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End of an Era: Lufthansa Bids Farewell to its Last Boeing 737

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End of an Era: Lufthansa Bids Farewell to its Last Boeing 737

End of an Era: Lufthansa Bids Farewell to its Last Boeing 737
October 31
08:56 2016

MIAMI — Lufthansa is set to retire its last 737-300 in service today, October 31 after 48 years of Boeing 737 service and over half a century after it initially placed the launch order for the jetliner.

The aircraft (D-ABEC • MSN 25149 • LN 2081) is scheduled to return to Frankfurt, following a ceremonial final flight from Hamburg as flight LH9924. The election of this aircraft was not coincidental, as D-ABEC is also the registration of the first 737-100 delivered to Lufthansa in December 1967.

The flight crew was commanded by Captain Ulrich Pade, Head of Lufthansa Boeing 737 fleet. (Credits: Lufthansa)

The flight crew was commanded by Captain Ulrich Pade, Head of Lufthansa Boeing 737 fleet. (Credits: Lufthansa)

The last Lufthansa Boeing 737 scheduled revenue passenger service took place on October 29, with flight LH153 from Nurnberg to Frankfurt. The aircraft (D-ABEF • MSN 25217 • LN 2094) landed at Frankfurt Airport with 131 passengers at 18:53 local time.

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. (Credits: Lufthansa)

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. (Credits: Lufthansa)

Before the final flight, three other 737-300s arrived to Frankfurt from Stuttgart, Geneva and Leipzig/Halle.

50+ Years of Legacy


Lufthansa became the launch customer for the Boeing 737-100 on February 19, 1965. The first of 22 aircraft ordered (D-ABEC • MSN 19015 • LN 4) was delivered on December 27, 1967. With just 30 737-100s built, Lufthansa was the major operator of this 737 variant until its final retirement in 1982.

 D-ABEC was the first 737-100 delivered to Lufthansa in November 1967. (Credits: Chris Sloan)

D-ABEC was the first 737-100 delivered to Lufthansa in November 1967. (Credits: Chris Sloan)

The Boeing 737 became the workhorse of the short-haul route. Popular with passengers, the jetliner was immediately accepted as a member of the family by crews who nicknamed it “Bobby.”

During its 50+ year career with the German airline, the 737 had an impeccable safety track record. In total, Lufthansa operated 155 737s, including the 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -300QC (Quick Change), -400 and -500.

Although the 737 is now officially gone from Lufthansa’s fleet, progressively replaced by the Airbus A320neo, the maintenance division of the group, Lufhansa Technik has two Boeing 737-500s, which serve as trainers for the coming generations of technical staff.

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A Global Review of Commercial Flight since 1994: the leading Commercial Aviation publication in North America and 35 nations worldwide. Based in Miami, Florida.

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