As the name already implies, the Fokker 50 is a 50-seat turboprop powered aircraft, specifically designed for short-haul flights. The Fokker 50 design is derived from both the Fokker F-27 Friendship and F-28 Fellowship. The F-27 had been in continual production since 1958 and sales were declining by the 1980s. Therefore, the Fokker management decided that an aircraft with improved aerodynamic design and major electronic updates should be succeful follow-on. Eventually, design of the F-50 began in 1983.
After four years of designing and constructing, certification of the Fokker F-50 was granted by the Dutch aviation authority. The first delivery followed soon to launch customer DLT of Germany. In 1996, production of the twin-prop ended after the Fokker Aircraft Company faced and inevitable business liquidation. In total, 213 Fokker F-50s have been produced with the majority (171) still being in service today. Major operators are: Denim Air (12), KLM (12), Malaysia Airlines (10), Skyways Express (18) and VLM Airlines (20). Besides these, some 27 other airlines have operated the type as well.