A Luxair Fokker 50 twin turboprop crashed on approach to Luxembourg Findel Airport on November 6, killing 20 of the 22 people on board. The accident happened just after 10 a.m. in thick fog, with the aircraft crashing into wooded, hilly terrain three miles short of the runway and on the edge of the village of Roodt-Syr.
Business aviation is not new to Stork Aerospace (Booth No. 652). The Dutch aerostructures specialist is long established in this market segment, having made significant contributions to business jets such as the Gulfstream IV and V (for which it designed and built the tail sections), the Cessna Citation Sovereign and various Dassault Falcon jets.
While industry groups in the U.S. warn about the effects of rising regulatory costs on service levels at small regional airports, similar pressures have thrown Australia into an even more serious crisis, judging by the frantic warning calls emanating from the Regional Aviation Association of Australia.
In response to oil leaks, Dutch civil aviation authorities have instructed operators of Fokker 50 twin turboprops to check the propellers after each flight. The order was issued early last month and Fokker Services is now developing a Service Bulletin that is expected to be issued before year-end.
Dutch operator Denim Air, which claims to be Europe’s leading regional airline aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) service provider, is expanding its twin-turboprop fleet and considering adding small jetliners to meet increased demand for wet-lease capacity, including requirements outside the region. The company has also secured a number of new or renewed contracts.
Luxair, Luxembourg’s one-third government-owned private carrier, is rationalizing its regional-airline fleet and route system to improve productivity and profitability. “We’re restructuring everything, including the network,” Luxair executive vice president Martin Isler told AIN.
Having dropped regional operations rather than continue losing money into the winter season, Netherlands-based Denim Air group plans to offer enhanced wet-lease services and may add regional jets, according to airline CEO Matthijs Boertien. Poor profitability and increased competition in key German, Italian and Swiss markets saw subsidiary Denim Airways cease scheduled flights in September.
Following earlier unsuccessful efforts, revival of the 79- and 107-seat Fokker 70 and 100 regional jets could now depend on the development of a “new, more modern engine,” according to Rekkof chairman Jaap Rosen Jacobson. Rekkof acquired F70/F100 tooling and design rights after the Dutch manufacturer’s 1996 failure.
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