Lufthansa Retires the 737 After 48 Years of Service

The 737 is a pretty important workhorse for short-haul flights, and has been immensely popular for decades. Boeing is still producing the 737, and is actually pushing for it to be a 757 replacement; some airlines are even operating the 737 for transatlantic flights!

But just yesterday, Lufthansa said goodbye to the B737, after 48 years of service in their fleet. Lufthansa was the first buyer of the 737-100 back in 1965, and operated 148 Boeing 737s across almost all generations in its history.

Lufthansa Boeing 737 in Seattle, circa 1967.  Source: Boeing / Lufthansa

Lufthansa Boeing 737-100 in Seattle, circa 1967. Source: Boeing / Lufthansa

The 737 witnessed some key moments in the history of Germany as well, particularly in the reunification of Germany. In May 1988, the B737 was the first airplane to land in the former East Germany (GDR), at Leipzig airport.

Lufthansa had six remaining Boeing 737 in their fleet, which all flew their final commercial flights on October 29. These aircrafts will soon fly to Florida, where they will be resold. But to commemorate the aircraft’s retirement, Lufthansa flew a special “farewell flight,” LH 9922, from Frankfurt to Hamburg yesterday.

The Lufthansa 737 retirement flight. Oliver Roesler Oro/Lufthansa

The Lufthansa B737 retirement flight. Oliver Roesler Oro/Lufthansa

Harry Hohmeister, Head of Hub Management for Lufthansa, says in a press release:

Lufthansa has always taken innovative approaches to cater the customers’ needs and to take advantage of market opportunities, which is why we played a key role in the B737’s creation and development. We will continue to pursue this innovative approach with the latest generation of aircraft.

Nowadays, Lufthansa largely uses the Airbus 320 for their short-haul operations. They have about 150 A319, A320 and A321 aircrafts in their fleet, including the new A320neo.

The Lufthansa 737 retirement flight. Oliver Roesler Oro/Lufthansa

The Lufthansa B737 retirement flight. Oliver Roesler Oro/Lufthansa

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