The final Boeing 737NG has been delivered overnight. Registered PH-BCL, the -800 variant is destined for Dutch airline KLM.
According to Flightradar24 the flight was supposed to make a stop in Glasgow. Although it looks like the aircraft flew direct from the Boeing production site in Seattle to Amsterdam Schiphol.
PH-BCL will be the 52nd Boeing 737NG to join the KLM fleet. Whilst the type forms the backbone of the airlines shorthaul fleet, 17 of the type have left over the past few years. Most have gone to KLM’s low cost subsidiary Transavia. Although a single aircraft has joined the LuxAir fleet. Previously, KLM operated the 737 classic for their short haul operations. The last of that type left in 2011.
The first 737NG joined the KLM fleet in February 1999. Until recently, this particular aircraft wore a retro livery. It has since been repainted into the standard KLM livery.
Whilst most other airlines have announce their fleet replacement plans, KLM have remained somewhat tight lipped as to which type will replace their 737NG aircraft. Seeing the airlines history with the Boeing 737, it would be a safe bet that the airline could place an order for the 737MAX once the troubles with the type are over.
The 737NG project was launched in 1993. The first flight of the type was in February 1997, with the first delivery of the type to Southwest in December of the same year. Therefore, the first example delivered to KLM is one of the initial builds.
With the announcement by Boeing earlier this week that they would be temporarily suspending production of the troubled 737MAX series, from January there won’t be any passenger 737’s in production. This will be the first time since the mid 1960’s that this has occurred.