British Airways (London) is nearing the end of an aircraft era – the last operational single-aisle Boeing 737. BA is now down to just three active 149-seat Boeing 737-436s (G-DOCO, G-DOCW and G-DOCX), all based at London’s Gatwick Airport. The older Boeing 737-400s are being replaced by newer Airbus A320 Family aircraft.
The older Boeing 737-400s have been gradually retired to the desert at Victorville, CA (VCV) and other locations and other operators.
Boeing 737-436 G-DOCO is now planned to be ferried to VCV on September 2.
The last two remaining 737-436s will close out a long line of BA Boeing 737 operations on September 30. Currently the last scheduled revenue flight of a BA 737 is between Turin (TRN) and London (Gatwick) (LGW) on September 30 with either of these two aircraft (G-DOCW or the pictured G-DOCX above). Of course, as with any aircraft type retirement, the last flight is always subject to operational needs as a possible replacement aircraft.
Above Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. The original BA Boeing 737 type, the new Boeing 737-200s were delivered in the pictured 1973 livery which featured a lower case “airways” for titles.
BA has been a long-time Boeing 737 operator. In July 1978, BA placed an order for 19 new Boeing 737-200s (above) to start the Trident replacement process. The new type entered revenue service in February 1980. The carrier gained experience with the type with leased-in 737-200s from Transavia Airlines starting in November 1977.
Above Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Later an experimental silver top version of the updated 1980 livery (with just “British” titles) was tried. Boeing 737-236 G-BKYA (msn 23159) arrives at the London (Heathrow) base when it was the main short-range BA airliner.
The company operated the venerable 737-200 (below) until 2001.
Below Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-236 G-BKYJ (msn 23168) taxies at Zurich in the 1984 Landor color scheme.
Above Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-34S G-OGBC (msn 29109) in the “Flowers from Mazowsze” Utopia tail design was actually operated by franchise carrier GB Airways in British colors.
The newer and larger 737-300s were operated from 1988 to 2009 (above) and the 737-500 (below) from 1996 through 2009.
Above Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-5H6 G-GFFJ (msn 27355) of British Airways departs from Lasham.
The larger Boeing 737-400s were introduced into the fleet in October 1991 with the delivery of three 141-seat 737-436s. The stretched 737 has served the carrier well over the years. A total of 37 Boeing 737-400s have been operated and the fleet has been gradually reduced as newer Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been introduced.
The Boeing 737-400 fleet was initially based at London’s Heathrow where the type replaced earlier Boeing 737-200s. When the new Airbus A319s and A320s arrived, the older Boeing 737-400s were moved to London’s Gatwick Airport. LGW has became the last stronghold of a BA 737.
Unfortunately for this historical Boeing 737 Classic tradition, BA decided not to order the Next-Generation advanced 737 models and instead elected to go with Airbus as replacements.
The Boeing 737 is sunsetting at British Airways. It served BA very well over the years. Farewell.
Top Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-436 G-DOCX (msn 25857) arrives back at the LGW base with the red nose in support of Red Nose Day.
Air Horizont (Zaragoza) is a new airline in Spain. The new carrier is planning to now launch scheduled passengers flights to Rome starting on July 2 (delayed from May 14) pending the acquisition of its AOC according to Preferente.com. The airline is also planning to fly to Alicante, Seville and Munich from Zaragoza.
The company was founded by pilots Manuel Sahli and Juan Luis Díez.
Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten/AirlinersGallery.com. The first aircraft, the pictured Boeing 737-436 9H-ZAZ (msn 25349), arrives in Berlin (Schoenefeld).
Cronos Airlines (Malabo, Equatorial Guinea) plans to introduce later this month its first Boeing 737, operated by the Spanish ACMI specialist Calima de Aviación. Boeing 737-436 EC-LTC (msn 25439) is pictured departing from Palma de Mallorca with the new titles.
The airline, which started operations in 2010, currently operates two daily flights between Malabo and Bata in Equatorial Guinea, three weekly flights between Malabo and Douala and three weekly flights between Malabo and Cotonou as well as charter flights. It operates BAe 146s.
The carrier will soon open new regional routes to Port Harcourt and Abidjan.
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) yesterday (February 23) retired its last Boeing 737-400. According to the QANTAS Source, Boeing 737-476 VH-TJS (msn 24444) operated flight QF 819 from Canberra to Melbourne. VH-TJS was originally delivered to Australian Airlines (1st) on May 4, 1993.
In other news, the group is expected to post a large loss for the first half of its fiscal year this week. Media speculation in the Australia press reports the company could cut upwards of 5,000 jobs according to Herald Sun.
Read the full report from The Australian: CLICK HERE
QANTAS issued this short statement:
There is fresh speculation about what things we will or won’t announce on Thursday as part of our half year results. We are not in a position to comment on that speculation.
We have said that we will be making some tough decisions in order to achieve $2 billion in cost savings over the next three years, which is a consequence of an unprecedented set of market conditions now facing QANTAS.
We’ve also said that we must take steps to reduce our costs regardless of whether the Federal Government acts on the uneven playing field in the Australian aviation market.
Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 737-436 VH-TJE (msn 24430) arrives at Sydney.
Czech's Boeing 737-436 OK-WGY (msn 25839) is seen in a Prague hangar before the lease. Copyright Photo: Czech Airlines via Marco Finelli.
Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) starting today (December 1) has wet leased its Boeing 737-436 OK-WGY (msn 25839) to DanubeWings (DanubeWings.com) (Bratislava). DanubeWings today launched jet service with OK-WGY from Poprad-Tatry to London (Luton), Dublin and Manchester.