en dat je trots bent snap ik hoor!

  20. Kirby West

    Farewell Fokker, You will be missed <3

  21. Derek Waters

    Please leave one at the museum in Norwich, UK. We have grown to love these wonderful aircraft during the 20 years they have linked our nations. We already have the F27 here which preceded it. Preservation would be a fitting tribute.

  22. Luigi

    Very sad to see a such good airplane retired. I worked 5 years as F100 maintenance planner in Italy and i have happy memories!
    Fokker fan forever

  23. Keith Rogers

    I regularly fly on these wonderful aircraft and have done for the past 15 years. It will be a sad day when they finish flying. I hope their replacement is as good.

  24. Window Seat ind

    Sad to see Fokker got retired. The plane should preserved. If not, it should be sold to other airline.

  25. Robert Teulings

    Although I don’t live in Holland anymore, KLM and Fokker history give me “home and proud” feelings

  26. Louie

    Had a good experience on PH-KZR. A shame to see these aircraft go.

  27. Karen Stewart (nee Lochhead)

    I used to fly on the F27 Friendship aircraft with Air Anglia, which became Air UK, then KLM UK. I remember PH-MOL so well, we called her Molly! Then on the F28 Fellowship aircraft, again with Air UK. So many happy times on board!

  28. Sander Blei

    22 jaar met plezier bij Fokker gewerkt aan de ontwikkeling en de bouw van deze beauty’s. Jammer dat ze nu helemaal uit het zicht verdwijnen. Ik hoop bij het ”vaarwel” aanwezig te kunnen zijn.

  29. Nick W

    Sad to say goodbye to the little Fokkers. Around 7 years ago I started dating a Dutch woman (now my wife) and have happy memories of shuttling back and forth from my job in the U.K. and the love of my life. For me story of the Fokker is more than about the machinery and is about the stories of the people who rode them (and piloted them!!). I hope you can reflect this in future blogs!

    • Kim Lammertse

      I will pass your ideas, in a few months from now we might me planning this ;-)

  30. Rob

    Have flown a lot on the little Fokkers between Germany and Schiphol and between Schiphol and Norway when i worked in Norway few years ago. Always good memories on these days…

  31. Anton van Horen

    The end of an impressive era…. As a real Flying Dutchman i had many flight with KLM and Fokker planes. As a young guy i read a book about the birth of the Fokker Friendship. It was a noisy plane…. Later with the F70 and F100 much better… good things come to an end too… Bye Bye Fokker!

  32. Wim Groenewoud

    Pity to see the end of Dutch aerospace industry ceasing to exist. Of course Fokker as an industry had already disappeared before…Please try to give this last Fokker a good place for our next generation to see and know that “the Sky is the Limit”

  33. isah

    Donate them to me

  34. Tony Ercolani

    I flew on Fokker aircraft many times; too bad you (The Dutch) were not able to save the company with new generation aircraft like the Bombardier CS series which THE SWISS are now flying. Do they know something you don’t know about that category of aircraft? It would be nice to see them in KLM’s fleet.

  35. Kevin Genney

    Sorry to see them go but all good things come to an end

  36. Steven

    End of an era for certain. Wonderful memories traveling between Amsterdam and Berlin on these beautiful blue jets. So intimate and cozy and truly remarkable cabin crews and in-flight service. Such a unique and beautiful aircraft truly to be missed.

  37. Rens van Wingerden

    As an aircraft engineer I worked at Fokker building the first Fokkers 100. It was a great time working at these aircraft with their outstanding high standard of technology. With a long track record of family members flying KLM aircraft, I appreciate this farewell, as you will understand. Thank you!

  38. Martin Rimmer

    I have flown many, many miles in NLM, KLM UK, KLM Cityhopper and Air Anglia Fokkers. I shall miss these Dutch aircraft allied to a Dutch airline.

    Long may they be remembered. Thank you for years of faithful service.

  39. Alison Livingston

    My Dad worked on the development of the Rolls Royce engines for the F50 and F100 in the 1980s. The Rolls Royce workers had a day trip from Glasgow to the Fokker factory in 1985 to see the new aircraft with their engines in place. I also have fond memories of the distinctive sound of the first F27 of the day flying over our house in Veldhoven

  40. Spitbird

    They are going to Peru to flight for two airlines welcome fokker 70

  41. Spitbird

    They are going to Peru to flight for two airlines welcome fokker 70

  42. Chris Boland

    I have flown on many of these planes a sad end but we have to move forward

  43. Martyn Fribbens

    Many a flight in the 70s on Fokker Friendship and Fokker Fellowship planes, London to Rotterdam. Then NLM Cityhoppers, I believe.

  44. Greg Johnson

    Wonderful!

  45. Paulo Restivo

    Mission accomplished. Welcome new Embraer jets.

  46. Warwick

    I’ve flown Fokkers (F27 and F28) plus I flew for KLM Cityhopper for 6 years, so this means a lot to me. Great times.

  47. Tim - Dortmund

    I have fond memories of the Fokker Friendship servicing the town of Mildura in the middle of nowhere in Australia during the 1970s. The name itself has been etched into my mind ever since then.

  48. Mark

    Inform us accordlingly if you have a special distribution list

  49. Johan Klaassens

    Beautiful Aircraft

  50. Louis Hemsley

    Such a shame as these are really lovely aircraft to fly on which I used to get every week from Southampton to meet up with the embraer onto Aalborg. The Fokker to me always felt the more comfortable plane and very “KLM” and was my ticket home every Friday so very fond memories.. I’ll be really sad to see them go, even if the embraers are not bad aircraft.

  51. Jonothan

    We have flown many times on the HUY-AMS Fokker 70s.

    We shall this beautiful aeroplane.

  52. Pzero

    Well done KLM, a man, a company & aircraft worthy of respect!

  53. Philip Wylie

    Great article but, near the end you mention ‘Fokker’s’, plural. You don’t t need to use an apostrophe to indicate that, simply Fokkers.

  54. Dan C

    It is fantastic to see KLM will be doing so much for preservating a fond memory for its aircraft, I would believe that they would do so for their people too, which I must sadly admit it is getting so rare in the competitive aviation industry nowadays.

    Now in Asia, employees would be lucky to be able to keep their job in the legacy carriers.

  55. Miltiadis

    Fantastic idea to “celebrate” the goodbye of the “Fokker” and to honor “The Flying Dutchman”!

  56. Paul van Daalen

    My memories of the Fokker 70 go back to 1992. Its Prototype project entailed the shortening of the second Fokker 100 proto by cutting out two pieces of about 2 1/2 meters. I enjoyed to be in the team of Paul Louwaard, who completed the project 3 months earlier than planned.

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  59. Thomas Nebel

    I was on the last MD-11 Farewell Flight and the second B787 Welcome Flight. I never flew with the Fokker 70. It wouldt be a dream to join a possible Fokker 70 Farewell Flight. I cross my fingers. Please anounce in your Blog, if a booking date is set! :-) Cheers from Hamburg, Thomas

  60. Maarten J. Vermeulen

    My very first flight was a round-trip above the province Noord-Holland with a Fokker F27 Friendship: a very nice experience which I will never ever forget.
    After that many flights with other Fokker aircraft followed, many flights to the UK in a Fokker 100, flights to Billund in Denmark in the six propeller-bladed Fokker 50 I always liked due to the different sound of the turbo-prop!
    In 2007 while in Paraguay I knew I would embark on my 400th flight from Asunçion to Ciudad del Este: what a great surprise I got as I was flying with a Fokker 100!
    Finally I also had to fly the Fokker 70. Instead of flying from Stavanger, Norway with a Boeing 737-700 back to Schiphol I decided to taker the train instead to Sandefjord to have the experience to fly with the Fokker 70 back to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. It is sad news these aircraft will soon be no laner part of the KLM fleet where other airlines still will be using Fokker aircraft.
    And, in my honest opinion the replacement Brazilian Embraer 175 and Embraer 190 are not of the same quality as the Fokker 70 and Fokker 100.
    It is great to see KLM pays a tribute to Fokker on the PH-KZU with the portrait and the old Fokker logo!

    • Maarten J. Vermeulen

      Correction: It is sad news these aircraft will soon be no longer part of the KLM fleet where other airlines still will be using Fokker aircraft.

  61. Spiros Kastamonitis

    Fokker for ever and no-other aircraft will be like these…
    Fantastic planes… KLM was a proud airline flying an all-fokker aircrafts <3

  62. Luiz Fernandes

    we have operated the F100 for 20 years and we feel the nostalgia of such robust AC

  63. Siegfried Lenz

    I have flown the Fokker 50/70/100, the two latter for over 10 years and so far they were the most pleasant and pilot-friendly aircraft I encountered over my career.

    It is sad that Fokker did not survive in the market and that nothing ever came of various attempts to re-start production. With new avionics and new engines they would still stand their ground in today’s market.

    Gone are the days when 25+ Fokker 70/100s would wait on the Schiphol apron for their next flight but they will sure be remembered.

    And if you miss the last KLM Fokker flight, there’s still a chance to catch one at Austrian who will retire theirs a few weeks later ;-)

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  65. Will

    When will the final flight be revealed?

  66. Hans de Jong

    I’m almost 80 years now and I am proud having worked and travelled for the Fokker-company for more than 30 years. It is sad that this fabulous aircraft is faced out. I keep fantastic thoughts during all those thousands of hours I flew with and photographed these Fokker products.
    Farewell old Fellow!!

  67. Hans de Jong

    I’m almost 80 years old now and still proud of my 31-years as a member of the Fokker-family. I’m also proud of the fact that I flew as a photographer more than fivethousand hours in F27 – F28 – Fokker50 and Fokker100 all over the world.
    Sad that this last Fokker will be faced out soon.
    Farewell old Fellow!!

  68. Ross

    Have loved watching the KLM City Hopper F70 at heathrow airport over the years, the distinctive shape and sound of this great aircraft will be missed. The farewell livery is great – well done KLM!!!

  69. JAN ALBLAS

    You have failed to mention that KLM has never been prepared to be the ‘launch customer’ of any post WW2 FOKKER production planes ( Fokker F27/ F50, F28/ F100/ F70 ) and has thanks to this arrogant attitude contributed to the closure of the production line of the F50 and F100/ F70 in 1996. Thank you KLM for assisting in ‘killing’ FOKKER….

  70. Ian

    Sad to see her go. Is there a way to ask for a copy of the Safety Card?

  71. Ian SG

    Sad to see her go. Is there a way to ask for a copy of the Safety Card?

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