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AUSTRIAN ARROWS FOKKER 100 OE-LVD GOT THE NAME SKOPJE

On March 23rd, as a part of week-long celebration to mark the 10th anniversary since its first flight to Macedonia, Austrian has officially named "Skopje" one of its Fokker 100 aircraft. The christening ceremony of Austrian Arrows (Tyrolean Airways) Fokker 100 (F-28-0100) registered OE-LVD, c/n 11515, took place at Skopje International Airport immediately following the arriving of that plane from Vienna (Flight No. OS 779) and was accomplished in presence of Skopje mayor Trifun Kostovski.

The aircraft that got the name of the Macedonian capital is one of nine Fokker 100 aircraft in service with Austrian Arrows. It is interesting to note that OE-LVD has been previously noted wearing the name of Serbian-Montenegrin capital Belgrade, though this has now being changed. The others eight aircraft in the fleet wear names "Riga" (OE-LVA), "Vilnius" (OE-LVB), "Tirana" (OE-LVC), "Zagreb" (OE-LVE), "Yerevan" (OE-LVF), "Krakow" (OE-LVG), "Minsk" (OE-LVH) and "Prague" (OE-LVI). Of this, only "Krakow" is finished in full Star Alliance colors.

Austrian Arrows Fokker 100 is the second aircraft that wears the name of Macedonian capital. The first aircraft that got the name "Skopje" was another Fokker 100 that was delivered brand-new (under registration F-OLGA, c/n 11290) to once very ambitious Macedonian airliner Palair Macedonia. This aircraft was on of three Fokker 100 that have served with Palair Macedonia, the others two being Palair-owned F-OLGB (c/n 11296, named "Krusevo") and leased from Fokker PH-KXL (c/n 11393). Unfortunately, on March 5th, 1993, the 1992-built PH-KXL crashed on take-off from Skopje due to icing, killing 83 aboard and marking that way the 2nd worst airline accident in the Macedonian history. The other two Fokker 100s remained in service with Palair Macedonia until 1996 when that company ceased to exists.

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Additional Photos by Igor Bozinovski Igec (Igec) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 64 W: 0 N: 73] (345)
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