Aircraft of the week:

Aircraft 5Y-JWC for Kenyan regional airline Jetways Airlines is a Fokker 50 that is 33 years old. It is 1 of 213 Fokker 50s (which are turboprops) produced and is powered by 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127Bs. The Fokker 50 seats 58 people.

5Y-JWC was originally delivered to Aer Lingus in January 1989 under the registration number EI-FKA, EI being Ireland’s aircraft code and FKA (A for 1st) signifiying Aer Lingus’ 1st ever Fokker aircraft. Aer Lingus has operated a total of 8 Fokker 50s in its history, the last ones having been transferred to Denim Air (a Dutch charter airline) in April 2001. In November 1999, 5Y-JWC was moved to Danish regional airline NewAir, that had been in existence since 1977, and which had completely ceased operations from 1997 to 1998 to undergo internal restructuring. It was re-registered under the number OY-EBB. NewAir subsequently leased the aircraft to shortly-lived Air Kosova from July 2000 to September 2000, by which time Air Kosova has ceased operations. After its return to NewAir in September 2000, it was leased for a second time in 2002 to Luton-based Euroceltic Airways, which operated from 2000 to 2003 before ceasing operations. Euroceltic Airways had 10 aircraft, all Fokker 50s, in its order book, 5 of which were cancelled and delivered to other airlines. In January 2003, 5Y-JWC was returned from lease, before NewAir itself ceased operations later on in 2003. After approximately 4 years in storage, 5Y-JWC was sent to new Dutch start-up Magic Bird Airlines in mid-2007, a cargo airline owned by an unnamed Luxembourg holding company. It was re-registered to its original number from the Fokker factory, PH-LMA. Unfortunately, Magic Bird Airlines never recieved its certification, so it was stored at the airline’s base in Maastricht alongside 2 Bae (British Aerospace) ATP turboprops as well as 2 other Fokker 50s, including its sister aircraft (see later on in this article). In December 2007, it was delivered to MiniLiner, an Italian cargo airline based in the city of Bergamo in Lombardy. Its registration number stayed the same. MiniLiner operated a fleet of 13 Fokker 27s (the previous version of the Fokker 50, of which 586 were produced) and 4 Fokker 50s from 1981 to 2015, when its AOC (Air Operator’s Certificate) was revoked. In February 2008, 5Y-JWC was moved to Swedish airline Amapola Flyg to serve as a cargo aircraft. Later during its time with Amapola Flyg, it was re-registered SE-MFA. Amapola Flyg has only ever operated Fokker 50s, of which 14 out of 26 are still in service with the airline. In April 2016, 5Y-JWC was consigned to Italian airline Jetcom, where it was re-registered OE-LJC. The airline is still in existence, but very little is known about it. Some sources say that the company works in aircraft maintenance. Slightly over 2 years later, 5Y-JWC reached its current operator, Jetways Airlines, a scheduled airline based out of Nairobi Wilson Airport in Kenya. Jetways Airlines also operates search and rescue as well as cargo flights. It operates 8 aircraft, 6 of which are Fokker 50s and 2 of which are Fokker 100s. 5Y-JWC’s sister aircraft, PH-LMB (its registration number from the Fokker factory) followed a similar course with mainly the same airlines. It was first used by Aer Lingus, then NewAir, leased to Air Kosova and then returned from lease. Afterwards, it was leased to Air Nostrum (a Spanish regional airline) for several months, before being returned from lease. Just like 5Y-JWC, it was supposed to be operated for Magic Bird Airlines, but this never happened. It flew with 5Y-JWC at Miniliner and Amapola Flyg before being flown across the seas to operate for a small Indonesian cargo airline, Asialink. PH-LMB wasn’t delivered to airlines at exactly the same time as 5Y-JWC, with there ususally being a couple of months between the aircrafts’ move to another airline. What I find quite incredible in the journey of these 2 aircraft, but especially that of 5Y-JWC, is the sheer amount of airlines that ceased operations after such a short period of time in existence. 1st of February 2021.

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5Y-JWC with Amapola Flyg.


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