Lufthansa has now operated its last Boeing 737 revenue flight. Nuremberg Airport gave the traditional water cannon salute to the pictured Boeing 737-330 D-ABEF (msn 25217) as it departs NUE for the Frankfurt hub. This is the last departure of a Boeing 737 of Lufthansa with passengers after nearly 49 years of service of the Boeing 737 Family (starting with the Boeing 737-130, then the 737-230 and the 737-330 followed by the 737-430 and the 737-530). The farewall flight was operating by D-ABEF, which is named “Weiden in der Oberpfalz”. D-ABEF was operated with the ATC callsign on “BOBBY1” on the route Nuremberg – Frankfurt. The last flight was operated as planned on October 29, 2016.
On October 30, 2016 Lufthansa issued this statement and photos:
On October 29, 2016, the Boeing 737 fleet of Lufthansa carried out its last commercial flights.
At 7:53 pm in the evening, the last Boeing 737-300 with registration D-ABEF (christened “Weiden in der Oberpfalz”) landed at Frankfurt Airport with 131 passengers on board. For Captain Ulrich Pade and his crew (below), this last flight was a special and moving occasion.
The passengers applauded after landing and they had the opportunity to take photos in the cockpit afterwards. Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, didn’t miss the chance to be there in person to thank the crews.
Shortly before this, three further Boeing 737 aircraft had also landed, arriving from Stuttgart, Geneva und Leipzig/Halle. As a sign of honor they were led by “follow-me” cars to the parking position in front of terminal 2. A crowd of aircraft fans and plane spotters could take a final look at the planes from the Visitor’s Terrace (below).
On October 31, 2016 Lufthansa issued this statement:
On October 31, 2016 Lufthansa said goodbye to its Boeing 737 fleet after 48 years. This marks the end of an era for Lufthansa, spanning almost 50 years.
Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Boeing 737-330 D-ABEC (msn 25149) FRA (Ole Simon). Image: 911535.
A Boeing 737-300, with registration D-ABEC (“Karlsruhe”) (above), flew from Frankfurt to Hamburg this morning on special flight LH9922, where Lufthansa’s Boeing 737 fleet is to be officially bid farewell during a joint event with Lufthansa Technik. After a special ceremony, Captain and Fleet Commander Ulrich Pade and his crew flew back to Frankfurt, with a group of media representatives as well as a number of employees on board; the flight was scheduled to land at 5.10 pm local time.
Over the decades, Lufthansa has had a total of 148 Boeing 737 of almost all generations. At the beginning of the 1960s, the then Chief Executive Officer of Lufthansa Technik, Professor Gerhard Höltje, pushed the project forward and supported the joint development of a short and medium-haul jet with Boeing. The cabin design and the positioning of the engines under the aircraft’s wings were based on the long-haul aircraft of the time.
A 1960s children’s book described the Boeing 707 as the father and the Boeing 727 as the mother of the small jet named “Bobby”. This name caught on. “The Boeing 737 has always been called “Bobby” by Lufthansa employees and aircraft fans. Many passengers and employees associate a very special time with this aircraft model. We want to thank the Boeing 737 for almost 50 years of reliable and successful operations,” said Klaus Froese, CEO Lufthansa Hub Frankfurt.
With the start of the winter schedule, all six remaining Boeing 737-300 aircraft had its last commercial flights on October 29, 2016. The planes will be transferred to Florida in the coming weeks, where they will be resold. In future, Lufthansa will offer continental services with a single type of aircraft, which will result in synergies in various areas, such as pilot licensing, cabin crew and planning and provision of spare parts. The Lufthansa A320 family currently consists of around 150 A319, A320 and A321 aircraft and also includes four aircraft of the latest generation – the A320neo.
On February 19, 1965, Lufthansa was the world’s first purchaser of 22 Boeing 737-100s. Almost three years later, on February 4, 1968, Lufthansa landed the first Boeing 737 in Hamburg. Within a short time, the Boeing 737 became the normal size for short-haul aircraft. Besides the Boeing 737-200 in various passenger and freight versions, the first Boeing 737-300 was delivered to Lufthansa in 1986, which offered a high level of comfort, efficient fuel consumption and low noise levels compared to other aircraft of the period.
In May 1988, the first co-pilots were trained to fly the Boeing 737, which was also the first aircraft to witness to the reunification of the two Germanys as it was the first aircraft to land in the former GDR at Leipzig Airport. A little later on October 2, 1990, the first Lufthansa flight with the Boeing 737 “Sindelfingen” took off to West Berlin. In the summer of 2016, the Boeing 737 was given one last great honor when the Boeing 737 with registration D-ABEK was given the colors of the “Fanhansa” and flew to France with German national football team on board.
Top Copyright Photo and Below: Gunter Mayer. Sunset of an era. D-ABEF sits at Gate 12 at Albrecht Dürer Airport Nuremberg at sunset in preparation for the farewall flight.
Below Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Boeing 737-330 D-ABEF (msn 25217) ZRH (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 934454.
Below Copyright Photo: Lufthansa was the launch customer for the Boeing 737 as Boeing came close to not launching the now very successful model. Lufthansa took delivery of its first 737-130 (D-ABEB, msn 19014) on December 27, 1967 in these updated colors. Named “Marburg”, the pictured 737-130 D-ABEV (msn 19032) also carries “City Jet 737” sub-titles. The 737-130 fleet would later be sold to Peoplexpress. Lufthansa Boeing 737-130 D-ABEV (msn 19032) (Christian Volpati). Image: 904027.
Below Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Boeing 737-230 D-ABHN (msn 22139) ZRH (Rob Rindt Collection). Image: 934204.