With the Fokker 50 to Geneva

Catching a new and rare plane type can sometimes be quite difficult. For long I was trying to fly on the Dutch turboprop Fokker 50, but it just wasn't working out, I tried it twice with Air Baltic, once with Air France (or one of their partners), but all these times there was an equipment change in the last minute. So with the Fokker 50 getting more and more rare in Europe I decided to try it again with Belgian regional airline VLM. They had a great offer for flights out of Antwerp and it fitted perfectly in my schedule after the Garuda flight from London Gatwick to Amsterdam. So I booked a flight down to Geneva a day after the Garuda flight, no problem with a direct train connection from Amsterdam airport to Antwerp.

After arriving in Antwerp I met with fellow tripreporter and local resident Sultanils and we spent the evening together with a short sightseeing tour through the city, a delicious burger and of course some Belgian beer. Not many pictures though, weather was still terrible and it was getting dark, but it was a great evening:

A very early departure the next morning, so after a way too short short night I headed out to the small Antwerp airport with tram and bus. Not much going on there and with only two flights departing at this hour it wasn't too busy. So quickly through security and after only a short wait boarding started right on time. Out onto the still dark tarmac and there it was, the Fokker 50, finally:

The plane was registered as OO-VLP, it started its career in the air in 1991 with Aer Lingus, so quite an old lady already. Only a few other passengers entered as well and I settled down at my window seat 12D. A quick welcome by the captain and the crew and then the engines were started, just a short taxi to the runway and up in the air into the first morning light:

Shortly after departure service began by the crew. And it was quite impressive what they distributed throughout this flight. First there was a choice of either a croissant or a chocolate roll, then a drink run, followed by a small box of fruits, and shortly before arrival a Belgian chocolate and a mint. Very nice!

In the meantime a bit of sunshine entered the cabin:

Route of flight was straight south down to Geneva, over Belgium, France and Switzerland. It was cloudy outside at first, but the further south we got it was clearing more and more up.

Cabin view inflight, as you can see the load was very poor:

Already during descent into Geneva:

Really liked it how this crane was just barely visible over the fog:
And on short final already over the airport with the sun on my side:
And so after a flying time of around one hour this flight came to an end and we stopped next to this easyjet airbus:
I bid farewell to the crew, thanked them for the nice flight and stepped out into the nice sunshine here, this felt quite good after the rainy weather further north. Of course I took the opportunity to take a few more pictures of the plane:

Mission Fokker 50 finally successful 😀 !

I really enjoyed this short flight with VLM, service was really outstanding for such a short regional flight. Unfortunenately VLM ceased operations only about a year after this flight. The Fokker 50 I took however is still active, it is now flying with Jetways Airlines in Kenya. It also seems that VLM starts flying again beginning of 2018, let's see how they are doing then.

As a bonus I will add a few pictures of Geneva to this report, I hope you liked reading it! There will be more in the future!