Last week we published a story about the opportunity in replacing the fleet of Fokkers in service today. Fokker Services felt that our story was too negative. Indeed the firm pointed us to this link which demonstrates the in-service fleet is still active and vibrant. The company’s website link is here.
Clearly absent new production, there is a sunset on Fokker aircraft. But Fokker Services has a strong skill base on which to build beyond Fokker. In general, Fokker Services has been leveraging a lot of the original aircraft OEM knowledge into the development of new aircraft systems and support solutions for Fokker and non-Fokker types.
In a general sense Fokker Services has been spreading its wings, so to speak, in the last few years by accelerating its non-Fokker related business to replace the gradually diminishing Fokker-related turnover and grow the business in general. Examples include:
- A hangar and logistics’ facility at Seletar Airport (Singapore) has been doing ATR airframe MRO and is licensed by ATR as an ‘ATR Approved’ MRO center. They are expanding component MRO as well.
- Aerotron in La Grange, GA is a fully owned component MRO facility focusing on non-Fokker components
- In the Netherlands Fokker Services has a 170,000 sq ft hangar facility which is doing A320 and 737NG MRO and lease return activities. In addition, they run a VIP aircraft completion center. Projects in progress and completed include various Fokker aircraft, A320, CRJ700 and BBJs. Recent government/military special mission projects included conversions of Gulfstream Vs for the Japan Coast Guard as well as KDC-10 Link 16 flight decks and Fokker 60 MPAs for the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
- Bombardier Dash 8 Classic operators are supported by a logistic and repair program for rotables. This is basically a copy from the ABACUS program, which has been in existence for 22 years: the longest running rotable PBH program in the industry.
- Development of a Class 2 EFB based on the iPad® for Fokker and non-Fokker types.
So while the Fokker fleet ages is continues to get support from Fokker Services to ensure its safe and efficient operation. Fokker Services has the type certificates of the Fokker aircraft and provides comprehensive support services for the Fokker aircraft to operators, lessors and owners worldwide. In fact there are only three direct support services which they don’t do: engine MRO (best left to the specialized engine MR parties), flight crew training (pretty specialized job and plenty of suppliers) and line maintenance, which an operator wants done internally. So in summary, Fokker Services and its partners and MRO competitors will keep supporting the newer Fokker aircraft for the next 20 years at least.