The Dutch aircraft company Fokker deliver a new turboprop commuter aircraft to Aer Lingus.

Aer Lingus have ordered four of the Dutch-built Fokker 50 commuter turboprop passenger aircraft, with an initial investment is $52 million, and have an option on a further two.

The first of the ‘Nifty Fifties’, St Fintan, was officially handed over at a special ceremony held at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Acting chairman of Fokker Reinder J van Duinen says the new high technology aircraft is completely different to the Fokker F27 Friendship previously operated by Aer Lingus, and is much safer in adverse weather conditions.

The state of the art, fuel efficient planes will go into service from Dublin Airport on the Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bristol routes. When the second Fokker arrives from Holland, it will be used on other short haul routes linking Dublin and Cork with regional airports.

Minister for Transport John Wilson is at Dublin Airport for the arrival of the St Fintan. Also present is Chief executive of Aer Lingus, Cathal Mullan who says the new aircraft is necessary for the increase of traffic levels on UK provincial routes. He is confident the greater speed and levels of comport will prove attractive to passengers.

Captain Paddy O’Connell is impressed with the new plane.

The aircraft is very, very nice, very advanced avionics, nice to fly, quite an easy aircraft to fly and any good aircraft should be easy to fly.

Chief hostess Susan Collins is looking forward to working on the aircraft and thinks her cabin crew colleagues will also enjoy it tremendously.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 January 1989. The reporter is Andrew Kelly.