09 April 2017

Boeing 737 Celebrates 50 Years

Fifty years ago today, the first Boeing 737-130, N73700 (c/n 19437, l/n 1), made its maiden flight from BFI. That launched Boeing's most successful airliner, with over 9,400 models built, many of which are still in service. From the -100 to the -900ER (except for the -600), HNL has seen every variant of the 737 pass through. The new MAX variants to start delivering later this year, beginning with the Lion Group.

In Hawai‘i, Aloha Airlines was the first airline to fly the 737 in March 1969. Up until its closure in March 2008, the airline operated the -100, -200, -300, -400, -700, and -800 variants during the 39 years it flew the "Baby Boeing".

Currently, Aloha Air Cargo flies the -300SF, and TransAir flies the -200F out of HNL, for inter-island cargo runs.

From North America, Hawai‘i's airports have 737 flights by: Alaska Airlines (-800s & -900ERs), Delta Air Lines (-900ERs), United Airlines (-800s & -900ERs), and WestJet Airlines (-700s & -800s). Miami Air International and Sun Country Airlines have -800 charter flights to HNL for government and sports clients.

Before its closure in 2008, ATA Airlines had 737-800 flights between the West Coast and HNL.

The US Air Force has a C-40B (737-7DM BBJ), 01-0015 (c/n 32916, l/n 979), based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam for the Pacific Command's top officer. Marine Corps Air Field Kāne‘ohe Bay will see P-8A squadron detachments based there from time to time. Foreign military 737s have stopped through HNL and HIK, with the RAAF's BBJ, E-7 Wedgetail, and P-8As, the Indian Navy's P-8I, and the Royal Thai Air Force's BBJ2.

Fiji Airways also flies their -700s and -800s to HNL.

Every so often, a BBJ can be seen parked at one of the FBOs on the South Ramp.

From it's beginnings, 737s bound for Oceania and Asia have used Hawai‘i airports (mostly HNL) as their first stopping point on their delivery flights, as they island hop across the Pacific to reach their new homes. Most recently, was Shandong Airlines' B-7808.

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