Where did the Air France Boeing 737s arrive?
When it comes to short-haul planes, many airlines favor planes from the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families. This has led the pair to experience huge success, each selling around 10,000 to date. Today, Air France favors the A320 family, but it has also previously operated several variants of the 737. Let’s see where they ended up.
According to data from ch-aviation.com, the Boeing 737 family was first integrated into Air France operations in the early 1980s. More precisely, in 1983, the first seven of a possible total of 13 examples of the 737-200 joined the fleet of French national carrier.
The 737-200 was the second of the two models in the “737 Original” range and was longer than the 737-100. It entered service with United Airlines in 1968. The remaining Air France 737-200s arrived in 1986, 1987 and 1998 (two per year), by ch-aviation.
Air France received all of these new aircraft, with the exception of the 1998 arrivals, the original customer of which was the German leisure carrier Hapag-Lloyd Flug. The 737-200s left Air France in 2000 and 2001, several joining Austral, then Aerolíneas Argentinas. Other destinations for them included Air Comet, Ryan International Airlines and Sky King.
Air France’s smaller 737 variant was the -300 model, of the 737 Classic series. Boeing first delivered this model to USAir in November 1984, and Boeing produced more than 1,110 between that date and 1999. Air France flew nine between 1991 and 2004. Four of these planes joined the carrier. French flag in 1991, according to ch-aviation.
Interestingly, only one was new, the others having been delivered to Aéromaritime International and British Midland. The other aircraft arrived in 1992 (two) and 1998 (three). Regarding the departure of these Air France planes, the first departure took place in 2001. Another couple left the following year, one more in 2003.
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In 2004, the last five 737-300s left Air France nine months apart. As for where they ended up afterwards, a wide variety of carriers have boarded these planes. They included Air China, Conviasa, Garuda Indonesia and Ukraine International Airlines.
Data from ch-aviation shows that the 737-500, the smallest model in the 737 Classic lineup, was comfortably Air France’s most numerous 737. 27 examples of this aircraft embellished the Air France fleet, the first four of which joined in 1991. Deliveries continued regularly throughout the 1990s, even spreading in the 2000s. The last pair arrived in 2001.
Just two years after the arrival of the last Air France 737-500s, the first departures began. In 2003, four aircraft left the fleet, all of which had initially joined the fleet in 1998. Five more arrivals from 1993 and 1999 left in 2004, with the same number leaving the following year. Six 737-500s left Air France in 2006, the last seven retiring a year later.
As to who these planes flew for after leaving Air France, ch-aviation once again lists a wide range of carriers located around the world. These include Aerolíneas Argentinas, Air Namibia, Aviaprad, Czech Airlines, Donavia, FlyLAL and Yamal Airlines.
Have you ever flown on one of Air France’s Boeing 737s? If so, which variant (s) and where did it / they take you? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!