Review of KLM Cityhopper flight Amsterdam London in Economy

Airline KLM Cityhopper
Flight KL1079
Class Economy
Seat 14A
Aircraft Fokker 70
Flight time 01:40
Take-off 28 Oct 17, 17:00
Arrival at 28 Oct 17, 17:40
WA   #113 out of 141 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 267 reviews
Jett Tyler
By SILVER 579
Published on 13th May 2020

Farewell Fokker (1920-2017)



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Fokker had been providing Dutch built aircraft to KLM and its regional subsidiaries from 1920 until the companies bankruptcy in 1996. KLM Cityhopper used the Fokker F50 turboprop until 2009, making the airline all jet. In 2011 the last Fokker F100 left the fleet in favour of brand new Embraer E-190 jets that would make the regional fleet for KLM.

In 2015, the airline dealt the final blow to the remaining Fokker F70 fleet by ordering E-175 (enhanced models) resulting in the looming retirement of the type- which occurred on October 27th 2017.


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KLM was keen to keep a nod of its Fokker link by preserving two Fokker F100. PH-OFA is preserved at Leylstad Aviodrome (the Dutch Aviation Museum) whilst PH-OFE now sits proud on the Amsterdam Schiphol Panorama Terrace. The Fokker F70's all were sold onward to new owners in Cyprus, Africa and Australia.


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I had known the Fokker fleet would be going soon, so most of my KLM trips to Amsterdam were focused on the Fokker 70.

In the end I made six flights in 2016 and 2017, my first trip to Amsterdam in 2015 was originally booked on a Fokker 70, but adverse weather resulted in me being rebooked to a Boeing 737-700. I made sure to fly from the recently reinstated Southampton service to Amsterdam which I did all bar one of my flights to allow a higher chance of a Fokker. This succeeded as I ended up flying between SOU and AMS with F70's PH-KZK (x2), PH-KZE, PH-KZM, PH-KZL and finally for the special flight PH-KZU!


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KLM CITY HOPPER KL1079- The end of an Era


My trip to Amsterdam was strictly a day trip to do this Fokker F70 flight. I flew out that morning on Boeing 737-700, PH-BGP, "Pelikaan" which was the plane that subbed for my original F70 flight in 2015. I visited the Hard Rock in Amsterdam, drinking an Electric Blues cocktail to toast and celebrate the retirement.

Getting airside at Amsterdam Schiphol around two hours ahead of the flight, I decided to do some photography of the parked up planes that day. 


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The flight was like most other KLM Cityhopper flights, departing from the D-6 bus gates. The area where the regional jets park is known as "Fokker Farm" due to the KLM Cityhopper Fokker fleets all parking there during their hey-day. A bus took all the passengers, it was a full flight, to the parked up Fokker F70 PH-KZU, sporting its "Thank you Anthony Fokker" livery.


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KLM, Schiphol Airport and the Dutch media were out to see off this flight to make media publications on this historic moment in Dutch Aviation. The Dutch are surely proud of their aircraft and national airline.


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Row 15 was filled when I went to book a seat, but 14A was free to occupy, so I took that as my seat as it was by the engine, but around the wing. Given that T-tail jets are a dying breed in Europe, this would be one of my final chances to indulge in such a view!


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Normally there are four crew members on a Fokker F70, but tonight there were six crew all with different ties to the jet.

The British Captain was on his final flight with KLM as he was retiring that day, the Dutch co-pilot was chosen to allow for a Dutchman to be flying one of the final flights and he was due to retrain for the Boeing 777 fleet, the senior Fokker pilot for the fleet was also on board for the occasion. For the three ladies working the cabin crew included: A stewardess who was present on the first Fokker F70 flight 22 years earlier, the last cabin crew member to be trained on the F70 fleet and the senior KLM Cityhopper cabin crew manager for the Fokker fleet.


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The plane's captain welcomed us all on board and explained to the people on the flight who were not aware the significance of this flight. About 65% of the passengers were there (like me) for the party! A few of them were not even getting off the plane, just heading back to AMS on KL1070.

The paparazzi were jumping into the back of the Schiphol airport vehicles and as we began to taxi for take off, the vans drove ahead and alongside our flight, which was an amazing sight to behold!


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The final take off occurred, and in no time we were on our way to London Heathrow, the final trip of the KLM Fokker F70!


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The crew provided the usual bar service, the egg wrap I wasn't interested in- however I was very keen to get a can of Heineken beer for this final flight. Dutch beer, on a Dutch aircraft on the final flight with the Dutch national airline! How fitting.


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The captain gave us an update on the local weather for London as we approached the Norfolk area from the North Sea. We came in over London and arrived into LHR, on time. The end of an era had arrived. I was pretty happy with the flight overall. Obviously there would be a bigger fanfare on the return flight, though it was a small let down that London Heathrow didn't present us a water cannon salute at Terminal 4, but we pulled on stand and the Fokker fans were allowed a bit of time to enjoy the aircraft, so we weren't rushed off as we would normally have to.


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On the way out I paid one last Fokker F70 flight deck visit, just in case it doesn't happen again. Another Dutch enthusiast was talking to the Dutch F/O who was doing the flight back to Amsterdam.


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On a side note, I had a special design printed onto a white t-shirt that I had. I brought some felt pens with me, and I got all the crew on this flight to sign my shirt. Starting with the three cabin crew and senior captain during the flight, then asked the F/O in the cockpit- finishing with the Captain of the flight.


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Sadly they had to return to Amsterdam on KL1070, so I had to leave this amazing flight.

It is one proud moment I won't be forgetting. I do miss the Fokker's, however since the retirement, I have had some good E-190 experiences with KLM. I always enjoy stepping onto PH-OFE at the Panorama Terrace at AMS, and I'm in need of a new visit to Leylstad to see PH-OFA again! 


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Verdict

KLM Cityhopper

6.9/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi2.5
Meal/catering6.0

Amsterdam - AMS

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

London - LHR

9.6/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Farewell KLM-Fokker!
1920-2017

Information on the route Amsterdam (AMS) London (LHR)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 18 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Amsterdam (AMS) → London (LHR).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is KLM with 7.4/10.

The average flight time is 1 hours and 20 minutes.

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