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Boeing 737

Boeing 737
Other titles in the Crowood Aviation Series

Aichi D3AI/2 Val Peter C. Smith

Airco - The ircraft Manufacturing Company Mick Davis
Avro Lancaster Ken Delve
BAC One-Eleven Malcolm L. Hill
Bell P-39 Airacobra Robert F Dorr with Jerry c. cutts
Boeing 747 Martin W. Bowman
Boeing 757 and 767 Thomas Becher
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Consolidated B-24 Liberator
Martin W. Bowman
Martin W. Bowman
Malcoltn L. Hill
De Havilland Mosquito Martin W. Bowman
Douglas AD kyraider Peter C. mith
English Electric Canberra Barry Jones
English Electric Lightning Martin W. Bowman
F<1irchild Republic A-IO Thunderbolt II Peter C. Smith
Fokker Aircraft of World War One Paul Leaman
Hawker Hunter Barry Jones
Hawker Hurricane Peter Jacobs
Junkers Ju 7 tub Peter C. mith
Junkers Ju 88 Ron Mackay
Lockheed C-130 Hercules Martin W. Bowman
Lockheed F-l 04 Starfighter Martin W. Bowman
Luftwaffe - A Pictorial History Eric Mombeek
McDonnell Dougla A-4 kyhawk Brad Elward
McDonnell Douglas F-I 5 Eagle Peter E. Davies and Tony Thornborough
Messerschmitt Bf 110 Ron Mackay
Messerschmitt Me 262 David Baker
Nieuport Aircraft of World War One Ray Sanger
ight Airwar Theo Boiten
orth American B-25 Mitchell Jerry cutts
orth American F- 6 abre Duncan Curtis
orth merican T-6 Peter C. Smith
Panavia Tornado Andy Evans
Short Sunderland Ken Delve
V-Bombers Barry Jones
Vickers VC J 0 Lance Cole

The Crowood Press
FirM pubh,heJ In 2002 by
The CrowooJ Press LtJ
Ram,bury, Marlborough
Wilt,hire 82HR

© Malcolm L. I Ii II 2002
Acknowledgements 6
All right, re,erveJ. 0 part of thi, publicalllll1 may be
reproJuceJ or trammitteJ in any form or by any
Illean~, electronic or mechanical, including 1 TO MESSRS BOEING, A BOUNCING BABY 7
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retrieval ~y~tcm, without permission in writing (rom
the publi,her,.

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data 3 NEW CUSTOMERS, NEW APPLICATIONS 37

A catalogue rccorJ for this book is available from the
Brit;,h Library. 51
ISBN I 61264046







Appendix I Early 737s - Comparisons with their Contemporaries 184

Appendix II The 737,100-900 188
Index 191

Typefaces useJ: GouJy (text),

Cheltenham (headings).

Typeset anJ JesigneJ by

D& Publishing
BayJon, Marlborough, Wiltshire.

PrinteJ anJ bounJ in Grear Britain by Bookcraft, MiJsomcr Orton.


AcknowledgelDents To Messrs Boeing, a Bouncing Baby

Grateful thanks are extended to all the fol- Gradidge, Joe Grant, Ivar Hakonsen, Chris Shop, Boeing Business Systems, Braathens, The Soviet Union had later developed Tu-134 had followed the design philoso-
lowing persons and organizations, whose
Overseas Pioneers
Harrison, Richard Howell, Tim Kincaid, Deutsche BA, Lufthansa and Military Air- the Tu-l04 into a smaller version, more phy of the Caravelle, One-Eleven and
co-operation, time and invaluable funds of Jeff Luysterborghs, William F. Mellberg, craft Photographs. By the early 1960s it was certainly unusual suited to short-haul networks. The result- DC-9 by adopting the increasingly popular
information and memories made this book Larry Pettit, Brian Pickering, Jon Proctor, for the Boeing Airplane Company not to be ing Tupolev Tu-l24 had been in service rear engine, Ttail configuration.
possible: Dennis Regan, Mel Roberts, Frankie Scott, Whilst every effort has been made to iden- the trend-setter in producing a new com- since 1962 with its much redesigned suc- Of course, the launch of the 737 was
Becky and Buddy Scott- Ward, Robert Walz tify the source of illustrations used in this mercial aircraft type. However, the Wash- cessor, the Tu-134 first flying in 1963. The no overnight whim thought up by the
Thomas Becher, Steve Bunting, Ron and Tony Ward; and also to Aeroflot Russ- publication, this has not been possible in all ington State-based company was definitely
Carter, Sibylle Dietrich, Martyn East, ian Airlines, Air France, American Air- cases. All persons claiming accreditation a latecomer when it came to offering a new
Phillip Eastwood, Thierry Gatouillat,Jenny lines C.R. Smith Museum, Aviation Hobby should contact the author via the publisher. product on the short-haul twin-jet airliner
marker. By the time their new model 737
was made available to the world's commer-
cial operators, there were no fewer than six
alternatives either already in service or in
advanced stages of development, on offer to
the world's airlines.
Boeing's official announcement launch-
ing their 737 project into production came
on 22 February 1965. This was only three
days before the first flight of their arch
rival, Douglas Aircraft's DC-9, and only
six weeks before the British contender, the
BAC One-Eleven, actually entered sched-
uled airline service. The very first twin-jet
airliner design, also Russia's first jet airlin-
er, the Tupolev Tu-l04, although intended
more for medium/long-haul services than
short-haul work had been on the scene
since 1956. The first twin-jet designed (Above) Soon casting off its 'late- (Below) The first twin-jet airliner actually hailed from the Soviet
specifically for short-haul routes, France's comer' image, the Boeing 737 went on Union. The Tupolev Tu-l04 was designed for medium/long-range
Sud-Est Caravelle had been in worldwide to populate most of the world's service, although it was also operated on shorter inter-city
service since April 1959. busiest airports. Tim Kincaid Collection services on busier routes in the USSR and Eastern Europe. Via author

American Airlines ordered a large fleet of modern 737-800s to replace older, less economic, narrow-body
aircraft on their short- and medium-haul network. American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum

6 7

company merely to keep up with airliner incorporated his aviation interests into the designed DH-4 'Lib 'tty Planes' that helped was formed, called United Air Line, to co-
design fashion trend. Boeing had been new Pacific Aero Products Company. the ompany survive the I '<mcr tlmcs. ordinate their operation, although each car-
studying their short-haul jet airliner The even more improved Model 3 soon By the mid-1920s, howcvcr, BOCIng was rier retained its identity for the time being.
options for several years and were only pre- appeared, with a landplane ver ion, the gaining produ tion ordcrs (or its own ncw A major improvement in comfort for
pared to offer a definitive design once they Model 4, of which only two were supplied designs again, as a series of fighter and passengers on Boeing's scheduled service
felt that they had got it right. ince the to the Army a primary trainers. The atta k aircraft were suppl ied to the U from Chicago to California arrived with the
entry into service of Boeing's first jet air- S Navy eventually pia ed an order for military. More civil projects were making introduction of a new airl iner design, the
liner design, the medium/long-range Boe- fifty Model 5s, as the company changed its an appearance too, with the Boeing Model Boeing Model 0, and slightly larger Model
ing 707 in 195 , the company had been name to the Boeing Airplane Company. 40A, designed to arry two pas engers as OA, in 1929. The 12 to I -pa senger bi-
working toward offering a 'family' of The avy order was to be the first sizable well as 1,200lbs (544kg) of mail beginning planes were pOSitively spacious compared to
de igns. Each different member of the contract to the US military, which was to operations over the San Francisco-Chicago the claustrophobic Model 40A and saw the
'family' was to be able to serve the airline's remain Boeing's primary customer for route in 1927. introduction of a new crew member, the
needs in different operational markets, but many years. Stewardess. A number of American carriers
with enough of a degree of commonality in had already employed male stewards or
design so as to reduce production costs to New Owners, New Direction 'Couriers' on larger aircraft and European
the maker and significantly decrease oper- Postwar Slump airlines had used stewards to serve their pas-
ating costs to the customer. Boeing had set u[1 its own airline, Boeing sengers for many years, but Boeing Air
Throughout the immediate post-First Air Transport, to operate the route, and Transport was the first carri r in the world
World War years Boeing enjoyed mixed for- acquired another West Coast-based carrier, to employ female flight attendants.
In the Beginning tunes. There were simply too many surplus Pacific Air Transport, to expand their oper- While Boeing Air Transport and its
aircraft around for the military to be inter- ation. Boeing itself was purchased shortly United Air Lines partners were introduc-
Boeing had actually not been a major sup- ested in sponsoring expensive new projects. afterwards and became part of the new ing modern styles of air travel to their pas-
plier of civil airliners until the advent of The small number of non-military sales did United Aircraft and Transport Corpora- sengers, the Boeing Airplane Company
the 707 in the 1950s. Military orders had little to dispel the gloom as the valuable mil- tion that had its headquarters at Hartford, wa increasing it portfolio with a number
been the backbone of Boeing's production itary market had vanished overnight with Connecticut. As well as Boeing and its air- of successful military designs.
lines for many years, with the few civilian the arrival of the armistice. The first two line subsidiaries, United soon also con-
designs produced usually being 'spin-offs' B&W aircraft were sold to the New Zealand trolled the Chance Vought Corporation,
from US military contracts. Initially, even government for postal work, Boeing's first Pratt & Whitney, the aero engine manu-
the Boeing 707 was just such a 'spin-off' international sales and a small number of B- facturer, and the Hamilton Aero Manufac-
from a design study to develop an in-flight Is, a flying boat design, were also sold for use turing Company that made propellers.
refuelling tanker for high-speed jet fighters by airmail contractor. The airline side also expanded, with pio-
and bombers that had emerged as the KC- At one point th company was obliged to neer carriers tout Airlines, National Air
135. The suitability of the new type for start building furniture in order to keep its Transport and Varney Airlines all being
redesign as a jet airliner was recognized skilled woodworking force together. Con- taken into the UATC family. The large
very early in the design process and the tracts were also gained from the US military combined airline network became so un-
company made the historical decision that for conversion and modification of British- wieldy that a new management company
changed it commercial direction.
The Boeing Airplane Company had
be n founded by William E. Boeing, a suc-
cessful Seattle businessman involved in the
local timber industry, and a friend, Cdr G.
Conrad Westervelt of the US Navy. Both
had been fa cinated by the new flying craze
and had founded the Aero Club of Seattle
in 1915. The club's first aircraft, a Glenn L.
Martin Seaplane, was damaged in an acci-
dent and Boeing and Westervelt elected to
build an improved ver ion of the aircraft,
rather than simply replace it from the orig-
inal source. Thus, in June 1916, William
Boeing piloted the new aircraft, the B&W
Modell, a single-engined, twin-pontoon
biplane from Lake Union, near eattle.
(Top) By the late 1920s, the Boeing factory was once
Westervelt was posted to the East Coast The Arrival of the the B-9, had provided a great deal of use-
again busy with aircraft under construction, rather
and Boeing continued to develop the ful data and solutions to problems that
Modern Airliner were arising with the design of larger air-
than producing furniture as a 'stop-gap'. Boeing
design with an increasing team of engineers
and designers that he was able to attract. The sleeker lines of Boeing' new high- craft. Although the B-9 failed to attract (Abovel The Boeing Model 40B gave sterling service
A second design, the improved model 2, speed military types were oon being an order thi new technology was chan- to the company's airline subsidiary. NC178E is seen
the first real all-Boeing project, took to the The Boeing B&W Modell, the company's first aircraft, being manhandled at the applied to commercial designs. Research nelled into a new civil airliner type, the wearing joint Boeing/Pacific Air Transport and
air in 1917, by which time Boeing had original waterside factory. Boeing and development of one military design, Boeing 247 United Air lines titles. Boeing

8 9

among others, inviting tenders to produce vitally needed work. With its wing,
All Change for the Air Mail Act
a trimotor, all-metal monoplane. Douglas engines and undercarriage taken from the
As well as eHectively having shot itself in the foot by came up with the 12-passenger, twin-engine B-17 bomber, the Model 3 7, tratol iner,
forcing the non-UATC airlines to look elsewhere for design, the DC-I. Thi was enlarged to a 14- was unique in its day for having a large
new equipment, United Aircraft was thrown into tur- passenger capacity in its production version, pI' ssuri:ed fuselage. Able to operate at
moil by the 1934 Air Mail Act. the DC-2. As well a having a much more high altitude, above the worst weather, it
Introduced to put an end to growing monopolies
spacious cal in, the DC-2 was actually faster promised unprecedented smooth flights
within the transport industries. a Senate Special
Committee investigated both ocean steamship and than the 247, wiping out all the 247' initial for its passengers. Another Boeing bomber
airline mail contracts, following questions being advantages overnight. TWA placed the new project also provided the wing design for
raised on the subject of subsidy and the fairness of aircraft into scheduled service in August another ivil type, the giant 314 flying
certain contract awards. This led to the disclosure of 1934 and both and foreign carriers were boat that saw Boeing returning briefly to
some dubious practices and decisions in the way a soon beating a path to Douglas' door to its marine roots.
number of airmail contracts had been awarded by the place orders for the type. The tratoliner saw only limited airline
Postmaster General, Walter Brown. When the DC-2 was enlarged again into service, with a handful being operated by
All airmail contracts were cancelled with eHect from the21-passengerD -3,in 1936,anyhopes TWA, on domestic routes, and Pan mer-
9February 1934. Another consequence of the Act was ican on services to the Caribbean and
Boeing had for the continued production
to forbid the close tie-up of aircraft manufacturers and
of the 247 van ished. The DC-3 went on to South America. The millionaire flyer,
airlines. As a result. Boeing became a separate com-
pany again. William Boeing actually resigned over the become one of the most successful airliner Howard Hughes also acquired a Stratolin-
issue from the company he had founded, accusing the designs of all ti me, wi th many examples fly- er as his personal 'Flying Penthouse'. The
. ing on into the twenty-first century, over giant 314 flying boat saw long-range pas-
--- Roosevelt administration of unfairness.
Although innocent parties suHered as much as the sixty years after the type entered service. senger service with Pan Ameri an, on both
guilty, the airlines soon emerged from the legislative Even United had to admit the Douglas air- Pacific and Atlantic scheduled flights. A
(Above) The Boeing 247 finally brought modern lines
gunsmoke relatively unscathed. The airmail service craft's superiority. From 1936, the airline small number were aLo diverted, hefore
to airliner design in 1933. The first aircraft, X-13301,
was initially handed over to the military, but chaos began to replace the 247's on major routes their intenJed delivery to Pan American,
was a production model. There was no designated
ensued. Following a number of accidents and a gen- with their own fleet of DC- 3s. to serve Great Britain's BOAC on wartime
prototype and this aircraft was later delivered to
eral public outcry, the airlines were invited to tender transport services.
the Boeing division of United Air lines. Boeing
for the contracts again. Certain airlines and their man-
Although they failed to sell to airlines
agements were forbidden, by their past mvolvement
The Douglas DC-1 was designed atthe instigation
Bigger Boeings in \'ery large numhers, mainly due to the
in Irregular practices, from applying, and a flurry of
of TWA and soon overtook the Boeing 247 in its intervention of the econd World War,
name-changing and corporate manoeuvres followed.
developed production version, the DC-2. Via author truggling to remain in the airliner busi- the 307 and 314 models kept Boeing in the
UATC had already combined its four major airlines
subsidiaries, Boemg Air Transport, Pacific All' Trans- ness after the debacle of the 247 sale:, Boe- forefront of airliner design. Once the war
port, National Air Transport and Varney AirLines, mto ing looked to bigger, even more revolu- was over, Boeing continued to he preoccu-
one unit in May 1934, now oHicially named United Air tionary designs. A serie, of military aircraft pied with military contracts, fuelled hy the
The nited Air Lines group had been Lines. Anew company, TWA Inc, applied for Transcon- had been more successful than the civil Korean conflict and ongoing 'Cold War'
struggling against competition from Tram- tmental & Western Air's old contracts, and promptly projects and provided the company with with Communist Europe.
continental & Western Air and American 'took over' the old company assets once the contracts
were awarded, swiftly reinstating the original name.
Airways, both flying more modern Ford
Similarly, American Airways became American Air-
Trimotors or Fokker models that out-
lines, Eastern Air Transport became Eastern Air Lines,
classed the Boeing 80s. Although United's and so on. Boeing's 307 Stratoliner pioneered the use of a pressurized cabin in passenger service. TWA introduced
airline partners were trying their best to their fleet on transcontinental scheduled flights in July 1940. Via author
compete, they were soon looking to their
Boeing partner to provide a new type to
push them ahead of their rivals. United decided, albeit reluctantly, that large order, for sixty aircraft, was placed, to
Although United had wanted an aircraft they were wi II ing to overlook the lower be delivered to its airline divisions. It was
as large as the 18-passenger Boeing 80s, the capacity, in view of the new type's speed assumed that the exclusive use of the 247
Boeing 247 emerged with capacity for only advantage. At over 70mph faster than its by UAT 's airlines would give them an
ten pas engel's. Boeing's allegiance to their nearest rival, the 247 was a definite trend- unprecedented advantage on America',
n ited Aircraft and Transport partners setter, the first transport to sport a low- airways. Itwas na'ive in the extreme for
meant that it wa unable to consider the wing monoplane and twin-engined con- UATC to think that the other airlines were
Wright I l 20 engine, then under develop- figuration. The type first flew in 1932, going to take this lying down and the rival
ment, that would have been suitable for a with the first delivery to UATC's airlines carrier soon a~ proached Boeing to place
larger aircraft. Boeing was obliged to go to being made on 30 March 1933. their own orders. However, the United
Pratt & Whitney for an engine to power contract totally monopoli:ed the produc-
their aircraft, but they only had their well- tion capacity for nearly a year. Rather than
tried, but less powelful, Wasp to hancl. The 247's Nemesis have to wait until the initial order for sixty
Another factor in deciding to develop the was delivered, the disappointed airlines
smaller design option was the rather volu- The decision to produce the smaller capac- approached other aircraft manufacturers to
ble opinion of United's pilots. They were of ity aircraft was to turn out to be only one produce an alternative aircraft.
the view that a larger aircraft would be mistake made by nited ircraft and Transcontinental & Western Air con-
unstable and difficult to control. Transport in selecting its new·-airliner. A tacted the Douglas A ircraft Company,

70 77

Agigantic aircraft for its day, the Boeing 314 flying boat operated luxurious pre-war transoceanic air services over both the (Above) The De Havilland Comet 1 series blazed a trail for jet airline travel in the (Below) Contemporary with the flawed early Comets, the Vickers
Atlantic and Pacific. Via author early 1950s. Unfortunately their demise, due to unforeseen metal fatigue, was swift Viscount was a much more successful venture. Aer Lingus was an
and only three airlines and the Royal Canadian Air Force took delivery from a once early customer, eventually operating the type for over fifteen years.
impressive order book. Via author Jenny Gradidge

Postwar Airliner Although the first commercially operated to light. Only an extensive investigation,
Developments jets were usually obI iged to make a number on a scale not previously seen in civil avi-
of refuelling stops, they were assigned to ation, finally identified the metallurgical
Until the arrival of the 707, Boeing's sole long-distance flights, still managing to cut problem that had lain hidden until the
contribution to the postwar airliner market piston engine-powered, propeller airliner accidents brought it to the industry's atten-
to reach the production stage was the model schedules in half. tion. Although the turbo-props were still
377 Stratocruiser. This itselfhad been a civil successfully making their mark around the
version of the C-97/KC-97 military trans- world, the pure-jet airliner was temporarily
port and in-flight refueller, derived from the The Turbo-Prop Era grounded.
B29 bomber design. Despite large numbers Soon, larger versions of the Viscount, as
of C-97s and KC-ns being ordered by the The future for shorter-ranging flights, in well as much larger turbo-prop aircraft,
U military, civilian versions had only particular those involving any degree of such as the Vickers Vanguard and Lock-
enjoyed limited success with the airlines. 'mass travel', was perceived to lie in the heed Electra, were on the horizon and it
Although its luxurious, spacious cabin and direction of turbo-prop, or prop-jet, power. was surmised that the turbo-prop would
legendary lower-deck cocktai I bar were In the turbo-prop the jet engine's thrust is rule over the shorter ranges, leaving the
immensely popular with passengers, it was a diverted to driving a propeller, instead of jets to concentrate on longer fl ights. Long-
horrendously expensive aircraft to operate directly powering the aircraft through the range, large-capacity turbo-props, such as
and maintain on a commercial basis. air. This is much more economical in terms the Bristol Britannia, were also on the
When jet-powered airliners first came of fuel consumption, although giving near- drawing board to operate economical ser-
on to the scene it was all about reducing ly the same speed advantages of pure-jet vices on far-flung flights, the plan then
flying times over long-ranging flights. Only power. The Vickers Viscount, contempo- being to leave the expensive pure-jets to Air France and UAT, had been well beyond France's Sud-Aviation was putting the fin- Short-Haul Jet Revolution
five years before putting the world's first rary with the omet 1, introduced turbo- first-class travellers willing to pay a premi- expectations. Tourist-Class travel was intro- ishing touches to their short-haul jet airlin-
jetliner, the De Havilland Comet 1, into prop travel to a very enthusiastic travelling um fare. This rather cosy plan of action, duced on a handful of the busier routes in er design, the E-210 Caravelle. From the When the elegantly designed, rear-engined
revenue service, advertising for the British public in the early 1950s. however, was soon turned on its head. the earl1950s and its success surprised even start, the Caravel Ie, and the jetliners that Caravelle started European service in
Overseas Airways Corporation 'boasted' of Sadly, the Comet turned out to suffer If the Comet had achieved one thing, it the most optimistic supporters of 'mass trav- followed it, were designed with both first- 1959, it soon had passengers voting with
UK-Hong Kong journeys taking 'only five from chronic metal fatigue problems. A was to prove the underlying market for jet el'. As the Comet was being redesigned into and tourist-class travellers in mind. Only their feet. It did not matter to the paying
days'! This leisurely scheduled service was trio of mysterious crashes, all involving the travel. The all-First-C1ass passenger load the larger, more robust, Comet 4 series and rarely would there be any talk of ' First-Class public that the turbo-props were more eco-
flown by Shorts Sandringham Flying Boat, loss of all passengers and crew on board the factors on the early Comets briefly operated Boeing were looking at producing an airlin- Only' jet travel, at least until the arrival of nomic over shorter distances or that the
with night-stops being made en route. unfortunate aircraft, brought the problem for BOAC, as well as two French airlines, er version of their KC-l35 jet tanker design, the ultra-expensive supersonic transports. time-savings over close inter-city pairs

12 13

(Above) The Sud-Aviation Caravelle was designed from the outset for (Below) The original purpose of the KC-135 design was as an in-flight refueller for Pan American introduced the 707-100 into scheduled service in 1958. The airline later took delivery of the
short-haul inter-city services. It soon outpaced the large turboprops high-speed bombers like the Boeing B-52. Its potential as a commercial jet transport larger. more powerful -320 series. as seen here. MAP
originally seen as the answer to economic short-range service. Via author was soon recognized and the design was modified to produce the 707 airliner. Boeing

were minimal or even non-existent. Pro- The BEA Comet 4Bs were initially Boeing's Jetliner Success
pellers were old-fashioned. The passengers assigned to the longer routes on their net-
wanted jets and they wanted them now. work, especially to the eastern Mediter- Europe's only long-range challenge to the
If it had a propeller on it, the public did ranean, but were soon also pressed into ser- 707, at least in its early years, was confined
not want to know and soon sought out vice on shorter trunk routes where rival to the De Havilland Comet 4. Even the
the airlines with jet-powered alternatives. European operators such as Air France, 'new' Comet 4 was technically inferior to
Caught unawares, the British European Alitalia, Finnair, Iberia, Sabena, SAS and the 707. However, the Comet 4 still
Airways Corporation, which had placed Swissair were flying their new Caravelles. achieved the distinction of becoming the
,tll its eggs firmly in the turbo-prop basket Although much less suitable for the short- first commercially operated jet over the
by ordering large fleets of economical Vis- er runs, the Comets were required to win Atlantic when Britain's BOAC placed it in
counts and Vanguards, were forced to back passengers until BEA could place a service on the London- ew York route in
commission a 'stop-gap' short-haul version more economically viable inter-city jet October 1958. This was only a matter of
of the Comet, the 4B. into service. weeks before Pan American World Airways

Swissair was one of the few customers for the Convair CV-990A. operating them on long-haul services to South America and Asia. as well
as busier European routes. Via author

14 15

Once established as a strong, independent airline in its own right. United Air Lines Hawaiian network, although these were disposed of as uneconomic compared to the
enjoyed a period of unprecedented growth. When the USA entered the Second World DC-6s and DC-7s that replaced them. With the arrival of the jet era, United greatly influ-
War the airline, along with most of the nation's commercial air carriers. made most of its enced the design of the DC-B and the Boeing 720 and 727, as well as the 737. introduced their first imported Boeing 707 and CV-990 jet airliner models specifical- The improved take-off and landing perfor-
carrying capacity available for military use. United operated atrans-Pacific air service for Un.ited's acquisition of financially ailing Capital Airlines in 1961, saw the creation of jets. ly with these markets in mind. mance of the Boeing nO/nOB also allowed
the US Navy, as well as flying numerous domestic contracts for the US war machine. the largest airline in the Western world. When the 737 programme was announced in Booming worldwide sales of the 707 [nitially, Boeing had concentrated on jet service to a number of airports not previ-
After the return of peace, United turned its attention to modernizing and expanding 1965, United was operating thirty-eight Douglas DC-8s, three DC-8Fs, twenty-nine Boe- had soon pushed Boeing into the fore- improving the long-range and load-carry- ously able to accommodate the heavier 707s
its domestic network. Unlike many of its rivals, it did not use its wartime long-range ing 720s, twenty-eight Boeing 727-100s, with eighty-two more 727-100s and -200s on front of civil airliner design, overtaking ing capabilities of the 707. Larger, more and DC-8s.
experience to press for international service authority. Instead, United satisfied itself order and twenty Sud Caravelle 6Rs in its jet fleet. In addition, United still operated
Douglas and Lockheed in a few short powerful versions were offered that elimi-
with extending its coast-to-coast network to the Hawaiian Islands in 1947. twenty-three DC-7s, six DC-7Fs. thirty DC-6s, seven DC-6As, forty DC-6Bs. seventeen
The airline remained a major force in US airliner design, being heavily involved in the years. Sales of the 707's main US rival, nated the need for refuelling stops on
Convair CV-340s and forty-five Viscount 700s in their propeller-driven, piston and prop-
development of the Douglas DC-4, DC-6, DC-7 series and Convair CV-340 piston- jet-engined fleet. Most of the surviving propeller aircraft were planned to be phased the similar Douglas DC-8, had suffered many fl ights. However, encouraging early From Four Engines to Three
engined aircraft. Asmall fleet of Boeing Stratocruisers was also operated briefly on the out and replaced by the remaining 727s on order, as well as the new order for 737-200s. from being later into service than the sales figures for the medium-range Conv-
707, although respectable sales figures air jets alerted Boeing to a threat to their Boeing's first offering on the short-range
were later achieved and developed ver- customer base, several members of which jet airliner market came about as a result of
sions of the aircraft kept the type in pro- were already in preliminary negotiations direct discussions with airlines. Eastern
duction for many years. Lockheed had with Convair. Not surprisingly, an inter- wanted a small twin-jet. United, with a
elected to ignore the long-haul jet airlin- mediate-range version of the 707 was also major operations centre at Denver in the
er market, and concentrated on develop- soon on offer. Rocky Mountains, wanted the security
ing its L-88 Electra turbo-prop for inter- Lighter, shorter and more powerful, and power reserves of four engines and
city airline work. The rise of the with a redesigned wing and flap layout that were pushing for a yet smaller version of
short-haul jet was to restrict the Electra improved take-off and cruising perfor- the 720B. Boeing's engineers managed to
market considerably and Lockheed did mance, the Boeing nofirst flew on Z3 persuade the Eastern and United manage-
not attempt to return to full-scale airlin- Novemher [959. Boeing took particular ments that a three-engined, Ttail design
er production for many years. satisfaction in ohtaining early orders for was a workahle compromise. On 5 Decem-
the no from Douglas DC-8 operators her 1960, the company announced that

(Above) The Boeing Stratocruiser served briefly on United's new prestige Hawaiian (Below) The DC-8 had benefited from a great deal of input into the design from United.
schedules in the early 1950s. MAP The type was to serve the airline for nearly thirty years. Via author

United's Boeing 727s were among the first to roll off what was to become a long and successful production run. MAP

Boeing and the United Air Lines and Eastern Air Lines, they would he putting the Boeing 127 into
Short-Haul Market that had hoth been seriously considering production.
the Convair options. Established US- Wing high-lift devices were incorporated
The operationally and commercially suc- based 707 customers, such as American into the design for an even more improved
cessful use of early model 707s and DC-8s Airlines, Braniff Airways and Continental take-off performance. As well as being use-
on domestic routes within the USA had Airlines also ordered the no,
and the later ful in the thin mountain air of Denver, the
shown a market for jet services on busy turbo-fanned engined version, the nOB, high-lift devices would also allow the
inter-city sectors. Douglas had been selling in some numbers. 727 operators to introduce jet service to
versions of the DC-8 tailored for domestic Away from the home market, several important East-Coast US airports such a
US service and another aircraft manufac- foreign scheduled carriers also placed nos New York's La Guardia and Washington's
turing company, General Dynamics, pro- and nOBs in service on longer-ranging National that had restricted runway
ducing aircraft under the Convair name in flights where passenger loads were lighter lengths. Also, from the cabin floor upwards,
San Diego, had offered their new CV-880 and did not justify the use of larger 707s. the fuselage cross-section was identical to

16 17

T-Tail or Pylon? stall under certain aerodynamic conditions, Wing-mounted engines al 0 meant that
had eventually been solved. Unfortunately more of the fuselage was available for fare-
Two groups of Boeing engineers looked this was not until after the tragic loss of the paying passengers, with less 'dead-areas'
independently at either the T-rail or under- prototype One-Eleven and its test crew as a involved in mounting engines on the rear
wing engine design option. The Ttail, result of just such a stall. fuselage. The wing-mounted configura-
with the engines placed on the rear fuse- Eventually Boeing opted for the under- tions also led to less problem' in achieving
lage, had been a popular design with the wing location for its engines, two Pratt & a satisfactory centre of gravity in most load
earlier type, especially from the point of Whitney JT -Os, with a conventional tail distribution scenarios.
view of reducing noise in the passenger layout. Apart from the deep-stall consider- The engines could nor be hung on
cabin. A potentially dangerous 'deep-stall' ations, the wider cross-section of the Boe- pylons, as on the 707/720, due to the clos-
rroblem, with Ttail configured aircraft, ing made the fitting of the engines on the er rroximity of the smaller aircraft's wing
where the aircraft entered an unrecoverable rear fuselage an aerodynamic nightmare. to the ground. Instead, the engine nacelles

The 1940s-50s vintage, piston-powered DC-6 series still featured heavily in United's fleet in the mid-1960s.
AViation Hobby Shop

the Boeing 707 series and the idea offamily haul jets had begun to make inroads into Boeing could rroduce a more flexible jet,
'commonality' was finally ur and running. the denser markets, I940s and 50s vintage, carable of carrying economic loads over
Both airline placed their first orders, for piston-engined, DC-6s, DC-7s and Con- shorter routes and into mailer airfields, as
forty aircraft each, and the Boeing 72 7- stellation, . hunted from longer, prime well as the larger cities, the company
100 flew for the first time on 9 Fel ruary routes by the early jets, still flew thousands would have a valuable, profitalle, new
1963. everal other carriers, including the of pas engers on busy inter-city services addition to its jet 'family'.
first European customer for the 727, West every day. In ovember 1964, Boeing finally gave
Germany's Lufthansa, followed nited nited Air Lines also flew a sizable fleet the go-ahead for their designers to investi-
and Eastern's example. The worldwide of Vickers Viscount turbo-rrops inherited gate the options for the new jet airliner
sales figures for the tri-jet were soon when they took over Carital Airlines in design. It was specifically aimed at recap- IAbovel The BAC One-Eleven had to cure a 'deep-stall' problem with its T-tail design, which led to the (Belowl The Boeing 72Ts impressive flap system.
rivalling those of the already successful 1961. With the Capital network, United turing markets being lost to the BA One- loss of the original prototype on a test flight. The eventual solution benefited all such designs that seen to effect on this taxying American Airlines
707 and 720 series. had also taken on a number of multi-stop Eleven and DC-9, where the Boeing 727 followed. Aviation Hobby Shop aircraft. was adapted for the 737. MAP
routes linking both large and small cities. was regarded as too large. A reliable work-
It was these routes that saw the greatest horse aircraft, capable of operating several
Surviving Props concentration of orerations for United's sectors a day carrying economic loads at
remaining turbo-rrop and piston-engined low cost, was required. The Boeing sales
With the 727 making its development aircraft fleets. Passenger loads were not and marketing departments envisaged a
flights, Boeing's attention turned more to enough to surport the Boeing 727 and sales potential of more than 600 units of
the market for smaller, more regionally many of the airports were unable to accept the new design.
focused jetliners, preferably with even bet- the smaller Caravel Ie, of which United did With their 'family' concept in mind,
ter short-field performance. That such a operate a small fleet on East Coast and the newly formed Boeing project team,
market exi ted was being demonstrated by Mid-West route'. under the leadership of John E. Steiner,
Douglas, ud and BAC, with the increas- elected to make the fuselage of the new
ing sale' of their Ttail configured twin jets. type the same width as the 707/720 and
That a major domestic customer for Boeing Design Decisions 727. This gave a definite advantage in
aircraft, American Airlines, had ordered terms of passenger comfort. The BAC
no les. than thirty-one BAC One-Elevens The first generations of short-haul jets had One-Eleven, Caravelle and DC-9 all had
from Great Britain, to surplement their already shown that they could operate as narrower cabins, with the economy-class
much larger 72 7s on short-haul routes, cheaply, if not more so, and also attract passengers in all the aircraft being seated
gave the design team even more incentive more rassengers with their modern jet-age in a five-abreast, 2-3 configuration. The
to come up with a Boeing-built contender. image. Although initial acquisition costs Boeing aircraft would be able to offer an
The 1960s still aw a large number of were large, the jets were soon earning their exceptionally comfortable fi ve-abreast
routes served by ageing proreller fleets even keep, carrying more passengers on more layout or, as turned out to be the case in
in the largest airline networks. Although daily sectors and beating any piston or most airlines' service, a more economical
the Boeing 727, and other short/medium- turho-pror competition into the ground. If 3-3, six-abreast configuration.

78 79
The original company was formed in 1926, when two of Germany's pioneering air trans- Reviving the old name of Lufthansa on 6 August 1954, the airline opened ascheduled
port companies, Deutscher Aero Lloyd and Junkers Luftverkehr, merged on 24 January, domestic network on 1April 1955. Orders had been placed for four 44-passenger Con-
were of a revised 'string-tube' type, and First 737 Sales Lufthansa had been looking for a jet resulting in Deutsche Luft Hansa. D.L.H. went on to develop into one of Europe's largest vair CV-340s for regional services and Lockheed delivered an equal number of long-
attached more directly to the wings. The replacement for its remaining neets of pre-war airlines, both in terms of fleet size and network mileage. range L-1049G Super Constellations. International European flights opened in May
wings themselves were designed from the Surprisingly, this order was not from one of piston-powered Convair 440 Metropoli- The Second World War saw D.L.H., like most airlines operating within the protago- 1955 and the Super Constellations inaugurated trans-Atlantic flights in June.
outset with excellent airfield performance the major US domestic carriers, despite nist nations, working increasingly for the military. A limited civil network was main- Over the following years Lufthansa steadily expanded throughout Europe and
tans, as well as their turbo-prop Vickers
in mind, using lessons learnt from the 727. tained throughout the war years though, and continued until the advance of the Allies opened more long-range flights to South America and the Far East. Viscount prop-jets
United having been a major target and Viscounts, then operated on West Ger-
made the operation impossible. At the end of hostilities, the once mighty airline was joined the Convairs, the CV-340s being supplemented with improved CV-440s, in
The increased dihedral outboard of the contributing a great deal of input into the man domestic and busy short-haul Euro- down to six serviceable aircraft, a Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor, a DC-2, a DC-3, two JU- 1958 and the Super Constellations were also augmented by even longer-range
wings not only contributed to this perfor- design. At the time that the design studies pean routes. Also earmarked for replace- 52/3ms and a Junkers JU-88. L-1649A Starliners.
mance, but also added to fuel capacity. on the Boeing 737 were being initiated, ment were a handful of piston-powered In the immediate postwar period, with the old German nation divided into two sepa- The airline's success mirrored the financial recovery of the Federal Republic and
Features such as the onboard auxiliary United and Eastern Air Lines had been Lockheed Super Constellations, long rate countries, neither the newly formed Federal Republic of Germany, nor the People's Lufthansa's first jet, the first of a fleet of Boeing 707s, arrived in March 1960, barely
power unit and optional airstairs further the only major US carriers uncommitted since deposed from the long-haul ser- Democratic Republic of Germany were initially permitted to operate their own airlines. five years after operations had started. Boeing 727s, dubbed 'Europa Jets' by
added to the 737's attractiveness, as it in the second-generation, short-haul twin- vices, but sti II used on Lufthansa's h igher- An East German carrier, initially also called Lufthansa, later named Interflug, was Lufthansa, began appearing on European services in April 1964.
would be able to operate from many small- jet market. capaci ty domestic and European sched- established by the Communist authorities. However, airlines of the occupying allies The Boeing 737 order was placed with a view to replacing the remaining propeller
er airports with limited facilities. Although an enthusi::tstic operator of ules and some inclusive-tour charter continued to operate domestic flights in West Germany and international routes were airliners, then consisting of the Convairs, Viscounts and the surviving passenger Con-
By the time Boeing announced the defin- the 727, Eastern eventually opted for services. flown solely by visiting airlines of foreign nations. stellations. The standardization on the 727 and 737 on the short-haul network was
Eventually, as the Federal Republic recovered economically, permission was granted designed to offer cost savings by reducing the number of types in use, as well as giv-
itive design, as the Boeing 737, in February ordering a large neet of DC-9s, that could Lufthansa was already operating Boeing
for the formation of a new West German airline and a provisional stock company, ing the airline the public relations accolade of an all-jet fleet.
1965, the aircraft had already grown from a be delivered quicker than the 737 that 707s and 720Bs on long-range flights, as Luftag, was established in January 1953.

(Above) Lufthansa inaugurated postwar scheduled

services with Convair CV-340s in 1955. Jenny Gradidge

The Vickers Viscount was to be operated by Lufthansa on

European and domestic routes, Lufthansa

(Below) Lufthansa introduced the first 727s to Europe,

naming them 'Europa jets'. They were operated to North
Africa and the Middle East as well as on busier short-
Eastern opted for the OC-9 as its short-haul jet, rather than wait for the 737, still in its early design stages.
range flights. Via author
Via author

60-seater to a 75-103-passenger airliner. was still on the Seattle drawing boards. well as 727s on both short and medium-
The 'family' concept had survived, with 60 United, however, continued to co-oper- length routes. Originally approached by
per cent commonality with the Boeing 727 ate with Boeing on their project. United both BAC and Douglas as a possible cus-
design being retained. The 727's dual was more interested in the slightly larger tomer for their own short-haul jet options,
hydraulic-powered ailerons, elevator and development of the Boeing design, later Lufthansa had been less impressed with
rudder, the leading edge slats and Krueger to emerge as the Series 200, 6ft 4in the smaller capacity and shorter range of
flaps were adapted for the 737, as was the (lAm) longer than the Series 100. As a the designs initially on offer. With the
707's dual electric motor-driven variable- result, West Germany's Lufthansa had addition of the 737, after disposing of its
incidence tail plane trim system, with a been the fi rst to place an order for twen- last propeller-powered airliners, Lufthansa
manual backup. The company was also able ty-two of the initial 737-100 series, thus would be able to offer Boeing jet service
to announce its first order for the 737 on the becoming the first Boeing airliner to be standards to all its customers, throughout
day the final design was revealed. launched by a non-US customer. its network.


Lufthansa's Influence into production. United eventually 737 was completed, in 1970, following a
placed thei r order, for forty Series 200s, major reorganization within the company CHAPTER TWO
Lufthansa had actually been responsible on 15 April [965. due to financial problems, all final assem-
for persuading Boeing to stretch the origi- bly for the aircraft was moved south to the
nal 73 7 design. In particular, Lufthansa's nearby Boeing factory at Renton.
Chief Executive, Technical Services, Ger-
hard Holtje, pressured Boeing into pro-
ceeding with the design to match the air-
Pulling It All Together
At first, the final assembly of the 737 was
Located 15 miles southeast of Seattle,
the Renton faCility was already responsible
for much of the company's commercial air-
First Steps
line's needs more closel y. As fi rst offered by centred on a new 218,000sq ft (20,252sq m) liner production and the 737 production
Boeing's designers, the 737 would have plant at Boeing Field, the company's main line initially ran alongside that of the 727.
been a 55-60-passenger airliner. Holtje, plant, at Seattle. The wings and main body The move of the final assembly work to New Sales Apart from the Avianca and Mexicana a requirement for small fleets to serve their
however, insisted on an aircraft capable of of the aircraft were built at the existing Plant Renton was greatly facilitated by the 737's orders, all were for the larger series 200. networks.
carrying up to eighty-two passengers, the 2. The tail was constructed at the Boeing production jigs for the wings having been Despite the difficulties, by the time the first The Lake Central, Nordair and orthern
capacity of their Super Constellations, facility in Wichita, originally established for made portable from the beginning. Origi- aircraft was assembled and 'christened' in a Consol idated orders were for versati Ie,
each with 20kg (44Ib) of baggage, as well as Boeing by the US government during the nally this had been to enable the entire much-publicized ceremony at Seattle, on convertible, passenger-cargo aircraft. The Third Pilot Issue
up to 450kg (990Ib) of cargo and mail over war to build the B-29 bomber. The B-47 jet assembly process to be moved to Wichita, 17 January 1967, no less than seventeen It is interesting to note that, apart from
a 500mi (804km) sector with fuel reserves. bomber was also later produced at Wichita. if required, at a later date. carriers had been wooed by Boeing's ever- major US carrier Western Air Lines, all the The 737 also had a political disadvantage
[n the end, even the smaller 737-100 was Much of the 73 7's other com ponen ts, such With the placing of production orders efficient sales department into placing above orders were for comparatively small in that pilots' unions and organizations in
to exceed these performance criteria, with as the building ofthe landing gear and much by Lufthansa and United, and other sales orders for the 73 7. As well as the launch numbers. Many carriers were still uncon- the United States were insisting that the
the larger, higher-capacity Series 200, ini- of the airliner's interior work, were con- in advanced states of negotiation, the 737 orders from Lufthansa and United, the vinced of the prospective economics of aircraft be operated either with three
tially with less range, offering even more tracted out to third parties. had finally been firmed up from an ever- order book now included aircraft for short-haul jet services. Two of the 'Big Four' pilots, or two pilots and a flight engineer.
revenue-earning potential. [n 1967, Wichita was given responsibil- changeable 'paper' proposition to a defin- Avianca (two), Braathens (three), Britan- US domestic airlines, Eastern and TWA This arrangement, as well as being expen-
Lufthansa signed their order for twen- ity for the construction of fuselages for all itive design. The serious task of trans- nia Airways (three), Aer Lingus-Irish had already ordered DC-9s over the 737, sive for the airlines, was also rather
ty-two Series [OOs on [9 February [965, 737s, which were then transported to the forming the paper design into a flying, International (two), Lake Central Airlines due to their earlier availability. American impractical as the 737 flight deck had
three days before Boeing officially an- assembly line by train, a practice that con- commercially viable, working airliner was (three), Mexicana (two), Nordair (three), Airlines had long committed itself to oper- been designed from the start as a two-
nounced the launch of the 737 project tinues to the present day. After the 271st now underway. Northern Consolidated Airlines (one), ating a mixed fleet of One-Elevens and 727s pilot environment, with only a small
Pacific Air Lines (six), Pacific Southwest on their medium and short-haul network. 'jumpseat' available for any supernumer-
Airlines (six), Pacific Western Airlines This left United as the only 'Big Four' carri- ary personnel thar may need to be carried
(two), Piedmont Airlines (six), South er still interested in the 737. The medium- from time to time.
African Airways (two), Western Air Lines sized and specialist airlines, although eager The third pilot issue had originally been
(twenty) and Wien Alaska Airlines (one). to upgrade their services with jets, only had raised shortly before the Lockheed L-188
Electra turbo-prop entered service in the
late 1950s. Although never intended to be
operated by just two pilots, the Air Line
The finalized design for the Boeing 737-100 revealed a practical twin-jet
airliner with great potential for growth and development. Lufthansa
Pilots' Association (ALPA), wanted the
third crew member to be a pilot, not a flight
engineer, as had been the case on most pre-
vious three-cockpit-crew aircraft. ALPA
wanted all jet-powered equipment to carry
the third pilot. As well as ALPA's stand on
safety and workload issues, the demand for
a pilot in place of a flight engineer was seen
as a political move in an attempt to seri-
ously weaken the rival Flight Engineer's
[nternational Association (FE[A).
Two of the Electra's earliest operators
were targeted by the pilots' un ion as test
cases during contract negotiations, with a
view to persuading them to take ALPA's
view and establish a precedent. Miami-
based National Airlines managed to reach
a compromise that deferred the issue until
it was put to arbitration when the Electra's
had been delivered. Western Air Lines'
management were less flexible and a bit-
ter strike followed a failure in negotia-
tions. From 21 February to 10 June 1958,
Western was grounded, with both sides
refusing to budge. Finally, after the airline
Boeing 737s finallv started rolling down the production line in 1966/67. Lufthansa threatened to hire new pilots to replace

22 23

the strikers, a new contract was signed and The negotiations had failed to solve the rebutting the ATA-AIA arguments, point
once again the third pilot issuc was issue by April 1967 and a mcdiation board by point.
deferred. was appointed in an attcmpt to find a com- Until the dispute was settled, the possi-
promise betwecn ALPA and United. How- bility of having to operate the 737 undcr
ever, the board was recessed on 25 July with these conditions was to deter a number of
Two or Three on the 7377 no agreement reachcd. ALPA took a strike possible U domestic cu'tomers. This
vote at nited and 92 per cent of their pilots espccially aided Douglas in selling both
ALPA and FAA representativcs wcrc were shown to favour striking if the 737 was their standard and stretched DC-9s to scv-
shown a mock-up of the 737 flight deck not operated by the three-pilot crew. eral smallcr American regional airlincs.
design in the autumn of 1965. Although During the Summcr, ALPA proposed The disputc rumbled on, with Boeing,
the FAA was unable to make any dctcrmi- to FAA's Westcrn Rcgion and the FAA thc airlinc managemcnts, thc FAA and
nation as to likely certification based on Administrator that thrce-man crews ALPA, as well as several other bodics, all

A bitter dispute between the pilots' union. AlPA. and Western Air lines' management centred around who
should occupy the lockheed Electra's third flight-deck seat. pilot or flight engineer. AViation Hobby Shop

thc mock-up, which was very basic with operatc on the Boeing 737 and the One- making thcir vicws as well known and as
no working (c,lturcs, Unitcd's pilots wcrc Elevcn and DC-9. According to ALPA: volubly as possible.
quick to make it known that they disap-
proved of the two-crew conccpt bascd on The FAA. hy estahl"h111g a reqlllre111ent for a US operators of the DC-9 and BAC One-Eleven twin-jets were not directly affected by the AlPA campaign
this mock-up. Twelve months later, an three-man cre\\' for ,urlllle Jet transl'{)rt llpcra-
Lost Custom for a third pilot on the 737. Pictures courtesy of Aviation Hobby Shop
animatcd mock-up was uscd to tcst crcw tlUlb, coukl en"oUfe that no carrier would han.~
workloads on thc aircraft, Once again, thc L'C0!101llIL II1Cl'l1tl\"L' to pronde '\cn'icc with les... In addition to the three-pilot issue dcter-
United pilots' group concluded that a than the highest p"",hk degree ,,( ",(ety 111 the ring some potential customers, not all the
three-pilot crew would be required. puhlic l11tere,r. seventcen carriers representcd at thc The Loss of the Lake industriali:ed region, thc airline was ham- of Lake entral's long-serving DC- 3, had
O\'ember 1966 saw the meeting of christening ceremony were to take dcliv- pered by bei ng obi iged to serve numerous hegun in 1960 with the arrival of several
ALPA's directors adopting a rcsolution Following instructions from its member-
Central Orders short inter-city routes in between these ex-United Convair 340,. Thc sturdy, but
ery of their ordercd aircraft.
requiring three pilots on Bocing 737s at ship, ALPA later dropped the request for orthern Consolidatcd and Wi en Alas- After struggling with equipment problems points. Some limited non-stop authority increasingly unfashionable, DC-3s had
all times. A month earlier, annual con- three-pilot crews on thc One-Elevcn and ka Airlincs combined their operations in and a precarious financial position for had been granted between larger citie' on been in service 'ince the airline's found-
tract negotiations had opened with Unit- DC-9. onetheless, thc union stated that February 1968 and the 73 7 were deli\'ered many years, Lake Central A irl ines, of Indi- the network, but it was not enough to turn ing, as Turner Airlines, in 1949. In 1965,
ed and the question of crcwing on the 737 if the Boeing 737 was to be legally required to the resulting new carrier, Wien Consol- anapolis, was to vanish before they could red ink into black. Rc-cquipment was a top the Nords arrived to bring jet-prop service
soon bccame a major issue. Howevcr, at to operate with three crew, ALPA would idated Airlines. Mexicana later cancelled takc delivery of their 737s, after hegin priority and the 737s, as well as two 727- to Lake entral's less busy routcs, where
the same time, the FAA notified Boeing reopen the issue on the other two types as their order, leaving Lufthansa and Avian- hought out by Allegheny Airl ines. The laOs also on order, would have been the the onvair was too large and the remain-
in writing that it tentatively acceptcd well. However, in eptember 1967, The ca as the only initial customers for the Lakc Central network stretched from east first step in replacing a fleet of Convair ing D -3s were in de perate need of a
that the 737 could be operated with only Air Transport As ociation of America and Series 100. However, Malaysia-Singapore to west from Chicago to Washington DC 580 and ord 262 turbo-props, of which a more modern replacement. In common
two pilots, barring any changcs or ncw the Aerospace Industries Association filed Airline' did eventually order five Series and north to south from Buffalo and dozen of each were operated. with many other regional carricrs at the
information that may result from the a report with the FAA, supporting the 100s, followed later by a further order for Grand Rapids to Cincinnati in the south. The airline had placed a lot of faith in time, Lake Central started converting
flight tcst programme. two-crew position. ALPA rcsponded by Series 200s. Although serving a prosperous, largely the small, 27 -passenger ord. Replacement their second-hand Convairs to propeller

24 25

turbine power, with Allison 501 prop-jets done Lake Central any favours and the quite neatly and the merger was the first
replacing their original piston engines. tragic loss of the three crew and all thirty- step in a substantial period of growth for
Unfortunately, serious engine problems seven passengers on one of the Convairs a the airline. Through later merger acquisi-
led to grounding of the Nord fleet in month later, caused by a propeller shaft tions and a vigorous pol icy of route expan-
August 1966. Ithough not leading to the failure, saw more passengers avoiding trav- sion, Allegheny grew from a purely local
loss of any of the aircraft, on no less than elling with the airline. service carrier into one of the largest air-
four occasions turbine wheels had failed in A new management team took over and line operators in the USA. But, at the time
the French-built aircraft's Turbomeca Bas- began promoting the carrier as the 'A irl inc of the Lake Central takeover, the Boeing
tan engines. In one incident, on 7 July with a Heart', painting large white hearts 727 and 737 formed no part of the airline's
1966, an engine actually exploded in on a bright red ta i I. Th is was a Iso deri ved plans and the orders were cancelled.
fl ight. The crew managed to regain control from Lake Central's earlier advertising
and land safely, but passengers had been claim to be 'Serving the Heart of the
badly injured when parts from the disinte- ation'. New route extensions saw the Pacific's Problems
grating engine had punctured the cabin. carrier reaching St Louis in the west and
Following another engine failure a Louisville in the south, with Convair 580 Yet another of the numerous post-Second
month later, the Nords were grounded and flights from Indianapolis. But it was too World War local service carriers, established
the old DC-3s taken out of storage, where late to save the airline. Many of the new to take advantage of the increased interest
they had been awaiting sale, and swiftly management team had originally come in air transport, Pacific Air Lines was
placed back into service. The Nords did from Allegheny Airlines and it came as no originally known as Southwest Airways.

lake Central Airlines had relied on their

faithful DC-3s (above) for many years
before introducing larger Convair CV-
340s (left) that were later re-engined as
CV-580s with turbo-prop power plants.
Pictures via author H4040S

(Below) The French-built Nord 262 was

a great disappointment to lake Central,
although the modified aircraft went on
to serve Allegheny and its associates for
many years after the merger. MAP

Pacific Air lines' choice of DC-3 replacement was a mixed fleet of Martin 202s and 404s. N40408 previously
served with TWA. Via author

not return to service until February 1967 great surprise when merger negotiations The airline pioneered a number of highly
when problems with water methanol and began between the two companies. These original passenger handling methods, such
mineral CorroSiOl, that had caused the tur- culminated in a vote to merge by both air- as integral airstairs on their DC- 3s, keeping
hine failures, had been sorted out. At this lines' stockholders on 14 March 1967, an engine running on tight turnarounds and
time, negotiations began with Boeing to with Lake Central's absorption into employing travelling in-flight pursers to
acquire a small 737 fleet, intended for ser- Allegheny taking effect on I July. issue tickets. Although it worked, the new
\'ice hetween the larger cities on the net- The Lake Central network dove-tailed system was not further exploited by South-
work. However, the bad publicity had not into Allegheny's more easterly system west. More conventional handling methods

26 27

were utilized when larger aircraft, in the The 100-passenger Boeing 727-100s had Air West favoured the DC-9 as their
shape of Martin 202s and 404s, replaced the entered Pacific service on 20 July 1966. A preferred smaller, short-haul, jet. Both
DC-3s. Ironically, it was left to one of the giant leap from the 48-passenger Fairchilds, Bonanza and West Coast had operating
larger major US carriers to refine South- the new jets were necessary to compete the type since 1966, and Pacific Air Lines'
west's novel ticketing methods into the against the major operators in the region 737 orders were cancelled. Pacific's 727s
highly successful Eastern Air Lines 'Shuttle' such as United and Western. As well as continued in Air West service for a while,
between East Coast cities. already operating 727s of their own, United and larger 727-200s were later operated
Expansion had led to the company were also utilizing their larger four-jet, medi- before the company lost its identity in yet
name being changed to Pacific Air Lines um-range Douglas DC-8s and Boeing 720s another merger, in June 1979.
in March 1958. Despite operating a mod- in the area. Western also flew later model
ern fleet of Boeing 727 jets and Fairchild Boeing 720Bs throughout the region.
F-27 jet-props that had replaced the Mar- Pacific's attempts to compete by plac- Airborne!
tin 202s and 404s, by the mid-1960s, ing the 727s into service on non-stop
Pacific Air Lines was beginning to suffer flights between the few major cities on After the January roll-oLit and christening
from severe local competition from both their network were hampered further by ceremonies, the development Boeing air-
low-cost and mainline carriers in its Cali- increasing competi tion from local low fare craft, registered N 73700, was prepared for its
forn ia-based network. A Ithough it operat- rival, Pacific Southwest Airlines. Effec- first flight and the ensuing flight test and cer-
ed between several important West Coast tively suffering competition from both tification programme. Taxi tests took place
cities and boasted an extensive network mainline and low-fare sectors of industry, on 8 April 1967, a year after the order book
that stretched from southern California to costing it large amounts of revenue, Pacif- for the aircraft reached the 100 mark. In the
Oregon and across the evada border to ic was finding its situation increasingly year, sales had increased to 141 aircraft.
Las Vegas, Pacific Air Lines was held back untenable A fleet of 73 7-sized airliners The next day, at 13.15, local time,
by unprofitable local service routes. Most was seen as being necessary to compete N 73 700 took to air for the first time. It was
of these were left over from Southwest's more economically. commanded by Brien Wygle, Boeing's
original network, designed to feed traffic onetheless, events overtook Pacific assistant director of fl ight operations, with
from suburban Californian points into Air Lines' fleet planning and, in April S.L. 'Lew' Wallick Jm, the company's
San Francisco and Los Angeles area air- 1968, the airline was to merge with simi- senior experimental test pilot, as co-pilot.
ports. Legally obliged by its route licences larly disadvantaged West Coast Airlines The first flight lasted two and a half hours.
to serve the uneconomic smaller commu- and Bonanza Airlines to form Air West. Although it departed from Boeing field,
nities that it would dearly have liked to The hope was that the combined opera- N73700 was to make its first landing at
have dropped from its network, Pacific tion, with a new network extending fur- Paine Field, Everett, also in Washington
relied heavily on revenue from service ther into the Pacific northwest and east as State. This airport had been designated as
between the larger cities such as Los far as Arizona and Utah, would form the the base for the first ten flying hours, for
Angeles, Sacramento and its home base at basis of a commercially much stronger preliminary assessment of the 737's han-
San Francisco. carrier. dling characteristics and aircraft systems.
The Boeing 737 prototype, N73700. took to the air for the first time. from Boeing Field on 17 April 1967.

On finally landing at Paine Field, Wygle test and certification programme as soon Washington corridor, using a two-pilot
reported: 'I hate to quit. The airplane is a as they could be released from the crew. One pilot was from the FAA, the
deligh t to fly.' production line. Together with 73700, other from Boeing.
they accomplished more than 1,300 Two round-trips were made on each of
hours of flight testing that included, six days that week. Forty hours of flight
Clocking up the Hours for the first time in a certification pro- time were amassed, including day and
gramme, approaches under CAT II bad night flights. Both IFR and VFR weather
With the programme already well behind weather conditions. Ship number 3 sacri- conditions, below minimum landing con-
schedule, the company needed to get the ficed most for the project. Never intend- ditions and diversions to alternative air-
test and certification work underway as ed to fly, the aircraft was subjected to ports, were examined. In addition, simu-
soon as possible. In its first month, vibration tests, stretched and overloaded lated instrument failures and crew
73 700 managed to achieve a total flying to destruction to prove the strength of the incapacitation were included.
time of 47 hours, 37 minutes. This was 30 design, and show that Boeing's engineers Primarily as a result of the Thanksgiv-
per cent more than the 72 7 prototype had had got their sums right. ing week flying, the FAA issued a state-
put in over the same period, and over three ment in December 1967 regarding the
times that of the Dash 80, prototype of the two-crew issue.
707, Boeing's first jet transport, over ten The FAA Two-Crew Decision
years earl ieI'. The far-reaching evaluation of the Bocing 737
The first of United's Series 200s flew During the 1967 Thanksgiving holiday was starred in Septcmber 1965, with the evalu-
Pacific's Boeing 727s were taken over in the Air West merger, but were later disposed of in favour of more on 8 August 1967 and was one of the five week, the FAA undertook a series of ation of the cockpit mock-up. Continuous eval-
DC-9s. Aviation Hobby Shop early production aircraft that joined the fl ights wi th the 737 in the busy Boston- uations over the pa~l two year:, included regular

28 29

operations of [he aircraft in " high-density air Certification Awarded replace conventional doors over the main
traffic environment to determine workload , landing gear, were tested on the prototype
cOl11plexi[y, and safety of opermions in a fail- In Decem ber 1967, both the series 100 and and soon discarded.
:-,afe concept. Th.c~e nighl~ were part of (-l vcry 200 Boeing 737 received simultaneous A more serious problem that was brought
extensive flight~tcs[ing programme accom- certification for airline operations. The to light by the flight test programme was the
plished by [he FAA and Boeing personnel. The early production aircraft that had partici- increased drag, particularly during the
[echnical Findings cOl11ing oU[ of [hese evalua- pated in the test programme were finally cruise, over the predicted amount. In fact,
[ions are [hm [he aircraft can be safely flown handed over to their new owners for the drag was over 5 per cent more, resulting
with (l minimum of two pilots. first airline crews to be trained and con- in loss in speed of 30kt. Fortunately, more
verted to the aircraft. Once the first crews, lift than predicted and the availability of
Even once the issue had been settled as far and other operational and maintenance more powerful, flat-rated ]T8D-9 engines,
as the federal regulators were concerned, a personnel, were trained, they returned to allowed an increase in operating weights.
number of American Pilots' organizations train their own colleagues and prepare for This permitted the basic mission guarantees
insisted on three flight-deck crew for the full-scale commercial operations. to he met. For the long term, an intensive
73 7 as part of bargaining negotiations with The value of the test programme was wind-tunnel testing programme was em-
the airline employers. Both United and apparent by the number of changes that barked upon to cure the problem. Ten


N73700 visited remote rough airfields to demonstrate its versatility and rugged nature. Via author

Western found themselves obliged by their were made as a direct result of the data months later the resulting aerodynamic
agreements with ALPA to operate the gathered. In particular, the 737 was origi- modifications were introduced onto pro-
aircraft with three crew members on the nally fitted with 'clam-shell'-style thrust duction aircraft, and upgrade kits were
flight deck. However, they were the only reversers, as previously used on the 727. made available for adding retroactively to
carriers to be so encumbered, other US These proved to be ineffective on the 737 aircraft already in service.
operators and foreign carriers were under no configuration and a new deflector was As the first production aircraft were
obligation to consider adding the extra designed and tested on the 73 7 prototype. delivered, the prototype, 73700, switched
crew member. Most of the operated the air- It was retrofitted on early production air- its attention to developing modifications
(Top) The first of the slightly larger 737-200s joined the flight test (Abovel Lufthansa's first 737-100, D-ABEA, participated in the new type's certification craft with a two-pilot crew, as originally craft and later became standard equipment. to allow the 73 7 to operate from unpaved
programme on 8 August 1967, wearing full United colours. Boeing programme before being handed over to the airline for initial crew training. Lufthansa designed from the beginning. Also, inflatable seals, originally designed to runways. Changes included new high-lift

30 31
The 737's New Home FIRST STEPS

devices and braking improvements and Canada, served by only basic airport facili- DC-9. Initial models of both aircraft had
low-pressure tyres, as well as new deflec- ties and unpaved runways. The Boeing 73 7's finally been dismisseJ as too small. The
tors fitteJ to protect the lower fuselage and ability to provide jet airliner service to only larger version of the DC-9 then avail-
engine intakes from scuffed-up stones and remote areas with dispersed populations was able, the series 30, was also thought not to
debris on rough runways. FAA certifica- set to become one of its major selling points. be big enough and the five-abreast passen-
tion for gravel runway operations was ger seating was seen as inferior to the 737's
forthcoming in February 1969. In April six-abreast layout.
and may, 73700 demonstrated its new Western's Short-Haul Plans Western, that claimed to be the United
rough-field capabilities to airline and gov- States' oldest surviving carrier, was then
ernment agency representatives. Although from one of Boeing's more arche- operating a network that, although cover-
Particularly interested in these modifica- typal 737 customers, the Western Air ing much of the western half of the USA,
tions were operator such as Wien Consoli- Lines' order had been an important boost mostly comprised short inter-city service.
Jated, ordair and Pacific Western. These for Boeing' corporate ego, and not only as A fleet of Boeing nOB jets already operat-
carriers were already planning to fly their it was for a si:eable number of aircraft. ed on longer non-stop routes, linking the
737s into smaller, isolated communities on Western had seriously considered the 737's more distant parts of Western's system,
their networks in Alaska and northern main rivals, the SAC One-Eleven and the such as Los Angeles-Minneapolis, as well

Boeing's decIsion to move 737 fmal assembly to its Renton facility came (Above) The Boeing facility at (Below) The Boeing Model 367-BO, the precursor of the
at a time of increasing hardship for the company. Commercial aircraft Renton, known locally as 'Jet KC135 and Boeing 707 models, first flew from Renton in
sales had dipped severely, resulting in massive lay-offs in 1969. Pro- City'. Boeing 1954, Boeing
duction delays and the three-pilot controversy had slowed down sales
of the 737 since the initial spurt of interest The 707 was nearing the end
of its production life, with the 747 wide-bodied airliner project barely
underway and suffering its own teething and delayed production prob-
lems, particularly affected by late engine deliveries. The 727 production
figures that had experienced steady growth, dipped sharply in response
to worldWide financial problems and overcapacity within the airlines. As
part of its cost-cutting measures, Boeing decided to consolidate the
707n27 and 737 production lines at Renton, the first Renton-assembled
737, a Senes 200 for Indian Airlines, being flown in December 1970.
The first 737-200 was also used for numerous test programmes. Seen here on water ingestion tests,
The company's association With the site dated back to ItS earliest days,
examining the characteristics of the 737's then unique engine installation. Via author
with aBoeing B-1 flying boat havmg been based at amakeshift seaplane
facility on the shore of Lake Washington in 1922. The flYing boat was as services to Mexico anJ to husier, com-
operated by Edward Hubbard (who also flew part-time as a test-pilot for
mercially important California-Pacific
Boeingl, as amail service to Victoria, over the Canadian border in British
orthwest regional flights.
Columbia. A new, unpaved, landing stnp was built on the same site, at
Bryn Mawr, later that year. Hubbard sold his mail flight operation in However, cities served between the ter-
1928, on his becoming a vice-president of Boeing Air Transport. minal points were usually only ahout an
Renton production lines instead. However, Boeing ceased production at the end of hos-
In October 1928, the airfield was renamed Renton Airport. Over the next few years, tilities and only utilized a small part of the once busy facility for storage.
hour's flying time, or even less, apart. These
although overshadowed by the development of Seattle's Boeing Field as the northwest's The immediate postwar period saw little activity at Renton, although the War Assets routes were earmarked for jet service by
main aerial gateway for commercial airline operations, Bryn Mawr remained in use as a Administration turned the deeds over to the City of Renton and it became Renton Western's new 737s. A large fleet of Lock-
busy general aviation field, serving the city of Renton. Municipal Airport. However, in 1949 Boeinveopened the factory to build the C-97A heeJ Elecrra turho-props and a handful of
World war was responsible for Renton's sudden transformation from backwater air- Stratofreighter, the military tanker/transport version of the StratocrUiser airliner. surviving piston-engincd DC-6Bs were
field to major aircraft assembly plant July 1941 saw the US Navy and Boeing announc- The 875 Stratofreighters built at Renton were followed, in 1954, by the single Model operated on these US West Coast, we tern
ing the immediate erection of a new aircraft construction plant on the shores of Lake 367-80, forever afterwards known as the 'Dash 80'. The Dash 80 was a totally private regional and multi-stop California- outh-
Washington, on a plot of land to the east of Renton Airport Originally, it was intended venture project by Boeing to develop a tanker aircraft to refuel the B-47 and B-52 jet wcst-M inncsota-Canada routes. A mall
that Boeing would build large flying boat patrol bombers on the 1.6 million sq ft site. bombers in flight. As well as being ordered in large numbers by the US military, as the
Opened in April 1942, the plant had an immediate effect on the local economy, with number of piston-powereJ Lockheed Con-
KC-135A. the design was further adapted as the Boeing 707, American's first jet airlin-
Renton's population rising from 4,000 to 16,000 during the war years. Although few fly- Just as Western was poised to take delivery of the then ultra-modern 737, it became stellations and early model, non-fan
er. The phenomenal success of the 707 led to a great deal of expansion at Renton and
ing boats were finally built at Renton, 1,119 Boeing B-29 heavy bombers rolled off four production of the 727 tri-jet began on the site in 1963. the proud owner of a fleet of vintage ex-Pacific Northern Airlines piston-powered engined, Boeing 71 jets, operating an
Lockheed Constellations, following its purchase ofthe latter airline. MAP Alaskan network, were also to be inherited

32 33
Once the initial certification and test flights were completed, the first 737, development configured aircraft, the Terminal Configured Vehicle Program eventually selected the
aircraft N73700, was effectively redundant. Apart from the rough-field operations redundant N73700 as an ideal airborne test-bed.
when Wcstcrn took over Pacific Northern the geographically challenging Alaskan conditions on routes into operationally research that continued into early 1969, work assignments for the pioneering aircraft
Airline in 1967. terrain. Wi en also flew a handful of larger difficult airports, many at high altitude were rapidly declining. Later production-model aircraft tended to undertake any devel- A New life
The much publicized 'commonality' aircraft, such as DC-3s, -46s, a Fairchild with basic facilities and restrictcd run- opment research, any modifications being able to be made during that particular air- Re-registered N515NA, the aircraft was delivered to Langley on 17 May 1974, after
with other Boeing type also worked heav- ways. The Avianca aircraft were intended craft's manufacture. As such, several 737s took on N73700's Boeing livery, with similar considerable work was completed for NASA by Boeing. The most striking modification
Packet, as well as ingle examples of the
generic test registrations. However, the actual prototype was parked up, engineless, at was the addition of a second cockpit in the forward cabin. This cockpit could be
ily in favour of Western ordcring the 73 7, much larger DC-4 and a Lockheed L-749 for the busier dome tic and regional route
Renton, having completed 978 hours of test flying. equipped with experimental layouts and could be used to control the aircraft, with the
with ome part, such as tyres, being inter- Constellation on busier service. Both air- network, ba ed on the Columbian capi- conventional cockpit still manned and capable of taking over at any time.
Having been much modified during the test programme, conversion for resale and cer-
changeable with the Boeing 720B fleer. lines had also been carly operators of the tal, Bogota. Even Bogota's own airport tification for commercial operation of N73700 was out of the question. It would have For over twenty years, N515NA participated in the development of many advanced
Larger Boeing 727-200s were al 0 ordered Fairchild F-27B turbo-prop. Their F-27Bs was at 8,355ft (2,547m) above ea-Ievcl, required an expensive rebuild, even assuming acustomer for a single Series 100 could technologies. The 'glass cockpit' flight display, microwave landing systems, GPS per-
by Western to supplement the 737s and, had large forward cargo doors and were with notoriously difficult, mountainous be found. formance evaluation, windshear sensor and wake-turbulence testing were only a few
eventually, rcplace thc 72 Bs. convertible to a variety of passenger/cargo approaches. After four years in storage, N73700 finally found a saviour in the shape of the Nation- of over twenty aerial research projects assigned to the aircraft over the years.
configurations. This flexibility was impor- By the mid-1960s Avianca was operat- al Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA had originally been formed to promote Following its replacement at Langley by a Boeing 757, retirement finally came on 19
tant for the rugged, cver-changing, Alas- ing it longer-ranging services to the U A, and organize the US space programme, in response to Russian success in the 'Space September 1997, with all due ceremony. That evening it was flown back to its birth-
kan commercial air transport scene. the Caribbean and Europe using Boeing Race'. As space-oriented work declined, NASA became more involved in research into place at Boeing Field, to its new owners at the Museum of Flight. Initially stored at
Northern Frontier Customers fixed-wing aircraft operations and technology. Much of this involved work on civilian Moses Lake, Washington and still with a modest 3,000 hours flying time, the aircraft
The merger of the two carriers was 720B. ew Boeing 72 7 jets also flew major
projects and an aircraft was needed for anew project at NASA's Langley Research Cen- will eventually join a Boeing 247, 727, the prototype 747 and a De Havilland Comet 4C
A Ithough the one-plane orders of North- approved by the Civil Aeronautics Board regional and domestic fl ights, alongside
ter in Virginia. Established to investigate advanced technology for conventionally in the museum's new airliner extension at Boeing Field.
ern onsolidatcd and Wi en laska Air- in February 1968. This crcated a much Lockheed Constellations, dcposed from
lines were destined to become a 'fleet' fol- stronger carrier, better able to compete international routes by the 720Bs. A large
lowing the merger of the two carriers, it with an increasingly strong Alaska ir- fleet of piston-engined, Douglas D -3s and
was still a small order by Boeing standards. lines and the powerful new entrant into D -4s operated on the domestic nctwork.
However, for the airlines concerned it was Alaska, Western Air Lines, following the Many of these were fitted with uprated
a major leap forward in equipment policy. latter's take-over of Pacific Northern. The engines, and even rockets, to assist takc-
Fairbanks-based Wi en wa the senior Wien Consolidated Airlines' 737s, espe- offs from hort runways at high elevations.
airline of the two, tracing its origins back cially those fitted with cargo doors and The addition of the 737 to the Avianca
to pioneer 'bush' carriers in Alaska operat- convertible cabins, were to provide new fleet would allow the retirement of more of
ing as early as 1924. Northern Consolidat- jct service to morc rcmotc arctic points, as thc agcing piston aircraft and see the intro-
ed Airlines had begun operations in 1945, well as linking the major laskan cities. duction of jet ervice to more regional cities.
from Anchorage. Both had benefited from Thc type' promised high pel{ormance from
a postwar boom in the A laskan economy, smallcr airfields was especially attractive to
as well as a redistribution of a number of Foreign Interest Avianca, and others, operating routes into
local trunk routes previously operatcd by airports locatcd among difficult tcrrain.
Alaska irlines and Pan American' Any disappointment within Boeing over
Alaskan subsidiary. the initially slow dome ticsale of the 737
Routes were served by a variety of small were offset by growing interest from export Both Wien and Northern Consolidated made good
typcs, such as Cessna and Pilatus single- customers. Avianca's choice of the higher use of the DC-3 on their Alaskan services for many
and twin-engined aircraft, well suitcd to pcrformance Series I 0 was dictated by years. Via aUlhor

N73700 was initially placed in storage at the end of its 737 development work, before being rescued by NASA. Boeing

34 35

Eastern Market Entry supplemented a fleet of DC-3s, a DCA, Vis- arrangement for the single Comet had been
count 700s and a new fleet of Fokker F-27 terminated when five second-hand omet CHAPTER THREE
The choice of the 737 by Malaysia- inga- Friendships. The omet flew regional trunk 4s were purchased from BOAC, the first
pore irlines, the type's first Far Eastem cu - cheduled services from Singapore to Hong having been delivered in late 1965. The
tomer, had less to do with operations into dif- Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Bangkok. new fleet enabled jet services to be extend-
ficult airports, although the high take-off
pelformance would certainly prove useful
A change of name to Malaysian Airways
followed the 1963 formation of the Federa-
ed to Manila, Taipei, Perth and Phnom
Penh. Longer-ranging ambitions saw a pair New CustoDlers, New Applications
under some tropical conditions. M A, tion of Malaysia. The next change, to of Boeing 707s being ordered for new routes
which began operations as Malayan Airways Malaysia- ingapore Airlines in 1967, oc- to Europe, and the 737s were ordered to
in 1947, opened jet services in December curred after Singapore had seceded from the eventually replace the Comet on the
for which it had originally been conceived. from S regional carriers were sympto-
1962, with a leased BOAC Comet 4. This Federation in 1965. By then the leasing regional jet flights. New Markets A lthough a number of such customers were matic of the interest in the rapidly expand-
When the orders from various pontificating placing orders, the 73 7 was increasingly ing sector of the U airline industry, pro-
carriers did start to come in for the 737, it being seen as a candidate for charter ser- viding profitable jet service on local
was not always from operators interested in vice, regional international routes and even routes. Two other regional US carriers rep-
utilizing the aircraft in the purely short- some longer-range operations. resented at the 'christening' that were to
haul, inter-city, scheduled airline climate take delivery of their ordered aircraft,
Pacific outhwest Airlines and Piedmont
Airlines, operated very different networks,
US Regional Interest s('rving very different customer bases.
Despite the Lake entral and Pacific Air onetheless, both were anxious to take
The neat, two-pilot, flight-deck of the initial Boeing Lines orders being cancelled after the car- advantage of the 737's promised flexibility
737-100. Lufthansa riers vanished in mergers, other order on their regional routes.

(Above) Ex-BOAC De Havilland Comet 4s were the first jet equipment for the (Belowl The first 737-100s displayed lufthansa·s then current tail livery, soon
Singapore-based carrier. Aviation Hobby Shop replaced by a new design before delivery. Boeing

36 37

Southern Regional Pioneer The airline had been a pioneer among ihon Y -II A, 60-passenger, turbo-prop which was re pon ible for allocating mail was involved in a mid-air collision. Climb- A single DC-3 was operated and Pacific
the local service carriers in operating airliners was placed later that year. subsidy payments, a vital lifeline for most ing out of Asheville/Hendersonville, dur- Southwe t's early passengers were checked
Piedmont Airlines had followed a tradition- turbo-props, Fairchild F-27s, a version of of the local service carriers. However, their ing an Atlanta-Asheville/Hendersonville- in through the lobby of the old flying
al evolution in US local air service. Formed the Dutch-designed Fokker E27 Friendship awarding of routes encroaching on the Roanoke- ew York/La Guardia service, school, using a set of bathroom scales to
in 1940 as a charter and general aviation built under licence in the SA, from 14
company in orth Carolina, Piedmont
Turbo-Prop to Jet major trunk airlines left the CAB with lit- the aircraft collided with a Cessna 310 light weigh baggage. Despite the primitive style
November 1958. However, Piedmont was tle choice but to approve the upgrading of twin aircraft that was approaching the same of the early operations, 15,000 passengers
moved into scheduled services in 1948. As not to totally abandon piston-engined Expansion of Piedmont's network, with a equipment in order for the smaller carriers airport. The seventy-nine occupants of the were carried on the route in the first year.
the new carrier expanded during the 1950s, operations, placi ng the fi rst of a large fleet number of non-stop route authorities to be able to compete with the 'majors' on 72 7, and the three in the essna, all per- o doubt this was mostly due to the low
a large fleet of DC-3s was built up linking of second-hand Martin 404s in service in being granted, led to the airline actively their new routes. ished in the en uing crashes. Piedmont Air- P A fare of 10, instead of the regular 25
numerous southern towns with larger citie , 1962. Larger Fairchild FH-ZZ7s began looking for jet equipment. The acquisition Intervention by the CA B had led to the line's initial 737 order was for six series charged by nited and Western. PSA was
roughly bordered between Washington, replacing the earlier F-27s from early 1967. of jets by regional carriers was initially cancellation of a number of early orders for 200s, earmarked for longer routes between able to undercut the other carriers as its
Charleston, Atlanta and Louisville. A surprise order, for ten japanese-produced resisted by the Civil Aeronautics Board, the British BAC One-Eleven from U car- larger cities on the network. cheduled services were wholly conducted
riers. However, such action was resisted by within the borders of the state of Califor-
Mohawk Airlines, who per isted in their nia, and therefore the federal CAB had no
wish to acquire a jet fleet for their local California's Jet Commuter jurisdiction over the company. s long as
routes. Mohawk eventually convinced the PSA satisfied the California Public Utili-
CAB that they would not require any extra Like Piedmont A irl ines, Pacific Southwest ties Commission as to its fitness to survive,
subsidy to operate the jets. Within four Airlines had already be n a jet operator it could set its own fares with no out ide
years, everyone of the local service carri- before ordering the 737. Their Boeing 727 influence other than market forces.
404 ers, as designated by the CAB, had ordered
jets. For the most part, their orders were for
fleet had entered service in 1965 and a
fleet of the larger 727-200 were also on
the Douglas twin-jet, the DC-9, but the order to replace their initial erie 100s. CCA's Failure
larger 73 7 was also attracting ome interest. The 73 7s were on order as more economic
supplements to the 727s on services with Although concerned at the loss of their
lower average loads, in addition to replac- traffic, the incumbent carriers fully expect-
Piedmont's Jet Debut ing the last of a fleet of Lockheed Electra ed PSA to be a passing phenomenon.
turbo-props. nother low-fare carrier, California Central
Piedmont actually began jet operations on PSA was seen by the trunk carriers as a Airlines, was also operating under Califor-
15 March 1967, when a Boeing 727-100 'maverick' carrier and its continued sur- nia PUC authority at the time. CA also
was leased from the manufacturer. As well vival was a major headache for United and began operations with DC-3s, in january
as providing a competitive edge on new Western ir Lines, encroaching as it did 1949, with scheduled flights from an Fran-
direct flight to New York and Washington, on their traditional West Coast operations. cisco (Oakland) to Los Angeles (Burbank).
the use of this aircraft wa to provide Pied- Initially operating as a flying school at an Larger DC-4s, Martin 202s and a single
mont with valuable jet experience before Diego, in southern California, founded by Lockheed Constellation were acquired to
taking delivery of the 73 7s. A second leased Kenneth Friedkin in 1945, P A inaugurat- cope with the demand for seats sold at
727 -10 arrived in April. However, tragedy ed a scheduled service from an Diego to 9.99, one way. However, alifornia Cen-
struck on 19 july when the original aircraft San Francisco on 6 May 1949. tral hael made the mistake of expanding far

(Above) The piston-powered Martin 404 was introduced into Piedmont Airlines' (Be/owl The Japanese-designed NAMC YS-llA turbo-prop also
service after the carrier had already acquired turbo-prop F-27s. Aviation Hobby Shop served on Piedmont's regional and local services. Via author

California Central's colourful fleet of Martin 202s failed to make money. despite attracting high passenger
loads on their low-fare services. MAP

38 39

establishments up and down the California competed. When, in 1965, it opened ser- Beginning with a handful of enterprising
coast. As a result, PSA soon gained the vices from San Jose to Los Angeles, it operators in the late 1940s and early
nickname of 'Poor Sailor's Airline'. practically wiped out the long-standing 1950s, the inclusive-tour industry had
operator on the route, Pacific Air Lines, mushroomed, until by the mid-1960s it
overnight. PSA was able to charge $12, started to rival scheduled services for the
A New Fleet while CAB-controlled Pacific was legally carriage of the majority of air travellers
obliged to charge $24. The adverse eco- within Europe. The road had not been an
PSA made a very bold move in 1957, with nomic effect of PSA on Pacific's opera- easy one, with many early operators run-
the announcement of an order for three new tion was one of the main factors in Pacif- ning foul of regulatory authorities, or suc-
Lockheed Electra turbo-props. Friedkin had ic Air Lines' eventual dire need to merge cumbing to commercial pressures.
actually announced his intention to order into Air West.
two French Sud Aviation Caravel Ie jets for
PSA earlier that year, but the deal was never Braathens' Shipping Origins
PS/~ finalized. Instead, the 98-passenger Elecn'as Charter Airline's Choice
were acquired, entering service in Decem- A subsidiary of a long-established shipping
ber 1959 and quickly replacing the DC-4s. A new market that was to become very concern, Braathens had begun operations
With the arrival of the Electras, United important to Boeing in the following years as a long-haul scheduled operator, flying
and Western finally began to take PSA was the rapidly growing number of charter services from Norway to the Far East and
much more seriously and introduced low- airlines, especially in Europe. The indepen- South America. Norway's involvement
fare jet services to compete. However, by dent Norwegian airline, Braathens, had in the formation of SAS (Scandinavian
now PSA was firmly established as a popu- ordered the 737 for its scheduled domestic Airlines System), the joining together of
lar alternative to the trunk carriers and network, but also operated an extensive pro- the Danish Airline DOL, the Swedish car-
managed to fight off the big guns. Three gramme of charter flights. The bold place- rier ABA and orway's DNL, meant that
additional Electras began arriving from ment of an order by all-charter operator Bri- the orwegian authorities were unable to
1961 as frequencies and loads built up tannia Airways, based at Luton in the renew Braathen's authority for internation-
throughout PSA's exclusively Californian United Kingdom, for brand new 737s sent a al scheduled services when it came up for
(Above) The use of new lockheed l-188 Electras made PSA's major airline
network. Even with the arrival of the first message to their commercial rivals to mod- renewal in 1954. The agreement between
(Below) Pacific Air line's F-27 turbo-prop services from San Jose were badly
rivals start to take the San Diego-based airline seriously. Aviation Hobby Shop hit by the arrival of PSA jets on local routes from the area. Via author 72 7s in 1965, the Electras continued to pro- ernize as well or soon risk losing business. the three Scandinavian countries meant
vide valuable, economical service to PSA. The postwar explosive growth of com- that SAS was to be given the monopoly on
As well as the trunk carriers, PSA's mercial charter flights, especially in the such routes.
operations also had a major effect on European inclusive-tour holiday market, Braathens survived as a scheduled domes-
local service carriers on whose routes it had been an extraordinary phenomenon. tic carrier within Norway and continued to

... u

too quickly and was struggling to cover the United and Western sat and waited for Los Angeles-San Francisco (Oakland)
costs of day-to-day operations, let alone PSA to follow CCA's fate, only introduc- flight in 1955. The 31-seat DC-3s were
expensive re-equipment costs. CCA record- ing nominal fare reductions and schedule replaced by 70-seat DC-4s, purchased in
ed a deficit of over $1,000,000 in 1953, changes to combat PSA's intrusion into ovember 1955. The frequent, low-fare,
notwithstanding the impressive total of their 'territory'. However, they were to services were popular with passengers from
13 7,000 passengers carried. In February be disappointed. Four DC-3s were in ser- many different walks of Californian life.
1954, California Central Airlines went vice with PSA by 1952 and new routes They were especially popular with person- The Douglas DC-6Bs served Braathens on worldwide charters as well as seeing service on the busier
into voluntary bankruptcy. were only steadily introduced, including a nel on leave from the many US Navy l
routes on its Norwegian domestic network. MAp

40 41

fly internationally on charter services a number of abrupt bankruptcies among much of it was snapped up by other inclu-
throughout the world. Defiantly continuing Britains' independent airlines, including sive-tour companies and Euravia's reputa-
to operate as Braathens outh American several contracted to U T. tion within the industry grew apace.
and Far East irtransport AI , which was The most significant of the e was the The eight onstellations in use in 1963
conveniently contracted to 'Braathens ce sation of operations by Overseas Avia- were oon averaging 1,300 hour of rev-
.A.F.E.' in the aircraft livery, the airline tion, which operated a large fleet of enue flying a month. However, the trusty
enthusiastically entered the IT market as it Canadair Four and Vicker Vikings from Lockheed were rapidly reaching the end
grew in Europe. Gatwick. U T was just one of their cus- of their useful life and Euravia began to
orwegians enjoy a cheap halid::lY as tomers left with client stranded all over look at their options for a replacement.
much as any other Europeans and soon Europe. The tour company wa deter-
Braathens was flying clients for several mined never to be left in that position
Scandinavian tour operators. The charter again and to take more direct control over The Expanding IT Market
network rapidly expand d to reach as far as the air transport section of the hoI idays
southern Europe and Africa. On a daily they sold. Euravia eventually chose to re-equip with
basis, Braathens' fleet of Fokker F.27 turbo- a fleet of ex-BOAC Bristol Britannia 102s,
props and piston-engined DC-6Bs were just then in storage at Cambridge Airport.
as likely to be carrying sunseekers to a Euravia Takes to the Skies Configured for 117 passengers, the Britan-
M diterranean island resort, as carrying nias entered service with a Luton-Tenerife
Oslo bu inessmen to appointments in cities Euravia (London) Ltd, as the new airline charter in December 1964. Their arrival
near the Arctic Circle. The extra capacity was initially named, established offices and also saw a change of company name, to

Euravia's Constellation, G-AHEN, had originally been delivered to BOAC. It had later been California
Central's sole Constellation, wearing California Hawaiian titles. before being sold on to los Angeles Air
Service and EI AI. finally joining Euravia at luton. Jenny Gradidge

The sudden demise of once-busy Overseas Aviation left travel companies like UST with angry and
inconvenienced clients throughout Europe. Via author

and jet speeds of the 73 7s on order was to be hangerage at Luton A irport, north of Lon- Britannia Airways. Although the Constel-
welcomed by Braathens in both markets. don, in early \961. Three second-hand lations continued in use until late \965,
Lockheed Constellations were acquired and they did not take on the new name.
the first UST clients were carried from Man- A well as offering a more modern, com-
Britain's Holiday Specialists chester to Palma in May \962. fortable, quieter ride than the onstella-
With the financial security of T tion , the Britannia also enabled Britannia
It was the order from Britannia Airways behind them, Euravia's management were irways to offer one of the first hot-meal
that drew other non- cheduled operators' able to offer a standard of professional sel- catering services by a British all-charter car-
attention to the potential of the Boeing vice rarely seen in the independent sector rier. Their reliability became legendary in a
737 as a charter aircraft. till a compara- before. After only one summer season, ector of the K's airline operations far too
tively young airline, Britannia Airways Euravia bought out another Constellation used to operating ageing airliners with dubi-
had started operations in \962, formed as operator, Skyways Ltd and, with the addi- ous maintenance schedule. As Britannia,
a subsidiary of Universal ky Tours, one of tion of the Skyways fleet and more second- and the other IT operators, switched over
the UK' leading inclusive-tour operators. hand Constellations, the airline had a 160 to more modern types, the industry finally
UST had previously chartered from sever- per cent increase in passenger capacity on began to gain a reputation for a much high-
al different companies to carry their offer for 1963. As well as using the extra er quality of product and attract even more The arrival of second-hand Bristol Britannia turbo-props prompted Euravia to change its name to Britannia
cl ients. However, the summer of \96\ saw capacity to increase UST's operations, of the mass travel market. Airways. Jenny Gradidge

42 43
British government permission to import such expensive
items as airliners depended on there being no alternative
item available on the home market. Otherwise, expensive
customs duties would become due on their importation.
State-owned BOAC had managed to avoid paying inflated
duties on their largely American-built fleets over the postwar
years by consistently 'proving' that the UK-produced alter-
natives were 'inferior'. Even where BOAC had, reluctantly,
accepted a UK-built fleet, such as with the Vickers VC-l 0ver-
sus the Boeing 707, BOAC would demand some sort of sub-
sidy to cover alleged extra costs of operating the British type.
Also state-owned, British European Airways had not been
able to persuade the governmentto allow it to import aircraft
from abroad. BEA operated its services with a fleet of British- BOAC imported a large fleet 01 Boeing 707s, claiming that the UK-built alternatives were less suitable lor their
built Tridents, Comets, Vanguards, Viscounts, Dart Heralds operations. Via author
and Herons. The last foreign-built BEA fixed-wing aircraft in
service had been DC-3s that had been with the airline since its formation in 1946 and that The upgrade to jets was seen as a serious threat by the independent to BOAC's own
were disposed of in 1962. Asmall fleet of American-built Sikorsky helicopters were oper- established services. BOAC also protested that the Bermudan subsidiary was little more
ated on scheduled and charter flights, in the absence of any viable European, let alone than a 'paper' airline, with the bulk of its operations now undertaken by the UK-based
British-built, alternatives. Perhaps in an attempt to placate the UK industry over BOAC's parent company that was not licensed for the scheduled services under its own name.
apparent pro-US tendencies, BEA was repeatedly told to 'Buy British'. However, the whole argument suddenly became immaterial only a few weeks later
when the shipping line owners of Cunard Eagle sold the trans-Atlantic network, along
Past Loopholes with the 707s, to BOAC, in June 1962. All the Cunard Eagle Caribbean and Atlantic net-
BEA used much of their fleet's spare capacity on 'night tourist' schedules, improving utilization for their One independent carrier, Cunard Eagle Airways, had found itself with an alternative work had been absorbed into BOAC by September. The European network of Cunard
Comet 4Bs and other types. A large proportion of the available seats were sold to travel companies for use option in the early 1960s. Eager to replace its fleet of Bristol Britannia turbo-props with Eagle, bought back by the airline's disgruntled founder, Harold Bamburg, was later
on IT holidays. Via author jets, Cunard Eagle ordered a pair of Boeing 707s. Despite being powered by British- rebranded as British Eagle International Airlines and expanded its UK-based networks.
built Rolls Royce Conway engines, just like BOAC's early
707s, Cunard Eagle was faced with an import tax bill. Orig-
inally intended for a London-New York service, the licence
for which was revoked following BOAC's protests before
The Competition's Eleven, but soon dismissed it as a viable Bri- neer of eighr Britannia's wirh identical seating
operations could begin, the Cunard Eagle 707s were quick-
tannia replacement. The early One-Eleven capaciry. Brimnnia Airways will he the firsr
Jet Services operator of rhe 200 Series in Europe, follOlved
ly reassigned to Caribbean routes.
models lacked the Britannia's capacity and Cunard Eagle, when still known as Eagle Airways, had
The use of jets on UK IT services was very although the stretched Series 500, still on closely be Aer Lingus. The invesrment, includ- established subsidiaries based in the Bahamas and Bermu-
limited in the early 1960s. The Comet 4B the drawing board at the time, would match ing spares is abour £4,250,000. da in the late 1950s. Operating Viscount-scheduled ser-
fleet of the state-owned British European it, Britannia wanted to increase their pas- Of course Brimnnia Airways would have pre- vices to mainland USA, and later across the Atlantic to the
Airways operated a number of night-time senger-carrying capacity. The only other ferred ro buy Brirish jers. However, our srudies UK with London-based Britannias, the subsidiaries were,
IT charters and cheaper, scheduled, night- home-produced passenger jet of suitable led inexorahly to the conclusion thar Brirish effectively, local airlines outside the control of UK authori-
rate tourist flights when not flying their size, the three-engined Hawker Siddeley jers offered ro us could only he operated, in our ties. Thus, the first Cunard Eagle 707 was re-assigned to
the Bermudan company, with a Bermudan registration and
European schedules in the daylight hours. Trident, was deemed too expensive opera- particular set of circumstances, at a loss.
opened scheduled trans-Atlantic services from London to
The imminent arrival of BEA's fleet ofTri- tionally on charter services. The airline's Ar rhe requesr of rhe rhen Minisrer of Avia-
Bermuda and the Bahamas, in May 1962 Cunard Eagle Airways registered its Boeing 707 with its subsidiary, Cunard Eagle (Bermuda), lor scheduled
dent jets would see the Corporation mak- preference soon settled on the twin-engined tion we rried again last December wirh a lead-
BOAC was unlikely to let Cunard Eagle's actions go trans-Atlantic services. Aviation Hobby Shop
ing even more use of spare capacity for IT Boeing 737, in particular the larger Series ing British manufacturer to find some way out of unchallenged and a legal appeal was expected. The original
charters and tourist-class flights. 200. However, the major obstacle of import our dilemma. This efforr too failed. The Min- licence for the route had been granted on the basis of low- (Below) Following the acquisition of Cunard Eagle's Atlantic network, a number 01 BOAC aircraft carried 'BOAC
The independent British airlines did duty had to be resolved before Britannia isrry of Aviarion have never quesrioned our fare, low-frequency, 'coach class' services being offered. Cunard'titles. Aviation Hobby Shop
not offer jet services on any appreciable Airways could take delivery of any aircraft. basic G-1SC presented (0 them months ago in an
scale until the introduction of British aidc~tllcmoire.

United Airway's BAC One-Eleven and Under rhe rerms "f rhe Import Dury Act of
VC-IO fleets in 1964/65. British Eagle Britannia's Case 1958, a Brirish airline requiring aircrafr of foreign
International Airlines followed with their manufacture in order to compete with foreign
One-Elevens in 1966. Both BUA and Although still I iable for a 14 per cent airlines on international routes may be allowed
British Eagle sold much of their jet capac- import duty, Britannia Airways went ahead waiver of import duty. This waiver has not heen
ity to IT operators from the beginning of with their 737 plans and finally announced allowed on rhe grounds thar similar aircraft arc
their One-Eleven operations, supplement- their order for three Series 200s in June procurable in rhe UK. Britannia Airways refutes
ing their use on scheduled services. More 1966. Reacting to sensational newspaper this vicw and are asking for a rcvcrsal of this deci-
One-Elevens were on order for operators headlines of the 'Britannia Orders Ameri- sion. To describe an aircrafr which can only he
such as Channel Airways and Laker Air- can I' variety, the airline's then managing operated against strong competition from forcign
ways, which were already major players in director, J.E.D. Williams, was swift to justi- airlines at a loss (similar' to onc which can suh-
the IT market. Dan-Air Services took fy their choice of the foreign option: smntially assisr rhe development of rhe Brirish air
delivery of the first of what was to become transporr indusrry is clearly preposrerous.
a sizeable fleet of second-hand Comet jets, Rrirannia Airways has nbwined government Unlike the government owned airlines, our
with ex-BOAC Comet 4s entering IT permission to import rhree Boeing 737-200 air- traffic rights arc nor protecred, nor is rhe chaner
charter service from Gatwick in 1966. craft for delivery in spring 1968. The new twin rare we charge conrrolled in any way. If foreign
\ Eager to remain competitive, Britannia
Airways also looked at the BAC One-
engined jer will he operared on package holi-
days wirh 117 scats in addirion to rhe exisring
airlines can offer bettcr rares than wc can there
is nothing to stop them taking away our business.


Refusal to waive duty in sueh circumstances in the sun to an even larger sector of the Spain's Iberia was particularly busy in
Caledonian's Dilemma
would weaken the British air transport industry population. this market, via its subsidiary, Aviaco.
London/Gatwick-based Caledonian Airways faced a similar duty problem to Cunard choice, as was the high performance promised and its increased capacity available over without prorecting the manufacturing industry Iberia leased or chartered out surplus
Eagle, a few years later, when it attempted to order some 707s to replace its Britan- rival types. Caledonian came close to signing the 737 contract. but found the customs to the slightest degree. l3efore commencing negotimions with Boeing, members of its mainline fleets to supple-
nias on trans-Atlantic charter services, Faced with a crippling tax bill imposed for issue getting in the way again. Britannia A irways advised the government we placed our studies and our conclusions before ment Aviaco's own charter operations.
importing the Boeings, Caledonian was forced to lease out its first 707 to an Ameri- Face with another long debate with the authorities, the airline was also warned that six months ago that under no circumstances the leading British aircraft manufacturers and Iberia's Super Constellations were kept
can charter carrier, Flying Tiger Line, for ayear before the dispute was finally settled it may be expected to pay increased duty on its already delivered 707s if the 737 order
could their operation be viable with a British begged them to knock holes in our arguments. We especially busy operating Aviaco charters
'amicably' with the UK Customs authorities. The airline still had to pay a sizable went ahead. Under increasing pressure from tour companies to replace its remaining
Britannias with jets as soon as possible, Caledonian was forced to withdraw from
manufactured jet and supported this assertion offered them access to most confidential data once they had been displaced from sched-
import duty.
Caledonian was very keen on ordering the 737-200 for use in its European IT services. negotiations with Boeing. Instead, a fleet of British-built BAC One-Eleven Series 500s with technical and economic data. We stated regarding our business so that they could check uled services by jets. The 'sub-charter'
The Boeing 'commonality' with Caledonian's 707s was a major factor in the airline's was ordered and placed into service in 1969. that, regardless of the government's decision, for themselves. They did not make the slightest arrangement allowed Iberia to undertake
we could not buy British. dent in the inexorable logic of the case. IT work at lower charter rates than it
If our assertions are accepted there is no ques- We gave I3ritish A ircraft Corporation from would have been allowed to under its own
tion of protecting the home industry and no July 1965 until February I, 1966, 1'0 come up name by stringent lATA rules.
case for the refusal of waiver. If our assertions are with a proposal that could m8ke sense. They Alitalia had also set up its own 'non-
not accepted we should be told why. We have were not able to do so. lATA' subsidiary, Societa Aerea Mediter-
repeatedly offered to give the government any ranea Spa (SAM), operating DC-6s of
information they may desire. othing has been various marks, deposed from front-line
requested since our original aide-memoire. The Foreign Threat scheduled services by Jets. SAM was so
Very detailed studies of the capabilities of jet heavily involved with the UK originating
aircraft currently offered by British and Ameri- Britannia's worries about foreign carriers IT market that a busy seasonal base was
can manufacturers, in Ollr particular circum~ being able to obtain 737s on more eventually established at Gatwick, serv-
stances, led us to these conclusions:- favourable terms, and therefore be able to ing several Italian resort areas.
undercut them in contract negotiations As well as the threat to their livelihood
I. A commercially acceptable return on invest- with tour operators, were more than mere from these subsidiaries, Britannia, and the
ment could not be obtained in our particular 'make-weights' in their argument against other independent UK charter carriers,
business on any British jet. import duty. When the inclusive-tour were facing competition from an increas-
2. If we hought a British jet we could be sW8mped industry first took off, the carriers used ing number of foreign independents. The
loy any of several foreign airlines if they bought were almost exclusively from the passen- better financed, but still vulnerable, carri-
Boeing 737-200s or DC-9-30s. gers' originating countries. However, both ers such as Britannia and its charter col-
3. The procurement of a l30eing 737-200 fleet nationally and independently owned car- leagues from several other European
would en8hlc us to offer che8per than ever riers of the resort countries soon latched nations were starting to look over their
tr8nsport between the UK and the Mediter- on to the lucrative financial possibilities of shoulders at their southern rivals. Spain's
ranean, giving the opportunity of a holiday the growing IT industry. Spantax, TAE, and Trans Europa were just


(Top) Delivery of Caledonian Airways' first Boeing 707 was delayed by the question of import duty, Via author

(Above) Eventually, Caledonian was forced to abandon plans to acquire Boeing 737s to complement its 707s. Instead, three 'stretched' BAC One-Eleven Series 500s were placed in
service on European IT charters. Via author
The expanding operations of 'non-lATA' subsidiaries, like Alitalia's associate, SAM, soon started to provide
a commercial threat to UK charter carriers, MAP

46 47

as likely to be carrying British holiday- company was ranked as Canada's third Atlantic division, Aerlinte Eireann, had
makers. Lower operating cost were often large t airline, operating forty-seven air- introduced Boeing 720s on the Dublin-
the key to their gaining contracts frolll craft on a scheduled network throughout hannon- ew York route, replacing leased
northern European tour companie . Briti h Columbia, Alberta, askatchewan Lockheed Super Con tellations, on 14
everal of the Mediterranean-ba ed and the orthwest T< rritories. December that year. On short-haul routes to
independent charter carriers had already A pair of DC-7 operated international the K and Europe, Aer Lingus operated a
expre sed an interest in acquiring some of charters, including trans-Atlantic services, fleet of OC-3s, Viscounts and Fokker Ens.
the handful of fir t-generation jet that were while the schedule were operated by a fleet A small fleet of Aviation Traders' Carvairs,
starting to come on to the second-hand as diver e a DC-6s and DC-6B , DC-4s converted DC-4s, operated car ferry and
market. The 'non-lATA' subsidiaries already and DC-3s, C-46s and several smaller types cargo services. The propeller-driven fleet
had access to jet fleets, through their sched- such as Beech I s, DHC Beavers, Otters had initially encountered only limited jet
uled parents. The new jets were more than and even two Grumman Goose amphib- competition on some European routes with
a fashionable whim, they were becoming ians. Turbo-prop CV-640s entered sched- rival carrier such as Air France and Bel-
increasingly vital for commercial survival. uled service in February 1967. A giant gium's Sabena-operated aravelles.
Lockheed Hercules turbo-prop cargo air- Nonetheless, Aer Lingus was anxious
craft was also on order to operate interna- to update their image and modernize the
Pacific Western tional and domestic all-cargo flights. The fleet by operating jets on the short/medi-
Pacific Western 737s were intended for um-haul network. Initial plans to order
Another airline represented at the 'chris- both regional scheduled and longer-rang- their own Caravelles were thwarted by
tening', Pacific Western Airlines, would ing charter flights, especially to the south- the Iri h government's refusal to finance
use their 737s for a mixture of charter and ern SA, the Caribbean and Mexico. the purchase. Eventually, however, the
scheduled flying. Initially operating as airline was able to refute the govern-
Central British Columbia Airway, in ment' obje tion to a short-haul jet fleet
1945, the name Pacific Western Airlines Aer Lingus Second Choice and a quartet of BAC One-Eleven were
was adopted in 1953 as the network introduced into service in June 1966.
expanded, mostly by the merging or pur- The Irish national carrier, Aer Lingus, had Even before they entered service, Aer
UK charter carriers accelerated their jet acquisition plans once continental charter operators such as Air cha ing of smaller operators. By 1965 the been operating jets ince late 1960. It trans- Lingus recogni:ed that the 74-seater One-
Spain began modernizing with modern turbo-props, such as the Bristol Britannia. MAP

Pacific Western's varied operations included scheduled local flights by DC-3s, supplemented by Convairs,
DC-6s and DC-7s on busier routes. The larger Douglases also operated a substantial international charter later versions of the Vickers Viscount continued to form the backbone of Aer lingus's European services
programme. Via author through the 1950s and 60s. Aer Lingus

48 49


Into Service
Lufthansa Leads the Way
In keeping with their pioneering order for
the 737, Lufthansa was able to take del ivery
of their first production Series 100 on 27
December 1967. Remaining in Seattle for a
little over a month, the aircraft immediate-
ly began to be used to convert the first of
Lufthansa's crews to operate the type. This
was less than two weeks after the 737 had
received its FAA type certification and
only a little over eight months since the
prototype's first flight in May of that year.
After receiving its West German regis-
tration D-ABED, the first Lufthansa 737
made the trans-Atlantic ferry flight from
Seattle to the airline's maintenance base
at Hamburg, in Northern Germany, arriv-
ing on 4 February 1968. Greeted by a large
Aer Lingus had been an early customer for the BAC One-Eleven, buying four Series 200s. The airline soon crowd of Lufthansa employees, media and
realized that the aircraft was too small and argued for a larger version to be produced. Via author well-wishers, D-ABED was soon whisked
D-ABED arrived at a very cold, very damp Hamburg on 4 February 1968. Luhhansa
away, after due ceremony and much
speechmaking. Work then began on fit-
ting out the passenger cabin in preparation
Elevens were too small for the projected sion was available. Unfortunately, BAC envisaged, Boeing's sales team had found for scheduled service.
markets. When Boeing 707s replaced the procrastinated over their decision and by themselves talking to a very disparate Within the week, after further busy days
720s on trans-Atlantic routes, the medium- the time the larger Series 500 One-Eleven cross-section of the airline industry. It was of training and route-proving flights, D-
range Boeings were transferred to some of was finally launched, many of the potential clear that the 73 7 was poised to make an ABED joined Lufthansa's operating fleet
the higher-density European and UK ser- customers had lost interest and/or patience impact on more than one market, with as the first '737 City jet' as the carrier had
vices, especially the Dublin-London route. and had ordered rival Douglas DC-9s or some carriers even making a stand against chosen to promote the aircraft. D-ABED
The 115-passenger 720s had the capacity for Boeing 737s instead. their governments for the right to operate was to receive the individual name of
the busy roUte, but operating a four-engined Aer Lingus' own patience had run out in the aircraft. 'Flensburg'. Previously, the airline's Boeing
jet airliner on such a short sector was an 1966. On 9 March, a 6 million order was Orders were soon added from a number 72 7s had been christened as '72 7 Europa
uneconomic proposal. When the last two placed for two I 17-passenger Boeing 737- of other operators scattered around the jets'. The distinction between 'Europa'
720s were leased out by Aer Lingus, to US 200s. It had been announced that the 737s world. Canadian Pacific Airlines and and 'City' was prompted by Lufthansa's
carrier Braniff International, Aer Lingus's were intended for use principally on the New Zealand ational Airways, among initial plan for operating the larger 72 7s on
even larger Boeing 707s supplemented the Dublin-London route where traffic had others, had placed new orders and some medium-haul flights around Europe and to
One-Elevens on the London Service. continued to increase. In 1965 over 285,000 earl ier customers had ordered further the Middle East, while the 737s were
passengers and 4,700 tons of cargo were 737s. II ippon Airways, of japan, was intended for the ultra-short hauls within
flown between the tIVO capitals. However, negotiating not only with Boeing to place West Germany and to neighbouring states.
extra orders were eventually placed for more an order, but also with their own govern- On 10 February D-ABED took on its first
Bigger is Better? load of fare-paying passengers, for flight
73 7s and it became clear that Aer Lingus ment for permission to import the aircraft
Aer Lingus was very keen for the One- had plans to operate their new jet on more for their extensive domestic network. LH147, the 07.25 departure from Frankfurt
Eleven's manufacturer, the British Aircraft far-reaching routes around Europe. Even before carrying a single fare-pay- to Munich. From there, it became LHO 16 to
Corporation, to build a larger version of ing passenger, the 737 was promising a lot Hamburg, then returned to Frankfurt as
their twin-jet. Several others among BAC's to the operators. Would they prove to be LI-l709, arriving at 12.45. A little over an
early One-Eleven customers were just as promises it could live up to? hour later, it departed for Cologne as
Poised for Launch LH731, the first of two return runs between
interested and Britain's BEA had actually lufthansa's Chief Executive - Technical Services, Gerhard Holtje (centre). was on the
refused to place an order for a long-awaited Far from restricting their customer base to Frankfurt and Cologne, before closing its delivery flight. Holtje had been a major influence on the 737's final design. Behind
'Viscount Replacement' until a bigger ver- the short-haul scheduled carriers originally engines down for the last time that day, back him is Capt Emil Kuhl. lufthansa's Chief Pilot - 737 Fleet. Luhhansa

50 57

at Frankfurt, at 19.25. Typical of what was to

become the daily utilization of a Lufthansa
737, D-ABED's first day on the line marked
the beginning of a long and very successful
association between the airline and aircraft.
As further 73 7s rolled off the Seattle pro-
duction line, or were released from devel-
opment or training work, the followed D-
A BED over the Atlantic. Lufthansa W<lS
anxious to introduce the aircraft through-
out their intended network, following the
production and delivery delays. On arrival,
they were quickly assigned to more and
more of Lufthansa's domestic and regional
flights. The remaining Super Constella-
tions had already been retired in October
1967, in anticipation of the 73 7's arrival on
the busy inter-city domestic routes. The
Convairs began to be withdrawn as the
73 7s became established in service and the
airline was soon close to its ambition to
become an all-jet carrier. A handful of the
turbo-prop Viscounts were to remain in use
for another couple of years, but were soon to
follow their piston-engined colleagues out The Boeing 737-100s quickly became busy members of the lufthansa European fleet.
of Lufthansa's fleet. Lufthansa

Into the Friendly Skies

While Lufthansa was busy introducing its version of the Boeing 72 7, the Series 200, aircraft. The first United 737 was deliv-
(Above) N9003U was allocated to United's first 737-200 revenue service
new '737 City Jets' to the European travel- was due to enter service, joining the origi- ered to the airline on 21 December 1967, on 28 April 1968 from Chicago O'Hare. William F. Mellberg
ling public, back in the USA, United was nal Series 100s that had been in use since only two weeks after Lufthansa's first
also busy, converting crews to the larger 1964. The arrival of the two new jets Series 100 was handed over. William F. Mellberg (left) and his cousin Dave Mellberg enjoy United's
Series 200, in preparation for their own would see the final stage of the phasing out legendary 'Friendly Skies' cabin service on the short inaugural 737-200
introduction. s well as the 737s, a larger of the airline's remaining propeller-driven flight from Chicago to Grand Rapids. William F. Mellberg

Chicago Debut
Promoted by the airline's public relations
department as 'The Biggest Thing in Little
Jets', the 737-200 entered commercial ser-
vice on regional flights out of United's
busiest base, Chicago's O'Hare A irport, on
29 April 1968. William F. Mellberg was a As the delayed 737s were finally delivered, more 727s and 737s arrived from Boeing Boeing 727-200s and six more Boeing 737-
passenger on the first flight. United swiftly distributed the new aircraft and were placed into service for United. 200s. The largest single aircraft order by
to other bases on their system. The PSA, it was worth $69 million to Boeing.
That morning I hoardcd Unitcd Flight 648 at stretched 727-200s soon followed the 737s PSA was hoping to expand their previously
Chicago-O'liarc with my cousin, D""c Mcll- and the increasing short and medium-haul The Trickle Becomes a Flood all-California services to Portland, Oregon
bcrg. \Y)c wcrc 16-year-old high school studcnts jet fleets were rapidly dislodging the remain- and Seattle, Washington and the new air-
who shared (l keen inrerC~l in airliners. So, ing DC-6s and DC-6Bs from even the qui- As production aircraft began to be deliv- craft would be needed to operate the fl ights,
when we heard thar United \Va~ inaugurating a eter routes to which they had already been ered, albeit a month or two late, to their as well as speeding up the replacement of the
737 ,cn·icc in thc Unitcd Statcs with a flight consigned. patient customers, the 737 finally started airline's remaining 727-100s and Electl-as.
hctwccn Chicago and Grand Rapi,", Michigan, By the beginning of 1969, the only pro- to make an impression on the world's com- The 737s were beaten into service as
wc madc ,urc wc wcrc on board' Taking off at peller-powered passenger aircraft in regu- mercial airways. Western, Piedmont, PSA PSA's first twin-jets by a pair of DC-9-30s,
7.39am, our brand ncw 737, N9003U, 'Cit\' of lar service in United's fleet were the jet- and Wien Consolidated were among the the first of which had been delivered in
Gnllld Rapids', touchcd down 30 minutcs latcr. prop Viscounts. However, the British-built US domestic carriers that followed United 1967. However, the Douglas jets were
There were inaugural celehrations onhoard the Viscount's days were numbered, as were into the US 737 family over the following replaced by the 737s as the latter's numbers
flight and a rcd carpct W,ls rollcd out for us at the airline's less economic Caravelle twin- months. built up. One of the DC-9s was sold on to
lufthansa's passengers soon began to appreciate the 'big jet' feel of the 737's cabin. Grand Rapids. (Flight 648 was thc fir" schcd- jets. Both types were already earmarked for February 1968 had seen PSA placing a Ozark irlines in 1969 and the other air-
Lufthansa ulcd jctliner rn bnd thcrc.) disposal within the next two years, as even record repeat order for no less than nine craft was used on PSA's extensive training

52 53

International or Burbank Airports. This flat-bed truck, complete with Air Califor- the badly-needed additions to the fleet.
journey, even by highway, could be a tiring nia stewardesses, to Los Angeles Airport. In mid-1968 Air California announced a
one, especially in the Los ngeles rush On the side of the truck was a banner read- $ [ million loss on an earned revenue of
hour. As well as saving the Orange Coun- ing, 'If you came here from Orange Coun- $6,650,000. Finally, Air California found a
ty residents the trials of a drive across Los ty ... You could have been in San Francisco by solution to the twin problems of the need for
A ngeles, the major tourist attraction of now", emphasizing the time-saving of larger aircraft and financial aid in the form
Disneyland was nearby and could be relied using their local airport. of the GATX/Boothe Aircraft Corporation.
on to attract traffic to the new services. Early results were very encouraging and Specializing in leasing out aircraft,
The young businessmen were joined in the first of a pair of short-body DC-9-14 GATX/Boothe had taken over a number of
January 1966 by a number of seasoned air- jets entered service on the original route cancelled 737 delivery positions, including
line executives, includingJ. Kenneth Hull, on I April. The introduction of jets had the Pacific Air Lines places. Built as Series
formerly president of Lockheed Aircraft been achieved only after a number of 200s, the aircraft were intended for leasing
International, and Thomas Wolfe, ex- Vice objections, on the grounds of noise nui- out on both short and long-term contracts
President of Sales for Western Airlines. sance, had been overcome. Orange Coun- to airlines. Wi en Consolidated had taken
They became President and Chairman ty-San Francisco flights now operated advantage of their aircraft's early availabili-
respectively, of the new carrier, by now for- seven times a day. Services opened to San ty by leasing in GATX/Boothe 737s to inau-
mally named Air California. Incorporated Jose and Oakland on 23 September and gurate their jet services in Alaska, in May/

The Boeing 737-200 proved an ideal stablemate for PSA's larger 727s, operating on less busy flights on the
intra-California services. Jenny Gradidge

and conversion programmes that it had air service in California. [n December and the San Francisco Bay area. They had
operated for a number of airlines and cor- 1965, a group of five Californian business- commissioned surveys that indicated a
porate customers. men met in Corona del Mar, in Orange huge traffic potential from the area.
County, southeast of Los Angeles. William With a population of well over a mil-
Myers, Alan H. Kenison, Mark T. GatesJr, Iion, Orange County was one of the fastest
California Competition William L. Pereira Jr and Lud Renick met growing metropolitan areas in the USA at
to discuss forming a new airline to operate the time. A trip by scheduled airline from
Others started to look to emulate PSA's a scheduled service from the under-used the Orange County area would have
success in providing low-cost intra-state Orange County A irport, near Santa na, required a long car journey to Los Angeles

The OC-9 was Air California's first choice of pure-jet equipment, supplementing the Electras. Aviation Hobby Shop

on 12 April, Air California was granted its two more Electras joined the busy fleet. June 1968, whilst waiting for their own de-
first route certificate by the California Pub- The number of passengers carried in Air layed aircraft deliveries.
lic Utilities Commission. The certificate California's first year - 293,604 - encour- At the end of the Wien contract,
'WESTER.N covered a minimum of five daily flights aged expansion and investment to the GATX/Boothe negotiated a new deal with
(11 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • from Orange County to San Francisco. point that a new maintenance base was Air California, buying the four Electras
opened at San Francisco International and two DC-9s and replacing them with
Airport in early [968. the 737-200s on lease contracts. The 737s
Turbo-prop to Jet performance was regarded as high Iy com-
patible with the noise-sensitive operating
Services began on 16 January 1967, with Growing Pains requirements at Orange County Airport.
two ex-Qantas Lockheed Electra turbo- The improved rate of climb greatly assist-
props painted up in an eye-catching yel- Air California's rapidly increasing passenger ed noise abatement procedures.
low, black and red livery. Aiming its sales boardings showed no sign of slowing down. The I [S-passenger 737s premiered, in
Western's Boeing 737-200s were used to link smaller cities on a network stretching from southern drives firmly at the residents of Orange However, the still comparatively new air- October 1968, on the Orange County-
California to the Great Lakes and midwestern Canada. Jenny Gradidge County, one gimmick involved driving a line's resources were insufficient to finance San Francisco route and also opened new

54 55

services from Hollywood/Burbank and Canadian Debut Pacific Airlines, that had ordered their first within anada. Canadian Pacific had The 200 Series Finally A great deal of British equipment was
Ontario to the Bay Area. The airline car- five 73 7s in 1966, took delivery of their first grown steadily since its formation in incorrorated on to the Britannia 737s,
ried a total of 650,000 pas engers during
Reaches Europe
Further north, as Western's 73 7s made early Series 200 in October 1968. The aircraft was 1942, from a collection of merged local including Marconi ADF, a Cossor transpon-
196 and, early in 1969, celebrated carry- appearances on their cross-border routes the first to be delivered displaying the air- carriers into a major dome tic operator Britannia Airways were eagerly awaiting der, as well as the galley fittings and equir-
ing it millionth passenger on 27 February. into Canada, the aircraft's anadian cus- line's new image as CP Air, in a bright within Canada. Long-range expan ion their 737s and had hoped to have them in ment. To facilitate cabin service on busy
Yet further expansion included Palm tomers were poised to join the club as well. orange, red and silver livery. saw the company eventually orerating service in time for the peak of the 196 charter flights, the galley facilities were
prings-Bay Area flights and 1969 also saw Early orders had been placed by ordair The CP Air 737s, Iike many of those of intercontinental ervices to A ia, Aus- summer touri t sea on. However, the trou- accommodated in the forward section of
Air alifornia offering first-clas 'Fiesta and Pacific We tern, but the production many new 737 operators, were being used tralia, Eurore and outh America from blesome production delay at Boeing had the cabin, with passenger washrooms con-
Service' on its 737s, the first regional carri- delays meant that they would not take deliv- to rerlace outdated equipment on region- its Vancouver h<'lse. Dougl<'ls DC-6Bs, ruled this out. Already suffering a slight centrated at the rear. The initial pa senger
er to 0rerate a two-class service. ery until late 196 /early 1969. Canadian al and 10 al service, in their case, mostly originally operated on the long-haul capacity shortage following the tragic loss capacity of 117 on Britannia Airway's 73 7s
routes, were still flying on regional ser- of one of their Bristol Britannia turbo-props exactly matched that of their Britannia
vices within western Canada after being in a fatal crash at Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, the 102s, which assisted in smoothing the
disrlaced from international and trans- year before, Britannia relied on the sched- transition from turbo-prop to jet opera-
Continental services several years before, uled arrival of the new aircraft to fulfil its tion. An increase in the 737-200's passen-
initially by Bristol Britannia turbo-rrops 1968 contracts. Instead, a pair of addition- ger caracity, up to 124 on high-density
<'lnd, later, by DC-8 jets. al Britannias had to be leased in from rival charter services, was planned for later
The 737 entered scheduled service with carriers for most of the 1968 season. Like introduction and the new seats and their
CP Air with a Vancouver BC-Whitehorse, those in their own fleet, these were ex- layout had already received FAA
Yukon Flight, on 20 November 1968. Fur- BOAC aircraft. One came from Laker A ir- arproval.
ther 737 services were soon opened, taking ways, one from BKS ir Transport.
over from the DC-6Bs on flight' to White- The first Britannia irways 737, and
horse, Terrace and Prince Rupert. When the Europe's first Serie 2 0, G-AVRL finally Into Charter Service
final two 73 7s of the initial order were deliv- arrived at the airline's Luton Airport base
ered in March 1969, the last of the DC-6Bs on July 196 . This was actually a fell' The first five Britannia crews to he assigned
were sold off. This left CP Air an all-jet air- days early, according to the term of a new to the 73 7 received their conversion train-
line, excert for a "ingle DC-3, operated on renegotiated contract with Boeing that ing with Boeing in Seattle. Thc training
local and charter flights. The 737s orerated took account of the production delays. was comrlcted back in the K by four Boe-
thcir first trans-Continental dome "tic rev- ndeterrcd, Britannia Airway's initial ing pilots on loan to Britannia. The next six
cnuc flight forCPAiron 1 April 1969. or- ordcr for thrcc aircraft had already been crews, rcquircd when the sccond aircraft
dair had been the next Canadian airline to increased w five. Ithough the delays had entered scn'icc, were to be checkcd out by
rlace the 737 in -crvice, on an Arctic route, disrupted plans for thc 196 season's jet Seattle-trained instructors. After delivery,
with a Montreal-Frobisher Bay service on 3 operations, deliveries for the next year the second 737, G-AVRM, srent much of
Deccmher 196 . wcre expccted to bc on time. its time at han non on training duties.

(Above) The Boeing 737-200s introduced Canadian Pacific's bright new image (Below) GATX/Boothe supplied 737-200s to Air California in a leasing deal as
as CP Air. Jenny Gradidge part of a major re-equipment programme. Aviation Hobby Shop

G-AVRL was to be the first Boeing 737-200 to be operated in Europe. and the first 737 to be flown by an all-
charter carrier. Via author

56 57

G-AVRL received its UK Certificate of Early Days with Lufthansa The self-contained airstairs gave Luft- Early Jet Days at Piedmont
Airworthiness on 10 July, two days after hansa the most trouble. Although the
delivery. On 19 July a proving flight was While Britannia was introducing their rear steps, mounted in the downward Being an early customer, Piedmont Airlines also played its part in ironing out the wrin- wet runway was as slippery as putting your feet in a pie! The aircraft always wanted to
kles as the 737 proved itself in daily service. Eventually retiring as a District Sales and hydroplane in those conditions.
operated by G-AVRL from Luton to Palma, Series 200s to the hoi idaymakers of Britain, opening door, were the most complicated
Marketing Manager for US Airvvays, Joe Grant was originally a Utility Agent with Pied-
Majorca, and on the 22nd it entered Lufthansa continued to deploy their Series design of the two, these gave little trou-
mont, hired in 1966, after his honourable discharge from the USAF, with whom he had Ron Carter was a mechanic with Piedmont when both the 727s and 737s went into
commercial service with an IT charter from 100s on more and more routes on their ble. It was the simpler, forward steps that service:
been a mechanic in Japan and Vietnam.
Luton to the Yugoslav resort ofDubrovnik. domestic and European network. Even folded into a small compartment under Joe's first base was the airport for Staunton/Harrisonburg, a small station serving the
G-AVRM carried its first revenue load of with their previous experience in operating the passenger door, that caused some Shenandoah Valley in Virginia that one customer described to him as reminding her 'of The arrival of the 727s required a lot of training for the pilots, mechanics and flight atten-
holidaymakers on 16 August with a bigger Boeing jets, Lufth:lIlsa W<lS very del<lys. The improvement in the electri- Africa'. dants. When the 727s were leased in we had Martin 404s, YS-11 sand Fairchild FH227s. Boe-
Luton-Venice IT charter. impressed with the comparatively trouble- cal circuit reduced the problem. As ing was very helpful in setting up our training needs. At this time Piedmont had a very well
Although too late to make much of an free introduction into service of the 737. stowage of the forward a irsta irs was one of A small station is tough to work as you must know everything about running it. For instance, trained mechanic group but we were not used to such complex aircraft and lacked training
impact on the 1968 summer season, Bri- There had been no major engine prob- the last systems operated prior to depar- the ticket counter and customer service, reservations (all done locally in those days, no cen- in the electrical systems. Boeing held additional classes in aircraft electrical for us and it paid
tannia were still well impressed with their lems. At the very beginning of 737 opera- ture, it was more likely to cause a delay tral reservations office!. weight and balance of aircraft, weather, teletype, ramp service, great dividends later. The 737 was less complex than the 727, so the transition was easy.
loading and unloading, air freight, air express, some maintenance and even some air traffic Initial in-service problems with the 737 were thrust reversers and hydraulic line failure,
new aircraft. All five of the initial 737 tions there had been a starter valve problem than any other problem that may be fixed
control. Like I said, a lot to learn. as well as abuffeting problem. These were soon corrected, with Boeing installing anew type
orders were in use in time for the J 969 when sand from treated runways was ingest- before departure time. Thus the blame on
of thrust reverser and issuing numerous service bulletins to correct the hydraulic line failure.
season and plans were in hand to acquire ed. A filter screen had simply not been up the airstairs for most delays was made to
As already mentioned, Piedmont had leased a pair of 727s to cover the late delivery of Vortex generators were installed to correct the buffeting. We also had to analyse the engine
more of the Boeing jets. The 73 7s operat- to its job and the problem was fixed using a look worse than it was in delay statistics. the 737s. Originally intended for United, they still had the larger airline's comfortable oil and change it at frequent intervals. After about a year this was changed so the oil was
ed on most of the growing IT network, new screen with a finer mesh, as suggested The rear airstair arrangement was an 3-2, five-abreast configuration. Despite losing the first aircraft in the Asheville mid-air never changed except at overhaul.
not only from Luton, serving London, but by Boeing. Unscheduled engine removals option not taken up by many 73 7 customers. collision, the 727s proved a success with Piedmont and boded well for the smaller, The P&W JTBD engine had initial problems but these were soon corrected. At this time,
also from regional points such as Man- in the first nine months of operation It allowed swift turnarounds at airports much more economic, 737 on their network. the engine smoked and it was desirable to have this eliminated. The burner can modification
chester, Glasgow, Birmingham and New- amounted to only three examples, two not equipped with jetties for embarking In 1968 Joe Grant visited Renton. solved this problem - but started two others! One was off-idle stall of the engine and the
castle. The increase in ITs originating at caused by reports of vibration and one by passengers and saved having to have other was that the fumes were more toxic than when the engine smoked. Both these prob-
regional points continued to grow to the high oil consumption. There had been no expensive mobile step units hand. Howev- I boarded Piedmont's first 737, N734N, while it was still being built. It had a plywood floor lems were corrected in about two years. The auxiliary power unit was aconstant source of
and the cockpit was protected from dust by being enclosed in a huge plastic bag! Piedmont troubles, but we had good technical support and eventually solved some of the problems. Our
point that a number of the more impor- in-flight engine shutdowns and no fire er, a Ithough used by some earl I' operators,
was one of the few airlines to have the rear boarding airstairs installed. Several years later climate is very hOI and humid in the summer, but the cooling system handled it with ease.
tant cities gained year-round holiday warnings, even false ones. especially Lufthansa, Wien Consol idated
they were removed because they were heavy 10 fly around, plus they were expensive to fix The aircraft was very reliable, but needed a few years to correct alot of problems. Piedmont
charter service for the first time in the The auxiliary power unit (APU) gave and Piedmont, they were usually removed
if broken and they also got in the way of 'new' modern day catering equipment. The first Pied- could not have picked a better aircraft than the 737 to enter the jet age, or a better company
winter of 1968/69. some trouble at first. Thermostat difficul- in later years and a conventional door fit- mont 737s were also fitted with the 3-2 seating configuration. It felt like first class. Later the to guide us than Boeing.
It was calculated that, even with the ties had led to crews having trouble getting ted, as a weight-saving measure. A few air- seating was changed to 3-3, all coach class.
original 117-seat layout, each of the air- some systems on line without the APU craft retained their original configuration, The original engines of the 737 had rather non-efficient thrust reversers. These were
line's 737s was as productive as 212 Bristol shutting down. New acceleration control especially the 'combi' aircraft that carried replaced by huge 'clam-shell' reversers that worked 'almost 100 good' compared to the old Piedmont's introduction of the 737 had benefited from the airline's earlier use of
Britannias. A part of the Britannia turbo- thermostats were designed and did much freight in the forward cabin and passengers ones. Captains said, referring to the old style reversers, that trying to stop with them on a leased 727s, and the valuable operational support of Boeing. Jenny Gradidge
props were taken out of service at the end better. A certain amount of nosewheel in the rear section and could only load
of 1969, although the older type was to corrosion was noted and put down to prob- their passengers through the rear doors.
continue to contribute to Britannia Air- lems with the alloy used and there were The smaller, forward airstairs, however,
ways' charter operations, alongside the some problems with the ram air inlet sys- were a useful option taken up, and
73 7s, until the end of 1970. tem that was solved by re-rigging. retained, by most customers.

5 @
-- @

••• ••

Britannia Airways had five 737-200s in service in 1969, with more on order. Jenny Gradidge

58 59

The 'Quick Change' Artists with large cargo doors in the upper forward an hour. Lufthansa was already orerating A laska and operating on busier local and Further South ew Zealand's link to Britain, via its
fuselage and strengthened cabin floors, the a fleet of convertible 727s on similar er- regional route taken over in the merger membership of the Commonwealth, had led
Lufthansa took delivery on 17 December convertible aircraft being intended for vice, alongside their all-passenger 727- with Pa ific orthern Airlines, of Fair- The New Zealand National Airways Corpo- to high hope in the K of a rossible order
196 of the first order for six 737-200Q passenger use in the daytime and for con- 100 and -200s. hanks. ration ( Z AC), became the operator of from Z AC for the BAC One-Eleven jet.
'Quick hange' aircraft. Ortions had also version to freight services at night. The The convertible 'combi-version' of the imilar rugged work was to be shortly three 737-200s on 14 October 196 . One of BAC' development aircraft had vis-
been taken out on two more. The airline's swi tch from passenger to cargo configu- 73 7 was first placed into service in A laska, undertaken by convertible 73 7 placed Ordered to replace Viscounts on trunk- ited ew Zealand during a world sales tour
first long-fuselage 737 were equipred ration was designed to take less than half by Wi en on olidated in ovember 196 into service by Nordair, Pacific Western cheduled services within ew Zealand, in 1966, operating demonstration flights for
Airlines and Transair, all serving remote the 737s would join a fleet of Fokker E27 Z A between Dunedin, Wellington,
towns and outposts in northern anada. that had begun to replace DC-3 on local Auckland and Whenupai before continuing
The smaller Canadian operators' 73 7s, and flights from 196 . The first of the trio had the tour onwards to Australia. nfortunate-
those of Wien Consolidated, were also fit- been delivered to Wellington, after a long Iy for BAC, it had been felt that inaprropri-
ted for gravel runway operations. As well as island-hopring trek from Seattle, on 1 ate financial and political pressure had been
low-pressure tyres, deflectors were attached September and the introduction of the jet appl ied to sway ell' Zealand toward· order-
to the undercarriage to shield the fuselage fleet within a month was a laudable ing the One-Eleven and, as a result, the
from stones being kicked up on landing. achievement for the carrier. British aircraft was rejected as a candidate
Vortex generators were also attached to the NZ AC was the nationally owned dom- for NZN 's Viscount replacement.
front of the engine nacelles, to blow debris estic airline of ell' Zealand, international The One-Eleven fared little better in
away from the intakes and protect them services to Australia and trans-Pacific flights Australia, with only a pair of aircraft sold to
from gravel damage. However, these air- being the preserve of Air ew Zealand with Australia's air force for VIP wmsport work.
craft were also just as likely to spend their their fleet of long-haul DC-8s and Electra Australia's largest domestic airlines, the pri-
weekends flying tourists from major Cana- turbo-props. Twenty-five destinations, vately owned Ansett-A A and govern-
dian cities, escaping from the northern served by 4,000 miles of routes, comprised ment-sponsored Trans Australia Airlines,
winters to the sun of Florida, the arib- ZNAC's network within and between the both chose the Boeing 72 7 and Douglas
bean, or even Mexico. orth and South Islands of the country. DC-9 for their short-haul jet operations.

Nordair and Transair operated their 737s into

more remote regions. as well as busy inter-city
services and vacation flights to sunnier climes.
Via author/AViation Hobby Shop

(Abovel The Boeing 737·200QC was able to operate

both passenger and cargo schedules on lufthansa's
European network. Lufthansa

In all-cargo configuration, the 737 ould

carry up to seven standard rallets or con-
tainers. The units were loaded slightly off-
centre, to the right, allowing a rassageway
to the left. With only six pallets, eleven
passengers could be carried, and with only
two pallets installed, up to eighty-one pas-
sengers could be accommodated in the
rcar section.
As well as serving the more populated
point among the 170 scattered communi-
tie served by the airline in Alaska and the
Canadian Yukon, the 73 7's joint passenger
and cargo-carrying capabilities were put to
good use on contract work for the Trans-
Interior configuration on the 'QC' 737 could be swiftly modified by seat units on Alaska Pipeline System, from Anchorage.
tracks, loaded through the large forward cargo door. Lufthansa Western's 737s were also soon reaching

60 67

New Northern Highlights The Dutch Twin-Jet Option

The 737 seemed to be getting a reputation The long-established aircrah manufacturer, Fokker,
as a cold weather native, especially when, based in the Netherlands, had a very different concept
for its offering in the short-haul twin-jet market. Delib-
on the European side of the Arctic Circle,
erately aiming at a small capacity replacement for its
Braathens took delivery of their first two
73 7s in Decen,ber 1968 and January 1969.
Within a matter of weeks, Braathens had
also taken delivery of their first Fokker
F.27 Friendship, the Fokker jet design, when it did final-
ly emerge, was originally configured for up to sixty-five
passengers, about half that of the Boeing 737. Fokker
also declared from the beginning that it preferred steady

F.28 twin jet, intended for use on routes sales over along-term period, rather than a greater num- \. -s\\
BRA-lITH~NS j6:A Fit
where the 73 7 was considered too large. ber of orders over a shorter production life.

The F.28 also possessed exceptional short- Powered by two Rolls Royce Spey engines, the F.28
and rough-field capabilities, making it a received its first production order in November 1965,
worthy successor to the En turbo-prop some three years aher the project was officially
announced by the company. The production of the air-
that it was intended to replace.
crah was an early example of inter-European collabora-
The arrival of the 737 did not see the Braathens' Boeing 737-200s operated as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far tion, with Short Bros and Harland, of Belfast. producing
immediate demise of the seven Braathens south as Mediterranean resorts. Steve Bunting the outer wings and undercarriages and Germany's MBB
DC-6Bs that it was intended to replace. and VFW manufacturing the centre and rear fuselage
The first Braathens DC-6B had entered sections, tail units and engine nacelles.
service in 1961 and the classic piston- The first order was placed by the West German charter airline, LTU. However, Braathens The Fokker F.28 'Fellowship' enjoyed a moderate success as an economic jet
engined airliner was to remain a feature of
the Norwegian airline's scheduled and
charter operations for over ten years.
.. was the first carrier to place the aircrah into revenue selVice, on 28 March 1969. Orders
followed from operators in Australia, Argentina, Columbia, Spain and the Netherlands,
from operators as diverse as Iberia, Spain's national carrier, the Argentine government
alternative to earlier turbo-props. Via author

One service on which the DC-6B had and Aviaction, asmall start-up charter operator in West Germany. All had avariety of uses mance. The F.28 series was later totally redesigned and updated as the Fokker 70 and
for the versatile Fokker jet's high performance, especially from short or rough runways. 100 types, with new engines and updated flight-deck systems and equipment. The new
heavily featured was a regular charter from
Larger and more powerful versions of the F.28 were offered later and the type became types remained in production until Fokker succumbed to economic pressures and was
Tromso to Spitzbergen, in the Arctic. Sup-
popular as an economic mainline and feeder airliner, as well as its 'outback' perfor- forced to cease all manufacturing operations in the late 1990s.
porting a joint orwegian/Russian coalmin-
ing operation by Store orske Spitzbergen
Kullkompani, landings were at first made on
the sea ice, then a gravel strip. Although the
DC-6Bs shared the service with F.ns and,
later, the F.28s, only the 737 could match
the DC-6Bs' load-carrying on the unique
service. Both passengers and cargo were car-
ried on the flight, with the 737s freight-car-
rying capacity being put to especially good New Zealand National Airways' 737s brought jet comfort to their domestic routes.
use. A tarmac strip was later laid in the mid- Jenny Gradidge
1970s, but the special weather conditions
and unique operational restrictions sti II
meant that an aircraft of the 737's outstand-
ing capabilities was required.
haul jet fleet of four BAC One-Elevens and
were also supplemented by larger 707s
when loads demanded it.
route was one such schedule, with the extra
freight sales capacity supplementing lower
passenger loads at certain times of the day.
.,-n U 1I (J US/ R/ S H / NT ERN
, ~
A 737 simulator was added to Boeing All-cargo services also included a number of
720 and BAC One-Eleven examples bloodstock charters, flying racehorses from
Irish Deliveries the Irish studs to race meetings and sales
already in service at the airline's Dublin
Aer Lingus, the national carrier of Eire, the head office. With more and more 737 around the UK and Continental Europe.
Irish Republic, was close on the heels of operators starting to come on line, some of A large programme of IT services from
Braathens in inaugurating its 73 7 services. them with comparatively small fleets, Aer Dublin and other Irish cities kept the 737
The airline's first aircraft, EI-ASA, 'St Jar- Lingus was increasingly leasing out unused and One-Eleven fleets busy around the
lath' arrived at Dublin on 2 April 1969, training hours on its simulator. This was clock over summer weekends, when there
closely followed by two others. The trio the beginning of a whole new source of was less demand on the business traffic-
began revenue services later that month, income for the ai rI ine, with th ird-party based scheduled routes. Aer Lingus had
flying to London and Paris. Three more maintenance and even short-term crew operated substantial numbers of both
737s, including two convertible 'QCs' were and aircraft leasing gaining in importance charter and scheduled flights to Tarbes,
delivered by the end of 1969. The arrival of over the next few years. transporting pilgrims to the Catholic

yet three more in early 1970 saw Aer Lin- The 'QC' aircraft were not only utilized shrine at Lourdes, in southern France, for
gus able to offer all-jet flights on their Euro- on night-time cargo services. 'Combi' pas- many years and the 73 7s were soon regu-
pean routes, and the withdrawal of their last senger/cargo fl ights operated on some larly assigned to these services. During the
Vickers Viscount turbo-props. The 737s scheduled services to regional points in the busier months, daily utilization of up to 18 The Aer lingus 737s were originally ordered specifically for the busy Dublin-london route and were to be
operated alongside rhe esrabl ished short- UK. The Dublin-Bristol-Cardiff-Dublin hours a day was getting to be the norm. seen at london/Heathrow for many years. Malcolm L. Hill

62 63

The Series 200 Carries On There was an increase in the droop of two extra expense and continued to operate the
slat sections, the exten ion of the Kreuger unmodified aircraft under their original per- CHAPTER FIVE
Onc the outstanding orders for the erie flaps inboard, sealing the gap between spoil- formance criteria, ordering new 'Advanced'
100 had been delivered to Avianca and ers and flaps and smoothing the leading aircraft in any repeat or new orders.
lalaysia- ingapore Airlines in 1969, the edge that was exposed behind the flaps
eries 200 was the sole offering from the 73 7
stable. Although various combinations of
passenger/cargo configurations and rough-
when deployed. One result of the refine-
ments incorporated in the 'Advanced' 737
was an increase in range to 2,370 mile. All
A Day-to-Day Success IDlproving the Breed
field-equipped versions were available, ippon Airways, the japane e domestic The 737 in 196 and 1969 established
there was only the one basic 737 to hane\. carrier, placed the first 'Advanced' 737-20 itself in service with several airline
As well a the aerodynamic improve- inserviceinjune 1971. around the world, operating a staggering Worldwide Distribution the Aloha One-Elcvens had been popular with the Denver, Colorado-based airline
ments already made to reduce drag, and the Significant as the improvements were, variety of operational scenarios. For the with passengers and crews alike. However, since 1966. Frontier had a classic U region-
option of the later, more powelful, versions although kits were made available to cus- most part, the airlines and their pilots were While Bocing was developing the 'Ad- weight limitations had meant that Aloha al carrier history, its antecedents having
of the jT8D engine, from the 280th aircraft tomers for converting their earlier aircraft to pleased with the aircraft. One pilot com- vanced' version, the original 737 models had been forced to operate under severe begun operations shortly after the econd
much more substantial improvement were the new 'Advanced' standard, none were mented that it was: 'A great aeroplane. It werc continuing to spread their wings over restrictions from some of the smaller air- World War, with fleets of ex-military DC-3s.
introduced to the production standard sold. Instead, the operators shunned the just goes and goes l ' an increasingly wide range. ewoperators ports, with usable traffic loads making the The first of three small airlines whose merg-
Series 200 aircraft. The extra changes wcrc as scattered as South African Air- One-Eleven services less e onomic. The er resultcd in thc formation of Fronticr,
included more aerodynamic refinements, lines, Aloha Airlines, Frontier Airlin s 73 7s, with their better runway perfor- Monarch Airlines, inaugurated schedulcd
espe ially concentrated on the wing design, and All ippon Airways. Many of thc new mance, were acquired to counteract these services over thc Denver-Durango route
including a thickening of the enginc strut
and a minor repositioning of the slats.
Improvements in short-field takc-off and
landing characteristics had been brought
about by refining the flaps system and the
installation of an automatic braking systcm.

Malaysia-Singapore Airlines was one of the few

customers for the smaller 737-100. Aviallon Hobby

(Belowl United's 737-200s were soon scheduled on

busy inter-city routes throughout the airline's SAL
network, linking smaller airports to major cities
around the USA. Aviation Hobby Shop

South African Airways was to become a long-term 737 customer. Seen in a later livery, 737-200 lS-SIJ
displays its Afrikaans titling on its starboard side. MAP

73 7 customer had operated jets on their restrictions. A Ithough thc One- Elevens with a single DC-3 on 27 ovember 1946.
short-haul networks before. The 737s were were disposed of as soon as the 737s The next spring, another DC-3-equipped
intended either as replacement for earlier entered service, Aloha continued to oper- airline, Challenger Airlines, based at alt
jets, such as loha's One-Elevens, or to ate a small fleet of Vickers Vi counts on Lake ity, operated its first cheduled er-
supplement larger 72 7 on shorter or les - local and supplementary fl igh ts. vices to Denver via several small cities in
travelled routes into smaller airports, as was outhern Wyoming. Arizona Airways
the case with SAA and ANA. began its DC-3 schedules at the same time,
Aloha had been operating a fleet of Rocky Mountain Boeings flying from Phoenix to citie in the Grand
three BA One-Elevens on their inter- Canyon area.
island Hawaiian network since April Frontier Airlines actually ordered their first All three airlines struggled, although
1966. Introduced to compete against D - 737s as replacements for their fleet of Boe- they also managed some limited expansion
9s of their arch rival Hawaiian Airlines, ing 727-100s, five of which had been in use to their slTlall route networks. By 1949,

64 65

The Convair CV-340s in Frontier's fleet were

converted to turbo-prop power to improve
performance. The increased speed and smoother
ride of the redesignated CV-580s was much
appreciated by their passengers. Crews appreciated
the extra available power at high-altitude Rocky
Mountain airports with short runways. AViation
Hobby Shop

(Below) The 727-100s were to be ousted by the 737s

from 1969. Via author

Frontier's first equipment comprised a fleet of tried and trusted DC-3s inherited from the three local
carriers that merged to form the new airline. AViation Hobby Shop

Challenger had reached Billings, Montana orth and outh Dakota. The next year, to do so. The re-engined Convairs, redesig-
and Arizona new as far south as EI Paso. four more citie were added in Montana. nated CV-5 0- when fitted with the Allison
With Monarch's network neatly sand- 5 1 prop-jets, were placed into service on I
wiched in the middle it soon became clear June 1964. The 'new' CV-5 Os could oper-
to all three that a merger would create a New Management, New ate 100mph faster than the CV-340s. The
more viable carrier. Approval for the merg- Equipment extra power provided by the A II isons W,lS
er was granted by the Civil Aeronautics greatly appreciated at the small airports
Board in 1950 and the new company was The expanded network called for more served by Frontier, many of which were at
named Frontier Airlines, serving routes modern aircraft and the first of what was to rarefied altitudes that had restricted the pis-
that stretched from Montana to Mexico via grow into a large neet of second-hand Con- ton-engined aircraft's operations. services and the extension of routes from not begin scheduled scrvice until Septem- were soon to be disposed of as more jets
seven states in the Rocky Mountain and vair 340s entered service on busier routes 1963 and 1964 boardings had continued Wichita and Topeka to Chicago. The air- hcr 1949, using a nCel o( small Beech allowcd the transfcr of Con vail's to their
Southwest regions. Operations began under in the summer of 1959. The 44-passenger to increase and new non-stop authority was line hegan to apply for several more route Bonanzas on routes from Fort Worth to routes. Within a couple of ycars, thc CV-
the new name on I June 1950. Convairs brought great improvements in granted between several of the larger cities extensions, including services to Seattle, Dallas and points in Oklahoma Statc. DC- 600s were replaced by morc CV-580s, to
A period of teady growth followed, Fron- passenger comfort over the DC- 3s. They on Frontier's network. This prompted Houston, New York and Washington, cit- 3s had entered scrvicc in latc 1950, with standardize the turho-prop neet on one type.
tier utilizing a neet of trusty DC-3s through- were pressurized, which allowed the air- Dymond to place an order for the five Boe- ing their use of 727s which allowed Fron- CV-240s following in thc carly [960s
out the network. Although stretching over craft to operate at altitudes above most of ing 727-100s, at a cost of 55 million. The tier to operate non-stop he tween most of when Ccntral rook ovcr a numher of local
a large territory, the airline still served a the rough weather, especially important on first two of the 99-passenger jet were intro- the cities concerned. Frontier also claimed routes from American Airlincs and East- Changes at the Top
region where populations could he sparse, the Rocky Mountain services. Their duced on bu ier routes from Denver and that the addition of the extra services to its ern A irl ines. Ccntral had also optcd for
with few big citie. However, growth in increased cargo and passenger capacity was alt Lake City in [966. By the time the network would allow the airline to forego turbo-prop convcrsion of their Con vail's, ineteen sixty-eight saw the arrival of the
exploration for oil, natural gas, uranium, useful and attracted further revenue where 72 7s were in service, eighteen Convairs had its nccd for its 7 million annual suhsidy. although they chosc to fit British Rolls larger Boeing 727-2 Os and the award o(
plus reclamation dam projects and tourism the DC-3s had struggled to accommodate been converted to 5 0 standard. on-stop Howcvcr, the CA B refused most of the Royce Dart-. As such, their 'nell" Com'a- nell' routes into Memphis (rom Little
to ational Park in the area provided a de - available traffic. nights were inaugurated between Denver more amhitious reque -ts, such as non-stop irs were designated CV-600s and markcted Rock. Thus, Memphis hccamc thc I 16th
perate need for transportation where little A new management team took over and t Louis by the 727s, with the CV-5 s California- cw York nights, claiming that on Central Airlines sen'ices as 'Dart 600s'. city and Tennessee the [6th statc to he
other public transport existed and road con- Frontier in 1962, headed by Lewis W. nying new Denver-Kansa City-St Louis 'routc :trcngthening does havc its limits'! Thus, when Fronticr mergcd with Cen- served hy Frontier. In terms of the numhcr
ditions could be difficult. Growing use of the Dymond. Improved schedules, nell' 'stand- services, on 13June 1967. Trans World ir- tral, two different versions of Convair turho- of citics served, Frontier was noll' the sec-
airline was made by businessmen, construc- by' and generous family fare were intro- lines took a very dim view of Frontier's prop wcre in use on the network. The result- ond largest air carrier in the U A.
tion finns, the military and vacationers. duced, resulting in a 26 per cent growth in entry into its traditional markets at St Louis The Central Airlines Merger ing neet consistcd offivc Bocing 727- [OOs, The following ycar Lcwis W. Dymond
1n late 195 , Frontier's hard work was passenger boardings for the last six months and Kansas City and trebled its own com- twenty-two CV-5 Os and c1cven CV-600s, resigned from Fronticr and was replaced hy
rewarded with the award of routes to no of [962. Dymond also signed contracts for peting jet services to Denver. On 1 Octohcr [967 Frontier took ovcr as well as no less than scventeen surviving E. Paul Burkc as Prcsident and Board Chair-
less than twenty-four new cities in Nebras- the conversion of the CV-340 neet to turbo- Other new routes awarded to Frontier at Fort Worth, Texas-based Central Airlines. DC-3s that were still in use with both carri- man. Onc of the new management's first
ka, Missouri, Wyoming, Colorado and prop power, the first of the regional airlines the time were non-stop Denver-Las VeW1s Ccntral had been founded in [944, but did ers at the time of the merger. The DC-3s decisions was to replace the original Bocing

66 67

727-100s with more economic Boeing 737- regional and trunk line was a major factor Cargo operations also featured more
200s. The first aircraft was del ivered to in Frontier's being able to survive a diffi- heavily in the charter carrier's 737 service·.
Frontier that summer and by the end of cult time in the indu try. The ability to convert the 737 to all-cargo,
1969, ten 737s lI'ere in use. The smaller, or even 'combi', configuration alloll'ed
more flexible, 737 lI'a· able to operate from increased utili:ation during traditionally
smaller airport than the 72 7-lOs had and Repeat Business slack time when the aircraft might other-
introduced jet service to more cities on the wise be idle. Britannia introduced its first
Frontier Airlines network. Repeat orders sail' original 737 customer convertible aircraft, G-AX A, into ser-
The 737 was also more econom ic on such as nited, Lufthansa, Piedmont, Bri- vice in early 197 and the aircraft was kept
some of the non-stop flights bet\\'een hug- tannia, Aer Lingus and Braathens fleets especially I usy with bloodstock charters Pltumunl
er cities and proved useful on new routes
all'arded in 1969, such as Kansas City-Dal-
increasing on a yearly basis as the airlines
came to rely on the 73 7 on more of their
between the K, Eire and France. Britan-
nia 737s were also used to carry the British

las and Salt Lake City-Denver-Dallas, services. Piedmont retired the last of their Show Jumping Team from Luton to Kiev.
operating alongside the Boeing 727-200s piston-engined Martin 404s in 1970, oper- As their last turho-prop Rrisrol Rrirannias
when loads might not justify the use of the ating to their network of seventy-eight were withdrawn, the Britannia Airways
bigger aircraft. In total contrast, in 1970, a ci tics wi th a fleet of 73 7 jets, supplemen ted 737s began to operate much longer-ranging
small fleet of 19-passenger de Havilland
Canada Twin Otters was introduced on
local flights in northern Montana and
North Dakota. (

Financial Problems
Generally, 1970 had been a bad year for the
airlines, with a sharp slow-down in traffic
growth, brought about by inflation and
excessive competition. However, Frontier
fared slightly better than some carriers,
although it was unable to produce a profit
that year. ell' route awards lI'ere still find-
ing their way to the airline, with jet service
inaugurated between Omaha, Chicago,
Denver and Phoenix, amongst others.
The steadily increasing fleet of Boeing
737s was useful on the new routes, being
better able to operate profitably with the
lower loads encountered whilst traffic was
built up. The four main elements of the Frontier's 737s filled a vital niche between the larger 727-200s and the turbo-prop
Frontier fleet, the Twin Otters, the CV- fleet of CV-580s. Jenny Gradidge
580s, the 737s and the 727-200s provided
a wide range of capacity and performance
well suited to the airline's varied network.
However, during 1971/72, following by FH-227B and Y -II A turbo-props. passenger flights, albeit with necessary refu-
another management change, increasing They carried 2,234,999 passengers in 1969. elling stops, including services from Luton
financial problems led to the disposal of Services had been introduced into Chica- to both orth America and the Far East.
the 727-200s to Braniff Airways. Other go that year and more nell' services lI'ere Bangkok, Colombo, Hong Kong and Kuala
internal changes were made and the ser- opened to Charleston, outh Carolina. By Lumpur lI'ere all served on affinity group
vice standards were overhauled in an effort 1972 Piedmont was able to report record charters from the K, although fuelling
to reverse the carrier's decl ine. The mea- earnings and a net profit of 3,323,317 in ·tops had to be made en route, u·ually at
sures were highly successful and Frontier its 25th year of operation. Zagreb, Damascus, Dubai and Karachi.
Airlines carried 13 per cent more pas·en- Britannia and Braathens, in particular, Braathens also exploited the convert-
gers in 1972. The revenue loads increased appreciated the increased range and ible 73 7s, taking del ivery of cargo-door-
again in 1973 and the CAB statistics improved short runway performance offered equipped 'Advanced' examples in 1971.
showed that Frontier Airlines received by the later, 'Advanced' 73 7-200 models. As When not operating passenger flights on the
fewer passenger complaints than any other well as being able to offer non-stop services orwegian airline's scheduled and charter
regional carrier. With the departure of the to further ranging points, travel companies network, the Braathens convertible 73 7s (Top) Piedmont based a considerable expansion programme around the 737-200 as more were delivered to supplement the original aircraft. Aviation Hobby Shop
727s, the versatile Boeing 737 fleet had were able to develop new resorts and offer flew cargoes throughout the world. A reg- (Middle) Bolder, updated, colours were seen on United's '737 Friend Ships' from 1972. Jenny Gradidge
become Frontier's front-line jet equip- their customers increased choice to points ular operation was the airlift of oil-drilling (Bottom) The flexibility of convertible 737s, such as G-AXNA, allowed Britannia Airways to increase utilization in the quieter winter months
ment. Its ability to operate both local, only served by basic airport f:Kiliries. equipment ::Ind personnel, from orway to when passenger charter work traditionally decreased. Via author

68 69


Sporting Aer lingus's later tail livery, EI-BDY wears Eastern Provincial Airlines' red cheatline, the legacy
of an off-season winter lease. Via author

West Africa. With weather in the orth one of the fi rst to exploi t the 73 7 in th is 737 Newcomers
The large cargo door of the convertible 737 allowed the easy loading of awkward and outsize loads, such as this
dismantled helicopter being transported from london/Gatwick to Greenland by Braathens. Ivar Hakonsen
Sea too rough for oil exploration drilling way. The very first winter of Aer Lingus
in the European winter, operations were 73 7 operations, 1969/70, saw El-ASB ot all of Boeing's customers for the 737
moved to the West African coast. As their leased to Air Algerie for three months, were est<lbl ished operators. brand new
73 7 fleet increased, Braathens also posted supplementing the North African airline's carrier started their operations with the air-
two or three aircraft in neighbouring Swe- fleet of Caravelles. craft in June 1971. The road to the inaugu-
den on a year-round basis, flying IT to Later winter contracts usually saw at ration of Southwest Airlines intra-state ser-
Mediterranean re orts in the summer and least some of Aer Lingus' 737s returning vi es within Texas had been a long one, but
to the Canary Islands in the winter. regularly to the African continent and also their suc essful struggle was to prove impor-
migrating to Canad,l, the Caribbean and tant to Boeing over the following decades.
the US on short-term seasonal leases. It had been as early as 1966 that the idea
Seasonal Leases Those that remained in Eire continued of a low-fare, frequent-service airline serv-
operating on the Irish airline's scheduled ing Texas had first been mooted. At the
Early on, Lufthansa had leased out at least services, although frequencies on some time Rollin King was considering closing
Lhree of their Series IOOs to its charter sub- routes were much redu cd in the winter down a commuter service that he owned
sidiary, Condor Flugdienst. The 73 7s oper- months. IT charter flying was almost non- and operated, also called outhwest Air-
ated alongside six Boeing 727-100s, also existent until the summer and these com- lines, that was losing money on scheduled
leased from Lufthansa, on IT charter' from bined factors allowed the releasing of oth- services from an A ntonio, Texas, to small
a number of West German cities. The erwise idle aircraft for lease work. cities such as Laredo and Eagle Pass. The
Condor 737s replaced the airline' last These highly profitable arrangements tiny airline operated a collection of small
Vickers Viscount turbo-props and allowed usually took effect between the end of eight-passenger aircraft, mostly Beech and
the carrier to claim to be one of the first December and early March, when the air- Piper aircraft. Considering his next move,
all-jet charter airlines in Europe. craft would return to er Lingus and their King eventually hit on the idea of a [ igger
As well as longer-term leases, like that regular scheduled routes from Eire to commercial operation, serving Texas's
from Lufthansa to Condor, a number of Europe. Often, the 737s that had been biggest three commercial cities, Dallas,
carriers managed to lease out their spare leased out would he seen back on the Aer Houston and San ntonio.
73 7 capacity in their less busy seasons. Aer Lingus services till wearing at least partial A year later King presented a feasibility
Lingus, which had pioneered such under- liveries of the lease customer, there not study to his lawyer, Herbert D. Kelleher.
Air Algerie was an early client for Aer ling us's leasing out of spare 737 capacity. EI-ASB is seen in Air Algerie's takings with their Br)eing 720, 707 and having been time to completely repaint Kelleher helped King incorporate the new
Caravelle-era livery. Aviation Hobby Shop RAC One-Eleven fleets in the past, was the aircraft. company, originally called Air Southwest,

70 71

and dispose of the loss-making commuter unanimously, on Z February 1968, to flights, the Air Southwest board was also its operating name from Air Southwe t to Repeated fares wars, especially with was a popular move. Southwest steadily
carrier. Kelleher was not keen on the pro- back Air outhwest. However, the next faced with having to refinance the airline outhwest A irlines, King's original compa- Braniff, dogged the airline over the next began to e tablish itself in the minds of the
posal at first, but agreed to undertake the day the establ ished carriers, in the shape of if it was to have any chance of starting ny now being defunct. Wearing titles to few years, as it struggled to e tablish itself as Texas public as a practical, cheaper, alter-
legal work free of charge. Kelleher then Braniff Airways, Trans Texas Airways and operations. Trained accountant ami ex- that effect, the first of the order for four a profit-making business. At one point, native ro the big-name airlines in the area.
started checking out similar operation, Continental Airway obtained a re train- president of a number of airlines, M. Lamar 737s was delivered to Dallas in June 1971. Braniff had reduced their fare on the Dal- One of the four original 73 7s had to be
such as that of Pacific outhwest in Cali- ing order, prohibiting the commis ion Muse was hired in January 1971 and given The company adopted a bright eye-catch- las- Houston route to 13, half that of sold after a federal district court judge pro-
fornia, and started inve ting in the idea, from delivering th certificate. The case the task of getting the company airborne. ing livery in orange, red and 'desert gold'. outhwest. Although Braniff, with their nounced that outhwest could not legally
and, more importantly, persuading other wa referred to the Austin tate District As well a hiring an experienced manage- Other innovations introduced included large domestic network and international fly harters outside Texas. This robbed the
to do the same. Court that summer. ment team, Muse used every skill and con- pre-punched 1MB-card packets of tickets services would be able to absorb the loss, at airline of a potential source of income and
Most of the first 100,000 raised went on The major airlines argued that they tact he had acquired in his long career to for regular customers, monthly billing and least in the short term, Southwest would also left them with an idle aircraft at quiet
the cost of preparing an appl ication and already provided adequate service between gather together the desperately needed stewardess uniforms that included hot- have bankrupted itself trying to match it. times in the schedule. Although a 500,000
producing a proper prospectus. n option the cities concerned and that there was no funds. pant or red vinyl mini-skirts. Instead, Muse devised a programme where- profit was made on the sale of the aircraft,
was also taken out with American Airlines room for any more competition. Air Gradually, the new finance package was by passengers were still charged Z6, but to Frontier Airl ines, Southwest was left
for three of their surplus Lockheed Electras, Southwest actually lost the first trial and assembled by Muse and veteran airline exec- were offered a gift. Anyone declining the with the problem of covering all the sched-
Underway but Still under Fire
with financing from Allstate Insurance. had to resort to appea ling to the Texas utives were hired to organize the new airline. gift was entitled to a refund of the fare dif- uled flights on the network.
The new company managed to attract Supreme Court. A II the $543,000 raised The man who had come up with the whole Scheduled operations finally began on 18 ference. Initially, 76 per cent of the passen- A solution was found by introducing
extra financing from several important had been spent on the court cases and AII- idea in the first place, Rollin King, became June 1971. The liZ-passenger 737 'Love gers took the gift, and outhwest could the 10-minute turnround, which was to
Birds', christened to reflect Southwest's pocket the extra revenue. The percentage become a legend in the industry. Such fast
choice of home base at Dallas's Love Field, later dropped considerably as the novelty turn rounds had been common in the days

Pacific Southwesfs successful California operation was to provide the model for a Texas-based imitator. MAP Southwest Airlines' brightly painted 737-200s finally started revenue services within Texas in June 1971.
Martyn East

Texas concern that bought rock in Air state Insurance had withdrawn their executive vice-president for operations. operated twelve round-trips daily between wore off, but the promotion lasted long of the 0 -3, or even some of the later
outhwest, raising 543,00 . financing for the EI ctras. However, in Kelleher continued to participate on a part- Dallas and Houston and six a day from enough for outhwest to win that particu- turbo-prop operations, but unheard of
March 1970, the Texas upreme Court time basi as he was till working for his law Dalla to an Antonio. Fares were pitched lar skirmish in the fare war. with the larger jet aircraft. With turn-
overturned the decision of the lower court, firm. Although the Allstate deal for the a 40 round-trip, undercutting Braniff Loads had taken a while to pick up, with round times sla hed, the remaining aircraft
Legal Wranglings
and in December that year, the three Electras had now lapsed, this turned and Texas International, as Trans Texa some early flights operating with only a were able to maintain the published
As with P A and Air California further upreme Court refu ed to hear an appeal out to be a blessing in disguise. Boeing was had become in the meanti me, by 14 and handful of passengers. ome rescheduling schedule minus the sold aircraft. The
west, as long a Air outhwest confined by the rival airlines. not only willing to look at an order from Air 16, respectively. The inaugural flight and revamping of the fares structure fol- speedy turnrounds continue to this day,
their operations to within the borders of outhwest for four Boeing 737-Z Os, Jut had been able to take place despite yet lowed and passenger boarding figures start- enabling the airline to schedule more trips
their home state, they would not require they were prepared to finance 90 per cent of another eleventh hour attempt by Braniff ed to how some improvement. One more per day per aircraft, as well as aving on the
Certified - but Bro/<e'
federal approval from the Civil Aeronau- the purchase cost. These were unheard-of and Texas International to enforce a major change was to switch the Houston capital cost of extra aircraft that would be
tics Board. The company would only need Even now, the rival carriers were still trying financial terms and it was to be the begin- restrain ing order that would have prevent- terminal from the new Intercontinental required to maintain a more leisurely pro-
the go-ahead from the Texas Aeronautics to sabotage Air outhwest, attempting to ning of an excellent relationship between ed services beginning. Only the afternoon Airport, miles outside the city, to the old gramme. The success of the short turn-
Commission, with whom the application dissuade underwriters from buying stock customer airline and aircraft manufacturer. before, Kelleher managed to have the Hobby A irporr, much closer to downtown. round system spoke volumes for the per-
to begin commercial operations was filed and filing spurious complaints to the CAB. In March 1971, during the height of the order overthrown by the Texas Supreme This served the needs of Southwest's large- ceived reliability of the Boeing 737 in
on Z7 November 1967. The TAC voted Although it was now free to begin revenue legal wrangl ing, the airline quietly changed Court in Austin. ly commuting passengers much better and high-pressure operations.

72 73

The Love Field Factor Southwest and Muse Air

One dispute that was guaranteed to keep Southwest's lawyers in steady employment commercial advantage over its larger competitors. In 1972. the cities of Dallas and Fort On 28 March 1978, M. Lamar Muse suddenly resigned as Southwest Airline's President TranStar Airlines and with its fleet painted a striking 'Empyrean Blue' livery. the 'new'
was the problem of Love Field versus Dallas-Fort Worth. Worth brought the first of a series of lawsuits in an effort to make Southwest move. and CEO. In the interim. Herb Kelleher was appointed as atemporary replacement. until airline became Southwest's longer-ranging associate. offering premium-grade services.
In 1968. all the airline operators then using Dallas original airport at Love Field. signed Several years of litigation later. Southwest was told that it could operate from Love Howard D. Putnam, the VP-Marketing Services at United Air Lines accepted the per- Soon. TranStar's route network stretched from Texas to California. Florida. Louisiana,
an agreement. the 1968 Regional Airport Concurrent Bond Ordinance. to move to a new Field as long as it was an airport. Southwest had actually been told this after the first manent post. three months later. Putnam was to remain until 1981 , when he left to take Nevada and Oklahoma as well as still offering flights linking the main Texan cities.
airport being built near Grapevine. Texas. to jointly serve the cities of Dallas and Fort hearing. but appeals from the cities and larger airlines had kept the case in the courts the reigns of the, by then, ailing Braniff International. Herb Kelleher was finally per-
Worth. Situated roughly halfway between the two cities. the costly new facility would for years. When the other airlines moved out of Love Field. Southwest took over the suaded to replace him on a full-time basis. Practically since Day One, Kelleher had been Old Dog, New Tricks
have to attract all the airlines to use it for it to have any hope of being profitable. The prestigious gate positions previously occupied by giant American Airlines. The little air- an important influence on Southwest Airlines, but only as an outside advisor and legal The new arrangement worked quite well for the first year, Southwest and TranStar serv-
airlines who signed up for the bond were not only obliged to move to the new airport. line was growing up. representative. Now he was to lead the airline he had been instrumental in founding. ing their different customer bases in their own way. Unfortunately, TranStar became
but were also liable for any losses it incurred. However. Southwest Airlines was not in Lamar Muse's departure from Southwest was followed by that of his son, Michael. embroiled in a vicious war of fares with Continental Airlines. In 1982, Texas Air Corpo-
existence when the bond was set up and was not about to sign up to it. with its expen- who had been vp-Finance under his father. A non-competition clause was written into ration, the owners of Texas International Airlines, had acquired Continental Airlines,
sive conditions. Southwest Airlines resisted moves to make it transfer operations to the new the agreements reached over their leaving Southwest. but within days of this expiring which could trace its operations as far back as 1937. Despite continuing unrest within
As Love Field was only ten minutes from downtown Dallas. Southwest also Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. Instead. it headquartered itself at the downtown love Field a new airline, Muse Air, came into existence in 1981. Under the control of father and its employee ranks, much of the merged workforce objecting to a somewhat Draconian
recognized its convenience for its business commuters. which would give it a major near Dallas. TIm Kincaid COllection son, Muse Air immediately began rival services over Southwest's core Texan routes. new management style, Texas Air Corporation merged the two operators under the
There were significant differences in the style of operation adopted by Muse. Aiming older and larger airline's name.
for a more select clientele, Muse offered assigned seating, with three facing-seat After the bankruptcy of Braniff International the same year, the 'new' Continental. by
lounge areas in the cabin, extra cabin attendants and upgraded refreshment services. then operating under 'Chapter 11' bankruptcy protection and now headquartered in
Interestingly, Muse Air was the first US carrier to operate a full non-smoking policy on Houston, was anxious to establish itself as the major operator both within Texas and
its aircraft. The Muse Air fleet comprised brand-new, 159-passenger MD-80s, of vari- from the state to the rest of the US. Continental saw TranStar as a threat to their ambi-
ous marks, later joined by slightly smaller, 130-passenger DC-9-50s, bought from Swis- tious plans, the smaller carrier having built up a considerable traffic share on compet-
sair. The all McDonnell Douglas-built fleet was painted in a unique livery with Muse's ing routes from Houston. Continental introduced much reduced, non-refundable, 'Maxi-
signature across the fuselage. Fares', countered by TranStar's 'StarFares' and 'MediFares' programmes. TranStar also
Rather than try to compete by spending money on upgrading their own passenger offered improved, two-class, service with a new Business Class upgraded to a First
amenities, Southwest responded with its strengths, and increased frequencies on routes Class in an attempt to improve revenue yields. However, losses mounted to unaccept-
where the two airlines were now competing head-to-head. Although Muse Air managed able levels and Kelleher finally gave up the fight in 1987, closing down TranStar in
to make a dent in Southwest's traffic and even experimented with expanding its route August that year in an effort to protect Southwest Airlines.
system within Texas and to inter-State points, the Southwest philosophy of frequent.
low-cost travel with basic amenities won through. Muse Air never made a profit and
eventually, in 1986, Lamar Muse took up Herb Kelleher's offer to buyout the company. The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 was Muse Air's choice for its regional Texan services.
Rather than just absorb Muse Air's operations. the airline was reorganized. Renamed TIm Kincaid Collection

Aeronautics Commission. Unfortunately Initial services began on the new expand-

Slow Expansion
for Texas International, they were suffer- ed intra-Texas network that winter and
One 'advantage' of Southwest Airlines ing from industrial action at the time and were increased in the spring of 1977, as
finding itself in almost continuous legal their flights were strike-bound. Therefore more 737s were delivered from Boeing to
dispute with the larger airlines was that it they were unable to put up much of an operate them.
had to curb any temptation to expand too argument and the judge decided that any With its colourful presence now being
quickly. This was a common trap that service was better than none, and threw felt throughout its home state, Southwest
many mher inexperienced carriers had their objections out of court. would have to start looking further afield
fallen into in the past. However, the fre- As it was, the legal dispute had delayed for any future development of the net-
quent court cases kept the Southwest Southwest beginning service from Harlin- work. Muse began studying the possibility
management's attention focused on main- gen until 1975. Their presence in the area of setting up a new subsidiary of the com-
taining standards and maximizing rev- was immediately felt though. The year pany, to provide a Southwest A il'l ines style
enues on the existing network. before, 1974, had seen 123,000 passengers of service from Chicago's Midway Airport.
By 1973 though, Southwest's operations flying from the Valley to Dallas, Houston Once the main airport for Chicago, Mid-
were starting to show a profit and some and San Antonio. Eleven months after way had been eclipsed by the opening of
modest expansion was considered feasible. Southwest introduced their service, this the new facility at O'Hare and was, by the
First targeted was the Rio Grande Valley had risen to 325,000. 1970s, very little used. However, moves
area, served by the airport at Harlingen. Encouraged by the success of the were being made in Washington that
Texas International already served routes Rio Grande Valley flights, Southwest would release Southwest from its intra-
from Harlingen and would, normally, have applied to introduce similar flights from state shackles and allow new routes to be
been expected to put up a fight against Corpus Christi, Austin, Midland-Odessa, opened without the need for out-of-state (continued overlean
Southwest's application to the Texas Lubock and EI Paso, in March 1976. subsidiaries to be formed.

74 75

Southwest and Muse Air continued

Texas International's arguments against Southwest's expansion into the Rio Grande Valley fell flat. as
Texas International was grounded by a strike at the time. Via author

New Services Worldwide 1969. Their initial f1eet of Series 100s was soon operating over much more of MSA's
introduced on scheduled f1ights from Asian network.
The Boeing 737 was, by the 1970s, Singarore to Kuala Lumpur, Penang, In 1972 though, MSA was srlit up, the
becoming a common sight at airports in Bangkok, and Kota Kinabula, ousting the six-year agreement between the two coun-
every corner of the world. Malaysia-Sin- long-serving Comet 4s. More 737 routes tries to operate their airline services as a
gapore Airlines became the first Far East- were introduced as the later order for joint venture having expired. From Octo-
ern operator of the aircraft on 21 August Series 200s arrived and the aircraft were ber. MSA became Singapore Airlines,

Southwest acquired control of its Muse Air rival in 1986. lim Kincaid Collection .~~~~~~~~ .. __ _.....•...

Muse Air was reorganized as TranStar Airlines, replacing Muse Air's 'signature' livery with a new 'Empyrean Blue'
design. lim Kincaid Collection Singapore Airlines 'inherited' the MSA Boeing 737 fleet when the original carrier was split into two
airlines. Aviation Hobby Shop

76 77

based in ingapore, and the Malay'ian 1969/70. Both carriers had previously continent in 1970/71. Indian Airlines had
Airline ystem, based at Kuala Lumpur. been operators of first- and second-gener- operated a small fleet of Caravelle jets on
ingapore irlines rook over most of the ation European jet airliners. VA P major route' for several year', with turho-
jet equipment, Boeing 707s used on long- already flew a pair of BAC One-Elevens, props such as the Viscount, F.27 and HS-
haul flights, and the 73 7s. Malaysian rook and continued to do '0 for many years 74 operating on local routc'. The 737,
over most of the fleet of F.27 turho-props, after the VA P 737 fleet had heen con- with its improved runway performance
operated on local flights, eventually leas- siderably expanded. The contract for the ovcr the older Caravel Ie, was able to intro-
ing in Boeing 7 7s, and ordering nell' five VA P 737s had repla ed an order for duce jet flights to more cities.
737s, to open their own jet service five much larger Boeing 727-200 , the
throughout the region. contract for which had been signed in
mong an increasing number of new 1968. Aerolineas Argentinas operated More 'Rough Field' 737 Sales
operators, outh African Airways intro- several Caravelles and DH Comets on
duced their fleet in 1969 as part of a gen- domestic and regional flights - both types As well as having established itself early
eral modernization plan for their short- were fated to be disposed of as the 737s on in rough-field operations with the likes
and medium-haul routes. Boeing 707s had entered Aerolineas's service. of Wi en Consolidated, renamed Wien Air
operated on long-haul services ro Europe Avianca had actually withdrawn their laska Inc in May 1973, ordair and
for many years ami the 727 had also been 737-100s from service after only two year's Pacific Western, suitably modified 737s
introdu ed on major domestic ,1Ild region- use, in late 1971, deciding instead to con- were also soon demonstrating their unique
al flights in 1965. The 737s were intended centrate on the Boeing 727 for domestic talents elsewhere in the world.

(Above) Malaysian Airline System acquired Boeing 737-200s to operate (Below) Avianca's 737-100s were only to serve for two years before being sold
regional schedules from its Kuala Lumpur base. Steve Bunting on. AViation Hobby shop

Renamed Wien Air Alaska, the Alaskan pioneer airline made good use of its convertible 737-200Cs
throughout the northern state. Jenny Gradidge

to supplement the 72 7s and replacc a si:- and regional jet Trvice. The 737s were In the more remote part of the African,
ablc flcct of Vickers Viscounts operating originally sold to the West German Air Asian and Central/ outhern American
on domestic routes. Force, but were soon sold back to Boeing. continents there was as much need for
Thc Brazilian domestic airlinc VASP The two aircraft were eventually bought high-capacity aircraft capable of operating
(Viacao Aerea ao Paulo) and Argen- by Aloha irlines in J 973. economically and safely from very basiG11-
tinean national carrier, Aerolineas Argen- Back in sia, the statc-owned Indian Iy equipped airports, as there was in Alas-
tinas, had followed Avianca's example Airlines Corporation had introduced a ka or arctic Canada.
and placed Series 200 Boeing 737s in ser- fleet of Boeing 737-200s on to its huge The enhanced performance adv<lntages
vice on their South American routes in domestic network throughout the sub- of the 'Ad van ed' 73 7s lent themselves to

78 79

the more demanding operational environ- small fleet of F.2 s oper<1ted by Braathens programme, the cancellation of the
ments. Rival type, such as the Fokker was soon eclipsed by the airline's 737s and S T project and a general down-turn in
F.28 Fellow hip, and the much modified the Fokkers were sold in favour of more world financial markets was having a eri-
erie 47S ver ion of the BAC One- Boeings. ou accumulative effect.
Eleven, designed specifically as rough- By 197 , the 73 7 was a Iso servi ng mixed At one point, after 737 sales had plum-
field aircraft, were soon eclipsed by the pre tige and 'second-level' service with the meted, a task force set up by Boeing in 1973
73 7 ale figures as it encroached on their likes of Air Algerie, Air Gabon, Air Mada- seriou Iy considered the option of s lIing
targeted markets. gascar, Air auru, Air Tanzania, Air Zaire, the whole 737 programme to Japan. The
All the rival types were capable of S<1tis- Cameroon Airlines, hina Airlines fact that most of the 73 7 production jigs
factory operation from difficult environ- (Taiwan), DETA (Mozambique), Far East- were portable led to the choice of the twin-
ments. They were also modern and com- ern Air Transport (Taiwan), Gulf Air jet as an asset that might profitably be sold
fortable enough to be utilized on more (Bahrein), Iran Air, Iraqi Airways, Kuwait off to save money. From a sales high of 114
important regional services, even where Airways, igeria Airways, Royal Air Maroc, in 1969, only twenty-two were ordered in

The stretched Fokker F.28 2000 could carry a more economic load of passengers, but still sold in
comparatively small numbers against the 737's much more impressive sales figures. Via author

the rough-field capability was not required. Royal Brunei Airlines, Saudia (Saudi Ara- 1972 and barely fourteen in 1973. However,
This gave a degree of flexibility in styles of bia), SAHSA (Honduras), Sudan Airways, a turnround began with the development of
operation that precluded the need for dif- TAAG Angola Airlines, Thai Airways, the 'advanced' version and order began to
ferent types of aircraft on different parts of TA Airlines (Honduras), Yemen Airways slowly build up again.
the network. and Zambia Airways. Although not all these
Where the 73 7 scored over the equally operarors rook advantage of the rough-field
versatile, but smaller, types was its capacity modifications, they all used their versatile Changes Afoot
and range. The original Fokker F.2 carried 73 7 on disparate service throughout their
only sixty-five passenger, although this regions. Despite the ongoing production delays and
wa increased in later ver ions, still capable expensive difficulties in introducing their
of rough-field operations, ro seventy nine. new giant 747 'Jumbo', the early 1970s aw
The eries 47S One-Eleven could carry up Coping with Crisis Boeing with relatively healthy order books
ro eighty-nine, in a high-density configura- for most of their available models. On the
tion. A convertible 737 could carry these Despite the steady pread of the 737 horizon though, was a slow-down in air trav-
sorts of loads in the rear cabin and still have throughout the worldwide airline system el generally, massive fuel price increase and
the forward passenger cabin in a generous during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Boe- a worldwide wave of deregulation, that
cargo configuration, in addition to the ing was going through a financial crisis. would change the air transport industry's Carriers as geographically separate as North Africa's Air Algerie and Air Nauru of the Pacific found use for
standard below-floor cargo capacity. The The increasing costs of the 747 wide-body goalposts for ever. Testing times were "head. the 737 on their diverse networks. Via author/MAP

80 81


Worldwide Influences
The Oil Crisis types with high fuel consumption at a prof- airframe designers were desperately trying to
it. This changed overnight, and aircraft that trim as much weight and aerodynamic drag
ne worldwide crisis that not only con- had previously been viable were found to be as possible off the forthcoming aircraft.
tributed to Boeing's woes but also affected an expensive liability. The Convair series of The oil crisis also affected the airlines'
nearly every industrial undertaking in the medium-range, four-engined, jet airliners revenues in other ways. Industrial and finan-
civilized world, struck in 1973. That year, suffered especially. TWA and Delta operat- cial institutions suffered decreased profits as
the rganization of Oil Producing and ed large fleets of the CV-880 in the USA, a result of their own, and their suppliers',
Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to and withdrew them from service as soon as increased fuel costs. Some companies went
incre,lse the price of the oil they supplied. they could be replaced by more economic out of business, the survivors cutting costs
Fuel prices rocketed in all sectors, trebling aircraft. Suddenly, Boeing and all the other wherever possible, often causing some cut-
within days and plunging the financial airliner manufacturers around the world backs in corporate travel. Where the work-
world into chaos. were having to pay much more attention to force was hit by redundancies and c!o:,ures,
Up until then, airlines had enjoyed the fuel consumption in their designs. Engine leisure travel suffered and the airlines were
benefit of comparatively cheap fuel for their manufacturers were under pressure to pro- losing passengers fmm all market groups.
aircraft and had still been able to operate duce fuel-efficient power plants and the

Saudia, of Saudi Arabia (above) and aircraft of the The Ripples Spread
Indian Airlines Corporation (left) were flown into
both major cities and remoter points in their The effect continued into 1974, with poor
respective countries. Both pictures via author advance bookings and more rounds of fuel
price rises. Europe was as badly hit as any-
(Below) The Boeing 'family' of jet airliners, as
where, with the UK suffering a miners'
offered in the late 1960s. 737-200, PP-SMA, of VASP strike as well. Petrol rationing was threat-
of Brazil. 727-200, N1783B, eventually destined for ened in the UK; in the end, it did not need
libyan Arab Airlines. PP-VJH, a 707-320C, later to be introduced, although the British
delivered to another Brazilian carrier, VARIG, and public did have to suffer extensive power
747-100, N731PA wearing Boeing titles over its Pan cuts from the electrical industry.
American colour scheme before delivery. Boeing One important UK charter carrier, Court
Line Aviation, ceased operati(ins in the
middle of August 1974, at the height of the
summer travel season. The Luton-based
operator flew a large fleet of BAC One-
Elevens and a pair of Lockheed Tristar
wide-bodies throughout Europe's holiday
spots, as well as some longer-haul flights to
Canada and the Caribbean. Forced into a
corner by the increased fuel costs and a
vicious price-war among the tour compa-
nies, including Clark,ollS Holidays and
Hori:on Travel, both owned by the same
holding company as the airline, the entire
group was unable to avoid sudden liLjuida-
tion when the working capital ran out.
Court Line Aviation's Luton neigh-
bour, Britann ia A irways, managed to
weather the storm. By now, being a sub-
lufthansa soon acquired Series 200 737s to operate alongside their original Series sidiary of the powerful and much more
100s. The likes of D-ABHU, 'Konstaz', and its fleetmates, were already established as diverse Thomson Group, the airline was
one of the most popular regional jet airliners, when the oil crisis changed the able to survive with only minimal cuts
operational parameters of the airline industry forever. Lufthansa and cost-saving measures. By 1976, their

82 83

fleer ar rhe end of 1969. More 707s were Of rhe seven, one was leased from Brirannia and G.P. Gurelman. Boasting a modern
leased in over rhe subsequenr years. Airways and rhree were on lease from nir- image, in contrasr ro earlier charter spe-
The fuel crisis hir rhe Caravelle's eco- cd Airlines. cialisrs, the airline started operarions wirh
nomic viabiliry very hard and Transavia an ex-Easrern Airlines Boeing 720 jer.
began looking for a less rhirsry replacemenr. Three early model Boeing 707s later
Twelve of rhe French rwin-jcrs were in use by Belgian Pace-setter joined the single 720 on IT charter work
1973, operaring over an increasing nerwork rhroughour Europe and also ro some
of IT charrers, as well as being in demand for Ir was a furrher rwo years before anorher longer-haul desrinarions.
ad hoc and shorr-rerm leasing contracr work European charrer carrier adopred rhe 73 7 for Two erics 200 737s arrived in 1976,
wirh other airlines hort of capaciry. This lar- ir horr-haul needs. Trail' European A ir- following rwo leased wide-bodied Airbus
rer operation was to become a Transavia spe- ways, based in Brussels, Belgium's capital, A 300Bs rhar had joined rhe 7 7/720 fleer.
cialiry in rhe years ro come. wa one of rhc ncwcr brccd of charrer air- Wirh anorher series 20 on order, Trans
The Caravelle replacemenrs started to be line, wirhour irs roots in rhc propeller era. European was to find rhe 737 an ideal air-
delivered in May 1974 and by rhe follow- Trans European had nor bccn foundcd crafr for irs needs and was soon planning
ing May rherc were seven Boeing 737-200s unril Octobcr 1970, to opcrarc IT charters on acquiring further aircrafr to service a
in scrvicc wirh rhe Durch charter carrier. for parcnr Bclgian travel companics TIFA major expansion of irs operarions.

(Above) Britannia Airways managed to survive the

turmoil of the fuel crisis, with the backing of its
powerful owners and careful management.
Jenny Gradidge

recovery saw rhcir flccr of 737-200~

increase to rhirtccn, including rwo con-
vcrtiblc modcls. A pair of long-rangc 707~
had been operared bricfly in 1971-73, on
flighrs to rhc USA, Canada, rhc Carib- (Above) Transavia's Caravelle 3, PH-TRP had previously served with SAS and Swissair. (Below) PH-TVH was one of the first of Transavia's 737-200s that eventually
bcan and Far Easr. Howcvcr, rhcy had During its time with Transavia it spent time leased out to Tunisair. Aviation Hobby Shop ousted the Caravelles from the Dutch charter carrier's fleet. Steve Bunting
bccn rcturncd to their lcssors aftcr
changcs in US law had madc ir uncco-
nomic for Britannia to operatc lhcir char-
rcr, rhcrc. Thc all-737 flcct was now opcr- Mey-Air Transport's attempt to expand into jet charter operations eventually failed.
ating from a number of K rcgional LN-MTD later found a new home with Piedmont as N754N. Jenny Gradidge
poims, as well as thc Luton hcad office.

More European Charter 7375 ccasing operarion~ and undergoing rhe rI"o DC-6s ami one DC-6B. The follow-
ignominy of having irs jcr flccr rcpossessed ing ycar rhe DC-6 flecr consi 'red of no lcss
Aftcr being onc of rhe 73 7s fcw supportcrs by Boeing for non-paymem. Dcspirc Mey- rhan rcn aircrafr, afrer rhe arrival of rwo
for all-charter services in Europe, by rhe Air's disappointmcnt, Belgium's Trans convcrtible passenger/cargo D -6As and
mid-1970s Britannia was finally joined by Europcan Airways and rhc crhcrlands' fivc more DC-6Bs.
more inclusivc-tour operators. Gcrmany's Transavia had both finally opred for the Transavia operared irs firsr jcr cquipmem
Condor, thar had leased 737s from 737 -200 to rcplacc rheir oldcr jcr flccrs. in rhe shape of a singlc Boeing 707-320C
Lufrhansa for several years, had rerurned to Transavia was rhe longer-csrabl ished of rhar flew long-disrance charters berween
only operating 72 7· for rheir shorr-haul fleer. rhe rwo airlinc" having been founded in May and October 196 . Two Caravel Ie 3 ,
However, orwegian carrier Mey-A ir, 1965 as Transavia (Limburg) V. Re\'- leased from rhe manufacrurer, enrered ser-
prcviously an opcraror of Convair propeller cnuc operarions, however, did nor begin vicc on rhe IT roures from the erher-
aircrafr, rook delivery in 1971 of rwo 737- umil 17 I ovembcr 1966. On rhar dare, lands in 1969. More Caravelles were
200s. Operaring an exrensive IT and ad hoc supporting personnel ami artist' of rhe acquired second-hand, from wissair and
nerwork from candinavia, Mey Air was ro Durch Dance Thearre wcre flown to Unired, replacing rhe leased examples, as
become a vicrim of rhe posr-OPEC slump, aples. Transavia's inirial fleer comprised wcll as rhe lasr DC-6Bs, which lefr rhe

84 85

- . • • • • • • •• uil. L!J'
AIR .~~ ••••

Although a commercial failure for its maker, the few Dassault Mercures built enjoyed long and successful,
accident-free, careers with French domestic carrier, Air Inter. Dassault

Deregulation in the USA

Trans European opted for the 737 to replace larger, but ageing, Boeing 707s and 720s. Via author The Airline Deregulation Act was passed by the US Congress in 1978, With Wide sup- With a regional or local service carner There were overlaps and Inconsistencies - for
port from most sides of the party political fences. In effect, the American scheduled and instance, both Delta and National operated transcontinental routes across the south of
charter air carriers had previously been stringently controlled by the CAB and FAA In the USA, albeit usually with at least one en route stop. Nonetheless there was an
everything from route licences to fares they could offer Under deregulatIOn the airlines established status quo that was about to be seriously upset.
were to be 'set free', at least domestically, flying where they thought they could make Once the act was law, there was an upsurge in new routes and even new airlines
Caribbean Lease Once again, though, the three-crew Air France's Alternatives a profit and charging what they thought the market would allow. The carriers had only trying to take advantage of the situation The established carriers were still strug,
que'tion was raised by the Air France to prove to the authorities that they were 'fit, willing and able' to conduct their opera- gling with the effects of the oil crisis and financial down-turn in the national econ-
France's national carrier, A ir France, had pilots' unions and was to delay the compa- One serious alternative to the 737 for Air tions safely and in the public Interest. On overseas services, for the time being, regu- omy that had left them With half-empty aircraft being flown at a loss However well-
joined the ranks of European cheduled 73 7 ny's decision. Despite the other European France was a French-built option, the Das- lation continued as most foreign routes were governed by International agreement intentioned, some of the new operators found themselves floundering and regional
operators as early as October 1973. Howcv- operators of the 737 all opti ng for a two- sault lercure. Dassault had developed the The main aim of the act was to reduce airline fares and offer more choice to the trav- carriers that expanded their networks overnight were having trouble recouping the
er, it was not the extcnsive Europcan-sched- pilot flight-deck crew, the French unions Mercure as a 'mini-airbu 'seating 130-15 elling public. For many years the prime transcontinental routes were the sole province cost of their actions.
uled network of Air France that was to sec concerned, S PL and OMAC, both passengers, specifically on shorr-haul oper- of the major carriers. America, TWA and United ruled the non-stop coast-to-coast ser- Even the major established carriers were not immune. Competition from new low-
vices. With Braniff, Eastern, Delta and National operating the main north-south routes fare carriers was one of the factors blamed for the eventual demise of once-giant Bran-
the 737s, but the airline's regional services pressured for Air France to adopt the ations. The company had discerned that
on the east coast and to the south and southwest. Continental. Northwest and West- iff Airways, Eastern Air Lines and Pan American World Airways In later years. Even
between the French territories in the three-crew option. The two organizations the rival types then in use were basically ern linked the west coast with the midwest and southwest as well as flying some of some of the survivors were badly mauled in the fight for revenue. Once-mighty Trans
Antilles Islands chain in the Caribbean. In disputed Lufthansa's assertion that the medium-haul airliners, believing their the 'thinner' transcontinental flights in the north and south of the country. In between, World Airlines eventually found itself shrunk to a shadow of its former self, With the
addition to providing an important feeder two-crew operation was perfectly safe. basic design had been compromised by the major carriers had their 'sphere of influence' in various regions, often in competition international network especially hit by low-fare competition and worldwide recession.
service to Air France's trans-Atlantic flights However, a new joint, 9-month, FAA/ stretching to provide more capacity over a
to and from Paris, the Caribbean network NASA study from the U A, presented in shorter range. Resembl ing a much en larged
provided regional links to other import<lnl 1978, reaffirmed that it 'found no evidence 737, the Mercure was designed from the
islands in the vicinity, as well as to Florida in to indicate that a two-man crew aircraft is beginning as a high-capacity, shorr-rang
the southern USA. A ir France had previ- a detriment to safety'. aircraft and the first prototype first flew on
ously assigned Caravelles to the area to The study had reviewed the record of 28 May 1971.
operate the local network. five trunk carrier aircraft, namely the Boe- Powered by imporred Pratt & Whitney
Two Boeing 737-200s were leased from ing727, 737, BACOne-Eleven, DC- and JT8D-15s, the Mercure was offered to
Western, the first, 4522W was chri tened DC-9. The furrher study of three versus many European carriers and marketed as
'Antilles' once it was painted in Air France two crew members concluded that the a viable alternative to the merican
colours. The second, 4504W, was chris- records studied: choices. However, the much hoped-for
tened 'Guyane' and arrived in January 1974. Air France order failed to materiali:e.
Being operated as dictated by Western' prccludcd makll1g any ,ralCmCI1l hCYllnd rhar Other than an order for ten from Air
practice' as agreed with their pilots' unions, rhcrc is nll S1gnl!lcant Lhffcrcncc 111 rhc Ic\'c1 llf bIter that placed the first into service on
the aircraft leased to Air France were oblig- safcry hcrll'cen rhc IlI'll ,md rhrcc m,1I1 llpcra- its dome'tic French network in 1974,
ed to be flown with three flight-deck crew tion. there were no other rakers for the Mer-
members. The French airline was also in- cure. Plans for an enlarged version were
tcnding to use the period of the lease to onetheless, the lack of an agreement on soon abandoned. Air Inter later acquired
cvaluate the 737 as a possible replacement the matter led to Air France cancelling a one of the prototype Mercures a' well and
for the remaining Caravelles on European lease package for th irreen 737 -200s. 1twas were very satisfied with their fleet, but
scheduled services. Air France had already to be December 1981 before Air France there were no more Mercures produced
introduced Boeing 727-200s on busier ex- was able to announce an order for twelve after the initial production batch, a Air Florida began its short-range, intra-Florida services with a highly unsuitable, long-range, Boeing 707.
Caravelle routes within Europe. 737-200s. financial disaster for D<lss<lult. Via author

86 87

Post-Deregulation Scramble Take-over and Meteoric Expansion America also came on line as oon a' aircraft
could be found to open the routes. To aid the
Among the U carriers already in operation More DC-9s joined the fleet and local com- growth of the network, Air Florida also
that were swift to take advantage of the new muter operator, Air Sunshine, also based acquired half a dozen Boeing 727-200s from
rules, Air Florida was, at least for a while, at Miami, was taken over in July 1978. a cancelled Braniff Airways order.
one of the more successful. Originally Although the Air Sunshine fleet of DC-3s The modest aribbean and Bahamian
formed under the old regulations, it was an and Convair CV-440s was not retained, international network was soon eclipsed by
intra-state carrier, based in Miami. Eager to Air Florida added several extra Florida the opening of trans-Atlantic schedules to
repeat the California and Texan success of cities to the network via the huy-out. e\\' Amsterdam, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt,
P A and Southwest Airlines, Air Florida international routes were also opened London and Madrid. Long-range, wide-
began 'cheduled sef\'ices from Miami to from Miami to points in the Bahamas and body, DC-I 0- 30s were leased in to operate
Jacksonville and Tampa in eptember 1972. the Caribbean. the long-haul schedules.
Curiously, Air Florida's first aircraft was Air Florida joined the ranks of 73 7 oper-
none other than a Boeing 707-320. Even ators in 1979, when the first of four ex-
Pride before the Fall
in pre-fuel-crisis days, this was far from Singapore Airlines cries 100s arrived at
suitable equipment for the brief flights Miami. Over the next two years the com- As its tenth anniversary approached, Air
within Florida's borders. In short order, a pany undertook an explosive expansion Florida was able to boast a fleet that had
pair of much more economical Lockheed programme, taking full advantage of the increased from one 707, to three DC-lOs, six
Electra turbo-props replaced the 707, in nell' freedoms avai lable under deregulation. 727-200s, four 737-100s and nineteen 737- The Boeing 727,200 provided more capacity as routes expanded throughout the eastern USA. Via author
March 1973. More 737s, all ~ cries 200s, were acquired, 200s, with fi\'e more 737-200;, on order.
Although soon joined by a third Electra with tweh'e 'Ad\'anced' aircraft on order. There was also an order for three of Boeing';,
in 1974, the small fleet was initially strug- In addition, second-hand aircraft were new high-capacity twin-jet model, the 757,
gling against the local might of Eastern acquired to speed up the expansion. As well in the pipeline. Celebrations for the Airport had reopened at 15.00hrs, follow- Pettit, two of the flight attendants and sixty- \\''1;' about to land on the runway behind
Air Lines and National Airlines. A leased as nine ex-United aircraft, two of which anniversary took on a decidedly muted air ing snow clearance that had closed it down nine of the passengers, four persons unfllrtu- them. The pressure this put on the crew to
Boeing 727-100 jet was acquired in 1976 were leased from Transavia, another two though, following tragic los;, of one of the for an hour. Following de-icing, N62AF nate enough to have been in vehicles on the clear the runway for the approaching East-
and operated alongside the Electras. Steady were contracted in from leasing companies. 737-200s at Washington in January 1982. was pushed back from the terminal and bridge also perished. All the survivors from ern 727 was cited as a possible cause of the
route expansion brought Gainesville, The much enlarged fleet was soon open- Already running well behind schedule as awaited its turn for departure with several the aircraft, one flight attendant and four crew missing signs that all was not well
Orlando, Panama City, Pensacola, St ing new scheduled services from Florida to a result of exceptionally harsh winter weath- other aircraft, mostly also debyed. passengers, had been in the rear section of with the engine thrust readings and per-
Petersburg and Tallahassee, all still with- neighbouring southern states, the Midwest er in the northeast, Air Florida's 737-200, N62AF sat on the taxiway for nearly the cabin, which had broken away and haps choosing not to give as much atten-
in Florida, into the network. After a and the Great Lake;,. Most importantly, des- N62AF, was one of the ex- nited aircraft. another hour before finally being given remained partly above the icc and water in tion as they should have to the build-up of
change of management in 1977, an injec- tinations in the affluent northeast, such as It was operating Flight 90 on 13 January, clearance for take-off. In that time, snow the river. The survivors were hoisted or snO\\' on the aircraft's wing;,.
tion of investment capital followed and Boston, e\\' York, Philadelphia and Wash- a Washington-Fort Lauderdale ;,ef\'ice, had built up on the wing ;,urfaces and ice towed to safety by a US Park Police heli- Air Florida had always operated to a
fi\'t~ ex-Air Canada DC-9-15Fs replace the ington were aIso served by the 737s. e\\' with ;,eventy-four passenger and five crew had also built up in the compressor inlet;, of copter that had managed to reach the crash slim profit margin in an effort to be able to
72 7 and Electras. destinations in the Caribbean and Central members on board. Washington ,Hilmal the engine. Blockage of the inlet tube;, site in twenty minute,'. When a female sur- offer the cheap fares it had built its reputa-
would give false indications of thru;,t, vivor lost her grip on a rescue rope, two tion on. The inevitable dip in passenger
showing a higher amount than was actual- bystanders from the bridge, including a S boardings, following the accident at
ly being developed. On take-off, the ,mom- Congressional Budget Office clerk named Washington, hit the company hard, finan-
alous readings from the blocked tubes led Lenny Skutnick, jumped into the freezing cially. Although some improvement was
the crew to hel ieve that they had reached river to help her. One passenger, who had eventually achieved as time went by, Air
a safe take-off speed before they actuall y survived the initial impact, had been seen Florida never managed to fully recover
had. In addition, the renewed snow and ice to unselfishly assist others reach the heli- from the adverse publicity and finally
on the wings and empennage that had built copter's rescue line, before he 'lipped closed down in the summer of 19 4.
up again as the aircraft waited on the taxi- beneath the water and drowned.
way, caused the aircraft to pitch up as soon
as it wa;, airborne and the aircraft was 'oon The People's Champion
The Aftermath
in a dangerous stalling condition.
In a nose-high attitude, with the under- In the subsequent inquiry, a number of While Air Florida had been an established
carriage down and flap;, still partially unfllrtunate factors were found to have carrier that took advantage of deregula-
extended, N62AF barely reached 300ft contributed to the crash. The initial de- tion to change itself beyond recognitilln,
(90m) in altitude before starting to descend icing was criticized as having been under- another feature of the post-deregulatt,m
again. In a slight left turn, the crew tried to taken with an incorrect mix of glycol and era was the formation of brand new air-
raise the nose and apply power, but their water. Even so, human error was deemed to lines, estahlished to make their mark
efforts were in vain. The aircraft crashed have been a major factor, with some seri- under the new rules.
into the 14th treet Bridge, about a mile ously flawed judgement on the part of the Formed in 19 0, PeoplExpress Airlines
from the end of the runway. liding over the operating crew being accredited with much was the brainchild of Don Burr, a Harvard
roadway on the bridge, packed with early of the blame. The airline itself came in for MBA, who had been President of Texas
rush-hour traffic, 62A F plunged into the some criticism with regards to training pro- International Airlines. Burr had a vision of
iced-up Potomac River. cedures. However, the controller at Wash- a new low-fare airline, with a unique man-
As well as killing the flight-deck crew, ington had asked the crew of N62AF for agement style. Having pioneered discount
Ex,SIA 737-100s heralded the arrival of the many -200s, both new and second,hand, with Air Florida. Aviation Hobby Shop Capt Larry Wheaton and First Officer Roger 'No delay on departure', as another aircraft 'peanut fares' at Texas International, Burr

88 89

was well aware that the paying public wanted one aircraft to ferry his casino's delivered over the next twelve months and
would forgo expensive amenitie in return cl ients free of charge, another wanted PeoplExpress began its meteoric rise. From
for cheap, frequent, reliable air service. In 'over-favourable' credit facilities for eight the start, the new airline targeted first-time
particular, he had a vision of maximum aircraft over ten years. One presented a flyers as a major part of its market base.
responsibilities to the employees, for min- contract full of holes and the next 'candi- Burr wanted to attract passengers off the
imum supervision. This was unlikely to be date' wanted an astronomical commission buses, trains and even out of their cars, and
approved by his then boss, Frank Lorenzo, paid to him personally 'under the counter'. make air transport accessible to all.
the entrepreneur who owned Texas ir PeoplExpress were willing to pay 51. The unique administration style of the
Corporation that controlled Texas Inter- million for a lease-purchase agreement for airline saw substantial staff alary savings by
national. fourteen of the aircraft. Well experienced 'cross utili:ing' aircraft crews on ground-
Burr, and two other Texas International in selling off urplu members of their based jobs in addition to their flying duties.
associates, Melrose Dawsey and Gerald fleet, Lufthansa knew a good deal when it Other ground-based functions were under-
Gitner, resigned from the Texas carrier and was presented and, after protracted nego- taken in a similar manner and other
set about gathering finance for their new tiations, involving dozens of contract money-saving moves included the charging
venture. From several options, the base for rewrites, an agrcement was reached. The of passengers for any baggage carried, at 3
the new carrier was narrowed down to the deal included modification of the 737s a piece. All refreshments on board were
then much under-used Newark Interna- into a high-density, I 18-passenger config- charged for as well, and most of the ticket-
tional, in New Jersey. Initial stock offerings uration, pre-delivery overhauls, cockpit ing activities were undertaken on board by
gained the company 25 million to finclnce instrument conversions back to US stan- the cabin crews. ew staff were required to
its start-up and several other talented exec- dards and the repainting of the aircraft buy a minimum of 100 share" of PeoplEx-
utives defected from Texas International to into PeoplExpress's cream, burgundy and press stock. As long as the airline was mak-
join PeoplExpress. brown livery. A further thre' aircraft were ing money, the quarterly profit-sharing pay-
added to the order at a later date, the last out went a long way towards bringing their
five Lufthansa 737 -I OOs being sold to Far significantly lower salaries nearer to the
NEW SER VICE TO: Lufthansa's Series 100s Eastern Air Transport of Taiwan later in industry norm.
Come Home 1981.
Chicago ('.1id...y) Columbus The first three 737-100s were delivered
Explosive Expansion
Cincinnati Detroit Lufthansa had been offering its early Series to Newark ready for service inauguration in
Cleyeland Indianapolis 100 Boeing 737s for sale, as more, larger, early 19 I, with routes opened from Despite the rather basic nature of their ser-
'Advanced' Series 200s arrived from Seat- ewark to Buffalo, New York, Columbus, vice, PeoplExpress's flights were soon
St. Thomas & St. Croix Il .5. Virgin Islands) tle. The offers Lufthansa received for the Ohio and Norfolk, Virginia, with a typical among thc most popular in the industry. In
aircraft varied from the sublime to the one-way fare of 35. More routes opened a. July 19 3, an incrcdible load factor of 3.6
ridiculous. One prospective purchaser the rest of the Lufthansa aircraft wcre pcr ccnt was achicved. On 6 May 19 3, an

Air Florida's carefully built empire was to slowly crumble in the wake of the Washington tragedy. Via author

When lufthansa delivered the last of PeoplExpress's -100s, the German airline's engineers painted farewell Ex-Braniff International Boeing 747, N602BN, was one of several operated on PeoplExpress's much
tears on the aircraft's tail logo. Via author expanded transcontinental and trans-Atlantic low-fare network. Aviation Hobby Shop

90 97

A one option, in early 19 5, the airline's i:able presence at Denver. [n the mean- PeoplExpress a welcome expansion into
owner offered Frontier A irl ine's employees time, Burr and PeoplExpress offered 24 per Western markets. Nevertheless Burr intend-
the chance to buy the carrier for 21 [ share and, to the Frontier employees' relief, ed to operate Frontier as a separate division
million, at $17 a share. However, Lorenzo finalized the deal in the autumn of 1985. for at least five years before attempting full
stepped in and offered substantially more to integration. This was bec<luse Frontier's
the shareholders, leaving the employees more traditional approach, with a heavily
False Optimism
hopelessly outbid. The employees, fearful of unionized workforce, contrasted starkly
Lorenzo's reputation, tried to block the Frontier continued operations, now as a sub- with Burr's system of 'staff empowerment'.
move by threatening court action, citing sidiary of PeoplExpress, for the time being. Unfortunately, Frontier continued to lose
the monopoly that would be created by Burr did intend to eventually operate as one money at an alarming rate, reaching over
the enlargement of Continental's already carrier, the Frontier route system giving I million a day at one point. PeopIExpre's':
substantial investment in the carrier was
starting to look very risky. It wa becoming
clear, by the 'ummel' of 19 6, that Frontier
could not survive and it looked as though
it might take PeoplExpress down with it.
In a desperate bid to keep Lorenzo at
bay, an attempt was made to sell Frontier
on to United. However, the United
employees' unions objected to the plam
put forward for integrating the Frontier
staff and the deal ne\'er materi,ll i:ed. Once
the talks with United broke down, Fron-
tier was forced to stop flying and Frank
Loren:;o made his move. Texas Air Corpo-
ration purchased the assets of both Fron-
tier and PeoplExpress; hy now both were
on the brink of insolvency. The absorption
of the two heleaguered airlines inro Conti-
nental took effect on [ Fehruary [987.
The Boeing 727-200 became the most common type in the PeoplExpress fleet. outnumbering the 737-100s Another Texas Air Corporation airline,
and -200s. Malcolm L. Hill La Guardia Airport-hased e\\' York Air
was also absorbed into Continental at the
same time. Founded by Texas Internation-
al, initially as a rival to the long-estah-
ex-Braniff [nternational Boeing 747, with widespread, a lack of accountability to a hostile to the extent that the Continental Iished Eastern A ir Lines 'Shuttle' between
Frontier had continued to operate a mixed fleet of Convair CV-580s and Boeing
485 scats, was placed into service on a supervisory body causing incompetence to employees had been treated to an unpleas- 727-200s. both types taking on a brighter. modern. red and orange livery in later years. La Guardia, Bosron and Washington, ew
Newark-London (Gatwick) trans-Atlantic go unchecked and even criminal abuse of ant example of Lorenzo's management Malcolm L. Hill York A ir had started low-fare scheduled
schedule, with similar low-fare features. the in-flight ticketing, and other revenue- style when drastic reductions in pay and services on 19 December 1980. The initial
Five slightly larger 737-200s had been gathering systems, becoming rife. While benefits had been forced upon them, fleet of three ex-Texas International DC-
acquired from CP Air in early 1982, as the most of the employees were intensely loyal despite vociferous union objections. [n an 9s had grown as the network expanded
original seventeen -1 OOs were stretched to and trustworthy, the actions of a few oppor- attempt to further expand his airline into further New England points and a. far
their operational limits. The extra 737s tunists within the organi:ation were drain- empire, Loren:o had made a bid for Den- south as Florida and Louisiana. Over thir-
were soon eclipsed by the arrival of eigh- ing badly needed funds from the airline. ver-based Frontier Airlines. ty aircraft were in usc by the time of the
teen [ 5-seat Boeing 727-2 Os. Within four years PeoplExpress had certain- Frontier had continued to sen'e the consolidation into Continental, mostly
Eventually, the 727 was to outnumber ly grown beyond its founders' wilde t Rocky Mountain area of its origins, even- DC-9 and MD- Os, but a handful of 737s
the 737 in PeoplExpress service, with no dreams, and even proved the concept of air- tually 'erving twenty-six states, as well as were in service as well.
less than fifty-one being acquired, along line scats as a commodity to be sold at the international flights to four cities in Cana- Texas Air Corporation also later
with an eventual total of nine 747s, as cheapest rate the profit margin would bear. da. The Convair 580s were slowly replaced acquired Eastern itself, but prolonged dis-
routes were extended from coast to coast, onetheless, Burr and the [eop[Express by more 737-200s, and, later, MD-80s, putes with its employees prevented any
south to Florida and even a further trans- management were sailing the airline very until the last were retired on 1 June [982. thoughts of integration into Continental.
Atlantic route, from ewark to Brussels close to the wind, financially, and it would new holding company, Frontier Hold- Instead, Eastern's few profitable assets
was opened. Unfortunately, the explosive take just one mistake to bring about disaster. ings Inc, took over the airline as its prime were disposed of or transferred to Conti-
expan ion soon began to take a toll on subsidiary. nfortunately, the economic nental and the remainder was allowed to
PeoplExpress service reputation. The air- downturn in the A followed soon after- slip into bankruptcy ami eventualliquida-
Denver Ambitions
line's claim to 'Fly Smart', no longer alway wards and, in [9 3 the airline po ted its tion in January 1991.
lived up to expectations. Burr's old bo s, Frank Loren:o, of Texas Air fir t annual loss for a decade, of [3. mil- Continental had only recently become
Burr's revolutionary staff empowerment Corporation, had recently merged Texas lion. The results in 19 4 were even worse, a 737 operator itself, shortly before the
philosophy also became unwieldy as the [nternational with Continental Airlines with projections for 19 5 not showing any Despite the best efforts of its staff and management. the sale of Frontier to multi-mergers. As well as suddenly taking
carrier grew. A buse of the system was after a hostile takeover. The takeover was sign of improvement. PeoplExpress failed to save the carrier from economic oblivion. Jenny Gradidge on the ex-Frontier, New York Air and

92 93
Northern Stars
While new 737 operators were using the aircraft in a leading role in exploring new joined Alaska Airlines in 1966. The 727 was much better suited to Alaska's operations, with
forms of commercial air transport, it also continued to make its mark in more rugged fields, its ability to operate from more airfields on the airline's local network than the larger jets.
literally, with its Alaskan and Canadian operators For the first time, jets could serve out-of-the-way cities like Nome, Kotzebue and Unalak-
Wi en Air Alaska had continued to operate its socially vital scheduled network leet. The airline introduced its first 737, a leased 'Advanced' convertible aircraft, in Jan-
throughout Alaska during the 1970s and early 80s. 8y 1982, the fleet consisted of thir- uary 1981. Two more, new, convertible aircraft arrived from Seattle a few months later.
teen 737-200s, ten of them convertible to 'combi' passenger/freight operations, five of In Canada, the 737 was proving as useful a transportation tool as ever. On both inter-
which were of the 'Advanced' model. The remaining three were early models leased in city commuter, holiday flights to sunnier climes and Arctic services to remote commu-
from United. The airline also flew five 727-100s, one of them an all-cargo freighter. The nities, the aircraft was invaluable. Nevertheless, company politics began to intervene
carrier had been the subject of speculation regarding a possible takeover by Western and the aircraft's operators were to go through a series of changes.
Air Lines in the early 1980s, as its one-time neighbour Pacific Northern had once been. Pacific Western Airlines had already absorbed the fleet of fellow 737 operator, Tran-
On this occasion, however, the merger talks came to nothing. Unfortunately, Wi en Air sair, in 1979. in 1986, CP Air had reverted to its original operating name, Canadian Pacif-
Alaska began to suffer from financial problems and, with no other viable purchaser on ic Air Lines. Shortly after this, Pacific Western Airlines' parent company acquired con-
the horizon, succumbed to the pressures in 1984 and ceased operations, bringing to an trol of the larger airline in 1986. This and later moves also brought 737 operators
end nearly sixty years of service to Alaska. Eastern Provincial, Nordair and Quebecair under the control of the same group and the
Alaska's other major carrier, Alaska Airlines had based their jet fleet on a variety of surviving operations of all the airlines were merged under a new name, Canadian Air-
options over the years. Initially, Convair 880 and 990As had replaced the piston-powered lines International. Some of the less economic regional services were assigned to new
OC-6 on main routes from Alaska to Seattle and Portland. Eventually, the Convair jets were subsidiary airlines. However, the combined fleets still consisted of more than eighty air-
joined by Boeing 707s and 720s on the 'Golden Nugget Service' and Boeing 727-100s craft, of which sixty were Boeing 737-200s.

Alaska Airlines operated a mixed fleet of 727s and 737s. Via author

Transair had been absorbed by Pacific Western in 1979, their 737 fleets combining to create an impressive operation. Another round of mergers, acquisitions and renaming brought Eastern Provincial into the new Canadian Airlines
Jenny Gradidge/Aviation Hobby Shop International. Steve Bunting/Martyn East

Continental added the PeopIExpress/Frontier/New York Air 737s to its already over-diverse fleet, in 1987. Martyn East

PeoplExpress Boeing 737s (of three differ- being rebranded as 'Midway Metrolink'. as appearing on some international Euro-
ent marks), Boeing 727s, 747s, McDonnell These offered all business-class facilities, pean routes. Pan American's buy-out of
Douglas DC-9s, of several models, MD-80s while the Florida-based 73 7s flew all econo- Miami-based National Airlines in 1980
and DC-lOs made up the highly diverse my-class flights, as 'Midway Express'. Even- had brought a number of short-haul florid-
fleet. In addition, ex-Eastern Airbus tually, the two operation were merged into ian routes into the network, where the 737s
A300Bs were shortly to make their own one. The airline continued its expansion, also proved more economic. Five ex-Air
maverick contribution. The varied net- replacing the 737s with more DC-9s, of var- Florida 737s were acquired to increase the
work serviced not only local domestic ious marks, until mounting losses caused the Boeing twin-jet fleet and the aircraft served
routes, but also transcontinental, trans- company to cease all operations in 1991. in West Germany as well as Florida.
Atlantic and even trans-Pacific longer- Another concern also took over a num- The reunification of Germany, in 1990,
haul services. Few of the routes were mak- ber of Air Florida's aircraft. Veteran long- saw Pan American eventually withdrawing ------=---
ing much, if any, money and the now haul carrier Pan American World Airways, from Berlin. Pan American itself was now
highly unwieldy Continental Airlines had already introduced a handful of 737- in decline system-wide, struggling against Delta ordered a fleet of 'Advanced' 737-200s to replace older DC-9s. N303DL Another ex-Western aircraft, 737-200, B2613 flew for Far Eastern Air Transport
entered its second period of Chapter 11 200s on their Internal German Network. serious mismanagement, unable to cope was one of the first. arriving in 1983. Via author of Taiwan from 1979 to 1996. Aviation Hobby Shop
bankruptcy protection within months of Leased-in from 1982 to replace less fuel- with low-fare competition from deregulated
the mergers taking effect. efficient Boeing 727-100s, the 737s flew carriers. The 737s returned to Miami where
from West Berlin to Frankfurt, Hamburg, they replaced more 727s. A total of sixteen G-BADP was named 'Sir Arthur Whitten-Brown' in Britannia Airways service. Steve Bunting
Munich, Nuremburg and Stuttgart, as well 737s were to be operated by Pan American.
Air Florida Aftermath
With the demise of Air Florida, there was
a gap in the low-fare market in the 'Sun-
shine State'. Quick to step in to try to fill
the breach was Chicago-based Midway
Airlines, which took over some of the
assets, including the more profitable local
routes. Midway also took over some of the
ex-Air Florida Boeing 737 fleet, offering
employment to many of the defunct air-
line's staff.
Midway Airlines had begun operations
from Chicago's older airport in November
1979, operating a fleet of DC-9s on services
to Cleveland, Detroit and Kansas City.
Expansion followed with new routes open- Pan American acquired 737-200s to replace 727-100s on West German and US
ing to Newark, New York and Washington, domestic services. N388PA 'Clipper Reinickendorf' was leased in for the Berlin-
with the Chicago operations eventually based operations in 1983-84. Via author

(Right) USAir's N247US began
life in 1982 as N793N, 'Suwanee
Pacemaker' with Piedmont
Airlines. The aircraft was
transferred to US Airways
Metrojet in 1998. Steve Bunting

(Below) F-GLXG was operated

by Trans European, Rotterdam
Airlines, TEA (UK) and GB
Airways before joining Europe
Aero Service in 1993. MAP

(Bottom) Air Malta's 737-2oos

fly an extensive IT charter
programme to the Mediterranean
island, as well as vital scheduled
services. Martyn East

(Above) Delivered to the Imperial Iranian regime in 1977, Boeing 737-200,

EP-AGA continued to operate VIP services for the post-revolutionary Islamic
Republic government. MAP


(Top) A Maersk Air 737-300, on lease to British

Airways, shares the Bristol. UK, ramp with a GB
Airways 737-200 in 1989. Martyn East
(Above) N307AC was retained by American
Airlines for just over three years after the (Above) Inter European's leased 737-300, G-MONP on
airline took over AirCal. American Airlines turn-round at Bristol with Paramount's -300, G-PATE in
C.R. Smith Museum 1990. Martyn East

Air Holland operated 737-300, PH-OZA on IT United has flown 737-300, N330UA since its delivery
charters from Amsterdam in the early 1990s. in 1988. Steve Bunting
Malcolm L. Hill
airho?and (Below) Deutsche BA has based its post-reunification
(Below) EC-EBY was delivered new success around the 737-300. Deutsche BA
to Hispania in 1987. It later served with
Transwede, TEA (Switzerland), Air Europa,
TAESA, NordicEast and Western Pacific,
before becoming N334AW with America
West in 1999. Richard Howell
(Above) 737-500, N507SW is one of several Southwest Airline's aircraft to wear (Belowl France's Air Outre Mer operates a number of 737 versions on its
the special 'Shamu' livery, promoting Seaworld's famous killer whale attraction. scheduled and charter services. 737-500, F-GINL was delivered on lease in
Steve Bunting 1998. MAP "

Following Pan American's withdrawal from Berlin, the 737s returned to the USA. N68AF, 'Clipper Rainbow',
an ex-Air Florida aircraft, carries the final 'Billboard' livery, on push-back from Tampa for a short flight
back to Miami. Malcolm L. Hill

Beginning by selling off its Pacific net- commercial flight by an aircraft of the flights. The Egyptair 737s joined others
work, Pan American continued to sell off original Pan American World Airways already in service in the region with Gulf
assets and close routes in an effort to save was operated later that day by a Boeing Air, Iran Air, Iraqi Airways, Saudia and
money. New, smaller, Airbus types had been 727-200 on a scheduled service from Bar- Sudan Airways. Egyptair later leased air-
imported from Europe to replace 747s on bados to Miami. Ironically, the 727 was craft from their 737 fleet to associate air-
domestic trunk routes, and were later seen named 'Clipper Goodwill'. line, Air Sinai, that operates scheduled
on some of the international flights. The flights domestically with Egypt and inter-
sale of the prime US-London/Heathrow nationally on schedules to Israel, as well as
routes followed, also sold to United. More New Operators charters to Europe.
A deal was reached with Atlanta-based In Europe, among others, Greece's
Delta Air Lines, whereby Delta would An interesting addition to the ranks of US national carrier, Olympic Airways placed
acquire the remaining trans-Atlantic net- 737 operators was scheduled Air Express the 737-200 in service on their domestic
work and domestic 'Shuttle' operation carrier, Federal Express. A small fleet of and European schedules. Belgium's Sabena
between Boston, New York and Washing- convertible 737-200Cs were delivered to had replaced their last Caravelles and Boe-
ton, one of the few profitable parts of the Federal Express from 1979, and operated on ing 727-100s with 737-200s, beginning in
airline. Pan American would continue on their extensive night-time cargo network. 1974. Sabena also leased aircraft to their IT
services to the Caribbean and Central and The convertible version had been chosen charter subsidiary, Sobelair, in competition
South America, based at Miami. The 'tac- as, at the time, the carrier was considering with TEA's Boeing 737 operations. Abelag
tical retreat' to Miami was seen as the diversifying into passenger charter or low- Airways, a new Brussels-based carrier, oper-
chance for a new start, and the only fare scheduled services, to occupy the air- ated 737 -200s alongside 707s, before chang-
chance for the carrier to survive in any craft when not required for the freight ing its name to Air Belgium. Neighbouring
substantial form. work. However, these plans were soon Luxair replaced their own Caravelles with
However, at the last minute, Delta abandoned and the 737s disposed of by 737-200s, flying them on European sched-
withdrew vital funding. The 'Shuttle' and 1981, in favour of larger all-cargo aircraft. ules, as well as a popular programme of ITs
the remaining trans-Atlantic routes had In the Middle East, Egyptair leased two from its Luxembourg base.
already been transferred to Delta, but the Air Lingus 737-200s in 1975, prior to tak- Air France's own, long-awaited, Boeing
expected life-span of the rest of Pan ing delivery of their own fleet of eight new 737-200s finally arrived in Europe in
American could be counted in hours. The aircraft on order from Boeing. The 737s December 1982. They replaced the last of
tattered remnant of the historic carrier were to replace the airline's ageing fleet of the airline's surviving Caravelles, a type
was forced into an ignominious bankrupt- Comet 4Cs and Russian-built 11-18 and that had been in service with Air France
I Top) British Midland's new image as british midland bmi was unveiled in 2001. 737-500, G-BVZH was one of the first to wear the revised livery. Aviation Hobby Shop cy on 4 December 1991. The very last AN-24 turbo-props on local and regional since 1959!

IMiddle) Lufthansa operates its 737-300aCs on night-time cargo and mail services around Europe. Lufthansa

(Bonom) Maersk Air operate 'Next Generation' 737s, including 737-700, OY-MRC, alongside earlier versions. Aviation Hobby Shop
low-Fare Hopefuls WORLDWIDE INFL E CES

PeoplExpress, and its initial success, soon found some disciples around America. One Plans to replace the 737s with an all-BAe 146 fleet were speeded up as the company
to take up much of the PeoplExpress philosophy, including a version of the staff- continued to lose money and entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Eventually the
empowering concept, was America West Airlines, based at Phoenix, Arizona. company was reorganized as a United Express carrier, operating on behalf of the larger
Founded as acompany in 1981 and beginning operations in 1983, America West initial- airline on routes from Dulles. Even this support failed to save Presidential and, after yet
ly operated a trio of Boeing 737-200s on routes from Phoenix to Colorado Springs, Kansas another reorganization and renewal as Presidential Express, operating BAe Jetstream
City, Los Angeles and Wichita. By the end of the first year's operations, ten 737s were in commuter turbo-props, Presidential finally ceased operations for good in December 1989.
use servicing twelve cities from Phoenix. International operations, with routes opening to America West Airlines managed to survive, despite experiencing its own growing
Canada, followed shortly aftelWards, as did seasonal ski-flight schedules to Colorado. pains. The Phoenix-based airline was forced into Chapter 11 itself a number of times, for
Further east. Presidential AilWays began operations from Washington's Dulles Inter- the first time in 1991. In what was seen later as a classic case of overexpansion, a pair
national Airport in October 1985. High frequency, low-fare, flights served Boston, Hart- of second-hand 80eing 747 wide-bodies had been placed in service on short-lived, loss-
ford, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Miami, Orlando and West Palm Beach with a fleet of twelve making, schedules to Hawaii. For once, as with other less fortunate airlines, this did not
737-200s. A small fleet of British-built BAe 146-200s began joining Presidential in mid- foretell the beginning of the end. America West used its periods of bankruptcy protection
1986, on lower-capacity flights. as a useful breathing space in which to reorganize and, where necessary, reinvent itself.

(Abovel Federal Express only operated the 737 for a short time, (Belowl The single aircraft fleet of Air Sinai, operating a limited domestic and regional
replacing them with larger 727-200 freighters when plans to operate network, contrasted dramatically with Sabena's wide-ranging use of its numerous 737s, of
passenger services were dropped. MAP various versions, throughout Europe. Both pictures courtesy of Steve Buntmg

(Above) America West's initial growth at Phoenix was based around (Belowl Originally Britannia airways G-AVRO, Presidential Airways N313XV is pictured at Luton before
the 737. Steve Bunting its trans-Atlantic delivery flight. Steve Bunting


98 99

(Left) Sabena's charter subsidiary, Sobelair,

operated its 737s to resort areas around the
Mediterranean. Via author

(Below left) Air France finally placed their own

737s into service on European routes in 1982.
F-GBVP is pictured during a turnround at Geneva.
Malcolm L. Hill The Baby Grows
Deregulation Aftermath
Although the debate will certainly rage for
year' as to the benefits or otherwise of the
deregulation of the US airline industry,
there is no doubt that it had a dramatic
effect of the travelling habits of America.
While some operators thrived under the
new conditions, some faltered and many
failed in short order. Similar reforms were
soon to be copied the world over in the fol-
lowing decades, with varying degrees of
Throughout the upheaval, the Boeing
73 7 had played a part, both plying its tradi-
tional trade with the established carrier,
and bla:ing pioneering trails with the new
breed of low-cost airlines. As the regulato-
ry changes began to make their mark on the
Britannia airways updated their 737-200 fleet over the years, replacing older aircraft with more modern
airlines, Boeing was looking closely at the
versions. G-BJCV, 'Viscount Trenchard' was delivered in early 1982. Via author
basic 737, Was it to be seen as having served
its purpose and confined to history as a
1960s and 70s phenomenon? Or was there
life in an updated design' What Next? the -200 and the airline came close to seater, short/medium-range market. The first
placing a production order. However, an public reference to the new type, now known
With the 1980s approaching, the 73 7 sales all-new design, originally designated the as the 737-300, wa made at the Farnbor-
figures had maintained their recovery from 7N7, was finally chosen for development ough ir Show in 1980. At the time, Boeing
(Below)luxair's busy fleet of 737-200s flew both the early 1970s slump, With the 'Advanced' by Boeing. This eventually emerged as the was still negotiating with the two main can-
scheduled and IT charters within Europe. Luxair version making its mark, Boeing was finally twin-engined 757. The last new 727 rolled didates to supply the new engine designs,
able (() sLart looking to Lhe future of the 73 7 off the production line in September 1984. CFM International, with their CFM56, and
programme. Although the 727 had eventually been Rolls Royce with the proposed RJ 500,
A major factor to be considered was that completed replaced, Boeing opted to study 'FM International finally won through
of fuel economy. Since the original OPEC an upgraded 73 7, as an alternative to design- and, when the 737-300 was formally
crisis in 1974, the price of aviation fuel ing a whole new type, The 73 7 studies cen- launched with the first production order in
had leapt up several time'. The compara- tred on re-engining the design, preferably March 19 I, the aircraft would be CFM56
tively thirsty JT Ds were becoming less with more fuel-efficient high-bypass turbo- powered. CFM International was jointly
economical as the years went by. ew fans, then under development. As well as owned by General Electric of the A and
noise pollution legi lation was on the hori- offering the required fuel economie , the ECMA of France. The CFM56 was first
:on as well that would eventually restrict new engines would be much quieter, Further developed a a possible replacement for
operations of both the early model 737, improvements looked at for the new 737 older types of engines on the Boeing 707.
and the larger 72 7s. There were at least versions included a moderni:ed flight-deck, Boeing had planned to offer new 707 air-
only two thir ty and noi 'y JT8Ds on the revi ed systems and refined aerodynamics. frames fitted with the engines, as well as
73 7, compared to three on the 72 7. retrofitting existing aircraft. The civil pro-
Development of an even more tretched gramme was later cancelled, although the
727-300 series was finally ahandoned, Go Ahead for the -300 engine was used to re-engine many military
although it had found favour with several 707s and KC 135s. An updated flight-deck
airlines. United, in particular, had co- Boeing finally made its decision to proceed for the new 737 saw the use of more modern
operated with Boeing on the design stud- with an improved 73 7 in January 1979. The instrumentation and new technology sys-
ies for the proposed 727-300, that would established design would form the basis of tems such as digital avionics, up to the stan-
be a further 18ft 4in (5.6m) longer than the company's offering for the 100-150 dard on Boeing's new 757 and 767 models,

100 101
Better late Than Never
Although Britannia Airways' success with the 737 had not gone unnoticed with the Unit- Transavia aircraft were eventually repainted in full BA livery. Also evaluated at the time
ed Kingdom's national carrier, it was to be over ten years before British Airways was to was the Boeing 7N7 project that BA later ordered as the Boeing 757.
put their own aircraft into service. BA's predecessor, British European Airways had lob- As a result of the assessments, British Airways placed an order for nineteen 737-200s
bied for permission to order the 737 for many years. Operating as a nationalized corpo- in July 1978. To be promoted as the 'Super 737s', by BA, the aircraft were an updated
ration at the time though, there was a great deal of political interference in the airline's version of the'Advanced' 737, with CAT 3A autoland certification, matching the autoland
operations. As a result. locally produced aircraft such as the Hawker Siddeley Trident and capabilities of the Tridents that they were to replace. The flight-deck layout was upgrad-
BAC One-Eleven had to be favoured, even though they were less economic to operate. ed and the avionics incorporated a new digital Automatic Flight Control System.
By the time the two national airlines were merged into one company, British Airways, British Airways' own 737s entered service in February 1980, and the Transavia air-
in 1974, the British aerospace industry was in serious decline, which occurred as a craft were returned. Coincident with the arrival of the 737, a massive 70 per cent fuel
result of politiCal interference. As such, its proposals for new aircraft for British Air- price rise was imposed, making their arrival even more welcome as it allowed the swift
ways European Division, as BEA had initially become, were for the most part uncom- retirement of more thirsty Tridents and One-Elevens. The fact that the new aircraft
petitive. Yet further anlarged versions of the Trident and One-Eleven were proposed, could be operated with two flight-deck crew, as opposed to the Trident's three, also
but soon rejected, as was the French-built Mercure. added to cost savings that arrived with the 737s.
Once freed from its government chains, BA was able to actively consider US aircraft for Nine more 'Super 737s' were ordered to re-equip BA's charter subsidiary, British Air-
its short-haul needs. In late 1977, under the pretext of a capacity shortage, British Air- tours. Originally flying ex-BEA Comet 4Bs, as BEA Airtours from 1968, the charter arm
ways leased in both McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 sand Boeing 737-200s, from Finnair and had taken on a new identity with the emergence of BA after the merger. A fleet of ex-
Transavia respectively, to assess the performance of both types on their short-haul net- BOAC Boeing 707s had already replaced the Comets, but these were becoming uneco-
work. The Finnair DC-9s only operated on the London-Helsinki service. The Transavia nomic on the shorter European charters. Lockheed Tristars took over the longer-ranging
737s, initially wearing BA stickers in addition to Transavia's colours, were used on flights flights and the 737s were to finally replace the ageing 707s from 1980-81.
from London to Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Istanbul. Stavanger and Stock- British Airways itself ordered a further sixteen 737-200s that, along with the arrival
holm, as well as also appearing on the Helsinki route. As the study continued, the of Boeing 757s, would accelerate the retirement of the last Tridents and One-Elevens.

The 737-300 flight-deck incorporated many advances originally designed for the then new 757 and 767
models. Lufthansa

(Above) British Airways own 737-200s were operated from February 1980 on both (Below) BA subsidiary, British Airtours, specialized in IT charters with its 737-2oos that
The CFM56 was a I'ery different engine domestic and international services from London/Heathrow. Malcolm L. Hill had replaced older 707s. Steve Bunting
The power added by the n,OOOlb thrust de-ign, to be powered by IAE V2500
design from the jT8D. Much bigger, the of the CFM56 allowed Boeing to initiate engines. Later this design was refined into
high bypass ratio engi nes cou Id not be the first major stretch of the 73 7 since the the '7j7' proposal that was expected to be
hung below th' 737 wings as with the ear- -200. Two fuselage plugs, one of 3ft 8in built in close co-operation with japan. ~ "I ....- ~" .-

lier versions o( the aircraft. Instead, they (1.lm) forward of the wing, one of 5ft .'~' '
Despite, or possibly as a result of, heing .... i .. _ ~. --.....;;:;v",",,"
had to be cantilevered out ahead of the (1.5m) at the rear, increased the ol'erall powered by propfan engines and incorpo-
wing's leading edge. The original 737 length to 109ft 7in 03m). In a high-den- rating f1y-by-wire, totally electronic con-
design's inherent lack of centre of gral'ity sity configuration, this would allow the trols, the 7]7 receil'ed a (airly cool reception
problems made this fairly major re-design seati ng of up to 149 passengers. from the airlines.
possible, Any other engine location would
onetheless, Boeing kept the 7j7 pro-
have made use of the much larger CFM56
Bigger Yet posal alive and offered a further stretch of
difficult, if not totally impossible. To solve
the 737 as a 'stop-gap' until the 7]7 tech- ..i;...."."" ••• British airfours
the problem of ground clearance with the The initial stretch that produced the eries nology was perfected into a more practical
wider engine, the lower section of the 300 was not to be the end of the story. Boe- airliner design. The airlines had been
engine nacelle was slighrly flattened at the ing continued to tudy whole new designs pressuring Boeing to make a decision and
bottom and el'en some parts of the engine in the 150-,eat range through the mid- the eries 400 was finally announced in
were reposi tioned. 1980s, evaluating aiI'I ine reaction to a '7 -7' late 1985. Further ·tretched by 6ft (1.8m)


As a result of the Mohawk acquisition, starting to look seriously at their options to offer a cost-effective, reliable service
Allegheny operated a number of the, basi- for replacing their thirstier fleets. with increased aircraft utilization, thus
cally similar, American-built DC-9-30s The first of the 'new breed' of British allowing lower rates to be offered to char-
and British-built SAC One-Eleven jets, charter carriers to emerge was Air Europe, terers. The older fleet operated by Dan-Air
the latter inherited from Mohawk. The which began operations in May 1979. was unable to offer the lower seat-mile costs
jets were supplemented by a large fleet of Established with the hacking of Intasun, increasingly demanded by Intasun and
Convair CV-5 0 turbo-props. The first of then one of the largest UK IT travel com- other tour operators.
an initial order of seven 737-200s joined panies, both organizations had entrepre- A deposit was paid to Boeing for three
the U Air fleet to begin the replacement neur Harry Goodman as their chairman. new 737-200 'Advanced' aircraft. The air-
of the older One-Eleven and DC-9s, with The original founders of the airline, Errol craft's financing came via a Japanese
new 727-200s also joining the airline's Cossey and Martin O'Regan had both been investment group and involved a 10-year
inventory for new Pittsburgh-California with leading British independent, Dan-Air lease-purchase agreement. Then sti II a
longer-range services. ervice', as Commercial Director and novel idea, but now a standard industry
Group Finance Director respectively. They practice, the arrangement was a natural
decided to strike out on their own after the evolution of earlier tyles of leasing prac-
Dan-Air management rejected their pro- tices. In addition to the initial three air-
More UK Charter 7375 posals for modernizing the fleet to make it craft, two more 737s were on order for
Despite the post-fuel-crisis depression, the more economic and attractive to potential delivery in time for the 1980 season.
(Above) Southwest's 737s steadily expanded their
seemingly inexorable rise of the inclusive charterers. Goodman had been intere'ted Late 197 to early 1979 was spent in a
sphere of influence under deregulation. Tim Kincaid
tour market in Europe was to lead to fur- in their ideas and offered backing to estab- flurry of organization, recruitment and
Collection lish Intasun's own 'in-house' airline. training. Determined to lay to rest the old
ther expansion of the 73 7's presence on
the continent in the early 1980s. Estab- charter airline's reputations for old, unreli-
lished operators found themselves in the able aircraft and indifferent service, Air
Europe's management laid great emphasis
position of having to lease in extra capac- Getting Air Europe Underway on employing a cadre of professional people
forward and 4ft (1.2m) aft, the 737-400 ity to cater for the demand as the holiday
indu try recovered. ome new carriers The strong financial backing meant that who took pride in their work. The new base
fuselage was only Sin (l2.5cm) shorter
quickly stepped in to exploit opportunities Air Europe was able to go straight to Boe- at London/Gatwick became operational
than the original 'Dash Eighty', the proto-
in the growing market and were soon ing for a brand new fleet. The whole pretext when the first aircraft, registered G-BMHG
type Boeing 707/KC135.
showing their colours on airport ramps behind Casey and O'Regan's plan had been (after Mike Harry Goodman), was delivered
The 7J7 was officially 'indefinitely post-
around Europe. Cost-cutting was still a to introduce modern aircraft with lower on 10Apri11979. oonjoinedlyG-BMOR
poned', while the supposedly 'stop-gap' 737-
high priority and charter operators of operating cost and operational reliability. (after Martin O'Regan) and G-BMEC (after
4 0 was launched into production with the
older, less fuel-efficient aircraft were As a result, they felt that they would be able Errol Cossey), commercial operations began
first orders received in June 19 6. Over 17
passengers could now be accommodated in
the stretched 737-400.

The Series 200 into the 19805 USAir took delivery of 737-200s as part of a modernization programme, beginning the
gradual process of replacing older DC-9s and SAC One-Elevens. Steve Bunting
Even as Boeing was refining the proposed
Series 300, the Series 200 continued to
attract customer. The Series 300 wa not
intended as an immediate replacement for nlike other pioneer 73 7 operators, well as new examples off the production
the Series 200. 1ndeed, the Series 200 and California's Pacific Southwest Airlines line. Even Lufthansa wa still taking deliv-
300 were to be produced side by side for had eventually disposed of their fleet. ery of 737s, taking their 70th aircraft on
some years. fter a financially disastrous attempt to charge in March 1985. All these operators
Estahl ished U operators of the 73 7 con-
tinued to expand their fleets of cries 200s.
outhwe t Airlines had been swift to take
operate wic.Ie-bodied Lockheed L-lO II
Tristars on their high-pressure, inter-city
network, P A had standardized on the
were showing a healthy interest in the Series
300/40 development, as was outhwest
............. ,
air europe

advantage of deregulation and expand out Boeing 727-200. Over thirty were operat- Air, the renamed Allegheny Air-
of its Texan confines. Others had stumbled ed by the airline at the trijet's PSA zenith. lines, whose takeover of Lake Central in
into the post-deregulation era and over- Later, even the 727s were replaced by more 196 had led to the cancellation of the lat- •
stretched themselves. Nonetheless, under economical MD- Is and several DC-9-30s ter's own 73 7 order, finally took del ivery of
Herb Kelleher's direction, outhwest had were acquired second-hand. A number of the type in 19 2. Another takeover in
controlled their growth, while till su tain- UK-built BAe-146s were also introduced, 1972 had seen the network and fleet of
ing a healthy expansion. As well as extend- a frequency of service became a priority ew York tate-based Mohawk Airlines
ing the established network to the east and over aircraft capacity. being integrated into Allegheny. The
west, eventually reaching Arizona, Califor- Other long-term 73 7 operators, United, much expanded carrier had changed its
nia, evac.Ia and Tennes ee, new Kansas We tern and Piedmont, were still steadily name to A ir in 1979 in order to give the
ity services were extended northwards to increasing their fleets of eries 200s. ec- airline a less parochial image and reflect its
St Louis and Chicago/Midway. onc.I-hand aircraft were often acquired, as ambitions to expand nationwide. Air Europe's brand new fleet was one of the most modern available for IT work in the UK. MAP

704 705

with a Gatwick-Palma IT charter on Friday Staff and crews were recruited and Airways, the only carrier with any signifi- Dan-Air Services, based at Gatwick and maintain. The tour companie were also night service division of its parent company.
... Monarch Airlines, Britannia Airways' hecoming reluctant to accommodate their Fokker E27s had opened general charter
14 May, carrying 130 Intasun customers. trained throughout 1979, in preparation cant presence at East Midlands up until the
for the 19 summer 'cason. nlike Air arrival of Orion irways. Although Chris's neighbour at Luton, both introduced 737- cI ients on Dan-Air's older aircraft and were nights in 1979, later undertaking domestic
Europe that based itself at London's introduction to the Boeing 73 7 was to he 200s into their neets in late 19 O. threatening to take their business else- schedules ami ITs for a numher of local tour
Gatwick irport, Orion irll'ays adopted some time after the type made it debut, his Dan-Air had finally recogni:ed that where. As the last of the Comets wa final- companies, As the IT market expanded in
Another Holiday Flight ly withdrawn from service, at the end of Denmark as swiftly as anywhere else, Maer-
East Midlands Airport as its headquarters. experience of transition from propeller to their neet needed moderni:ation. Its char-
Newcomer East Midlands A irport, ncar Castle Don- jet was to he typical of many over the years. ter operations were based mostly around 19 ,Dan-Airtook deli\'ery of ire first 73 7, sk replaced the Fnkkers on the holiday char-
ington, had heen opened in 1964 to serve neets of second-hand Comets and B C The single Series 2 was operated on lease ters with second-hand Boeing 71 Rs,
s ir Europe was getting itself geared up the metropolitan area encapsulated hy I ga\"(o' up" Clllnmand on Vi,count, With R IA to One-Elevens, with larger Boeing 71 7-I OOs from the Danish airline, laersk Air. resplendent in their all-blue colour scheme.
for its first summer season, another K Derhy, ottingham and Leicester. Up until go fly 7)7, a, " Fir,t O(f,ccr (,omcthing I now and -200s. Despite having been compara- Maersk Air, a suhsidiary of the giant A.P. Maersk began to replace the nOBs with
tour operator was also setting up its own the opening of East Midlands Airport, the 'lLk"c FlO, net'a to do- ,omctimc.' It " I'cry dif- tively cheap to acquire, the Dan-air aircraft Moller Group, owners of the Maersk hip- 737-200s in 197 ,like other carriers before
737 airline. Horizon Travel had heen one area had heen dominated hy Birmingham's ficult to gct hack In thc Icft hand ,cat'). Apart were increasingly expensive to operate ,1Ild ping organization, had hegun operations as a it, Maersk started leasing out spare capacity
of the pioneers of the industry, nying its Elmdon Airport, much further to the west from 'lI1glc cnginc Jct; in thc Roy,,1 Air Forcc,
first IT passengers from Britain to Corsica and inconvenient for the population of the thi, w,,, Ihc fiN I ypc of Jct aircr"ft I h"d flown. I
in 1949. Expanding steadily over the years, more eastern cities in the reginn. w", "ma:cd "t hmv much furthcr ahcad of thc air-
the inevitahle corporate 'ups and downs' Orion's first three Boeing 73 7-200s were craft 1 had to think. For imtancc, having to plan
included the company heing a part of the delivered in February and March 1980. Top or I)c,ccnl points, dcpcndcnt on winds, air-
eralt weight, ATe altitude rc:-,triction . . , C::lC.,

m'htly up to 110 n"utic,,1 milc, rromlhc airport'

Thc .,ircfi,rt, '" "rc "II jct" hccamc a hlg glid-
cr wllh thc cngll1c, ,It Idlc powcr. Of cou"c, on
thc Vi,counts, propcllcr, could pnl\'ldc cnor-
moll'. <l1l101l11(', of drag to . . Iow down ,lnd
de ccnJ, hut could ~llso pnl\'IJe 1!l... t,lnt<lIlCOU'I

n: pon.. . c to Jc!J\'cr po\\'er. ThiS was not . . 0 on the

JT~I)" on which an clght 'ccond ,pool-up tlmc
lrom Idle to full powcr could hc cxpcctcd. Th"
could hc pOlcntl"lly d"a,rrou, "t low he,ght, 10\\
powcr conflguf,llion, ifilllll1edl,HC (ull po\\,er \\'(1 ...
reqUired, llence, hIgh drag agilllbt high power
.,ppro"d,C' wcrc much "tfer. The 7) 7 lI'a, onc 01
thc fiN aircraft to Il1CIlfI'Ilf'IlC high !tIt del' ICC'
and ,f "II werc extended - shit" flal" and ,f, upon
landing, the ,peedhrake wa, extended, It looked
'" though there w", hardly anything on t he wing
th,lt \\'a", not extcndcd or mO"lng, ;)~ you could
,ee nghl Ihmugh III
The Orion 717, were ,,,cd cxtcn,ivcly on hol-
iday IT wllfk. Bccause of the high densily con-
figuration of 110 p""enger scats ror flighls of up (Above) Maersk began large-scale IT services with
to four hOllr~, \\'ith n.~~er\'c~, thi", l11eanl "'OI11C- Boeing 720Bs. eventually replacing them with 737s,
Orion Airways had the backing of Horizon. one of the most distinguished and longest time., having ro include technictl, refucllll1g, leasing contracts soon became a large part of the
established IT holiday companies. Steve Bunting 'tol" on flighr, to and from thc etl1ary Island" airline's operations. 737 OY-APG was contracted
e'peclally (rom airfield, further north tI1the UK. out to Tunisair in 1978. Jenny Gradidge
Operal ing the aircraft to the maximum extent of
It ... range and field pcrformancc, \\'Ilh tcmpera-
giant Clarksons organization when it Operations were initially undertaken sole- ture, in Ihe de,tinarHtI1' oftcn hCll1g in the off-season. oon, Maersk was spe-
entered bankruptcy in 1974. J Inll'ever, ly for Hori:on, eventually serving twenty- ,'cry hOI In ...lImmcr, lip to 30-40°, mC,lnt th;11 \\'C ciali:ing in longer-term leasing, huying air-
Hori:on survived, being sold on to nell' five holiday destinations in nine countries. werc hecomlng \'cry adept at "'qucc:lng the la.. t craft specifically to undertake leasing con-
owners by the official receiver. When three more aircraft were delivered kilo out or the weight and hal"nce c"lculat'o",. tracts, using them only brieny on their own
Ilori:on soon regained its place among in time for the 19 I season, operations charter services.
the busiest tour companies. Like lntasun, were also being undertaken from Birming- Dan-Air only operated one 737, G-
Hori:on became dissatisfied with the ser- ham, Luton and Manchester, with other Bl V, through 19 1. Initially, it was main-
More IT Interest in the 737 ly used on IT, for the Thomas Cook travel
vice offered by established charter airlines regional points eventually joining the IT
and looked to provide a superior service charter network. As well as Air Europe and Orion's usc of organization, for whom the aircraft nell'
while being able to reduce costs by operat- the aircraft as the basis of their new oper- hoI iday passengers throughout Europe. It
ing its own airline division. The new air- ations, a number of other charter operators was not until 19 2 that another aircraft,
One Pilot's View also leased from Maersk, joined the first
line, Orion Airway, wa, formed in lare around Europe started taking interest in
1978, hut was not to hegin operations until Among the pilots recruited was Chris the type as a replacement for their older 73 7. However, further leased aircraft soon
the 19 0 summer season. Harrison, originally with British Midland fleets, In the UK, establ ished operators G-BICV was the first 737 to wear the famous Dan-Air 'Compass Rose' logo, Via author followed from various sources.

106 107

Monarch Joins the Club at Luton that had already been flying from and Eagle Air of Iceland, all in variations aircraft were fitted with 'stick-pusher' stall Leasing False-Starts however, as the aircraft were returned at the
the Bedfordshire airport for twelve years, of their combined liveries. warning devices that were not approved by end of the 1980 season following Aerotour's
Monarch Airlines had intended their 737s the new 73 7s began operation on A ir Europe, however, came to a firmer, the American authorities. Although the increasing use of leasing financial collapse. The usually astute
to replace their fleet of BAC One-Elevens Monarch's inclusive-tour network soon more regular, agreement with Air Florida, This 'swap' was repeated the next two contracts instead of outright purchases by Maersk Air also lost out occasionally. In
that operated alongside Boeing 720Bs on afterwards. whose slackest time, the summer, Florida's years, until Air Florida ceased operations. airlines was a popular one, it did not November 1980, a new German charter air-
European ITs from bases at Luton and low season, was Air Europe's busiest. This As Air Florida lurched into its final finan- always work out. As a number of leasing line, Supair, had their aircraft repossessed
Manchester. Like Air Europe and Orion, worked both ways, with Air Europe having cial crisis, Air Europe insisted it be paid operators increased, GATX/Booth were by Maersk within a month of delivery after
Monarch had been set up by a tour compa- Seasonal Swaps spare capacity in the winter, when thou- every 48 hours for the continued use of soon joined by the lines of International the airline failed to begin operations.
ny, Cosmos Holidays, in 1968. Originally sands were trying to escape the potentially their 737s. When the end came for the US Lease Finance Corporation (lLFC),
operating a fleet of Bristol Britannia turbo- ir Europe pioneered a new leasing harsh northern American winter and head carrier in 1984, its sudden demise into Bavaria, Ansett Worldwide, Guinness
props, Boeing 720Bs and BAC One-Elevens arrangement with foreign carriers, in an south to the 'Sunshine State'. bankruptcy left Air Europe with a serious Peat Aviation (GPA), American Finance
had eventually replaced the prop-liners.
The Series 300 Debuts
effort to boost utilization in the winter Two of Air Florida's Boeing 737-200s capacity shortage as the promised aircraft Group, Pacific Aviation Holding Co.,
The first pair of Monarch 737s were also months. As already mentioned, leasing spent the summer of 1981 operating were no longer forthcoming. The airline Integrated Aircraft Corporation and oth- The fi rst Series 300 Boeing 737 took to the
leased in, as was the increasingly popular contracts were undertaken by a number of Europe-based inclusive-tour charters from was forced to lease in extra aircraft at short ers, as well as airlines such as Maersk Air air for the first time on 24 February 1984.
notice, a rather expensive exercise, to acquiring aircraft specifically to lease out Orders were already flooding in for the air-
cover the shortfall. at a profit. The more favourable economic craft, the customers being impressed with
Air Europe, under the wings of its par- terms meant that the smaller airlines no the prom ised increased performance,
ent company, the Intasun Leisure Group, longer had to wait for the bigger carrier's economy and reduced noise and emission
later retitled the International Leisure 'cast-offs'. The establ ished airlines also saw levels of the new engines. By the end of
Group, or ILG, survived the loss of Air the advantages to themselves of leasing in the year, orders for the Series 300 had
Florida's loaned equipment and continued their fleets from financial and leasing com- reached no less then 252 from twenty-six
its apparently unstoppable expansion. panies. They no longer needed to have customers bringing the total for the 737
Brand new Boeing 757s, among the first in such large sections of their capital tied up series as a whole to 1,418.
Europe, had joined the fleet in 1983. in owning their aircraft outright. One of the first 737-300s flew in the
Long-haul flights had been introduced, Not all the customer airlines were finan- colours of USAir, the launch customer,
with the 757s operating over the Atlantic cially stable enough to support their 737s with Boeing titles, and was displayed as
to Florida. Orion, still deriving much of its though and soon fell by the wayside. In such at the 1984 Farnborough Air Show
income from Horizon, steadily expanded 1980, GPA leased 737 -200s to French char- in the UK. By then end of the following
its 737-200 charter operation, with sever- ter operator Aerotour, that had previously year the new version had been delivered to
al new bases opening around the UK. flown Caravelles. The lease was short-lived, AirCal (the rebranded Air California),

Monarch Airlines leased in 737-200s from Germany's Bavaria. MAP

fashion, this time from Bavaria Flugge- airline operators. Aer Lingus, Britannia the UK alongside Air Europe's fleet of six
sellschaft. Although originally a charter and Transavia, among others, had all sent similar aircraft. When they returned in the
carrier, flying BAC One-Elevens from aircraft off to temporary new homes in autumn, three Air Europe aircraft joined
Munich, Bavaria had sold its commercial their slack traffic periods. The lucrative them and spent the winter operating on the
airline operation to another operator, Ger- contracts were often repeated over several Florida-based scheduled flights of Air Flori-
manair. However, Bavaria continued to years, but were usually a one-way street. da. Although a convincingly 'tidy' arrange-
exist as a separate company and began spe- As well as enjoying a steady influx of ment, the operation was not without its
cializing in leasing aircraft to other airlines. new aircraft of its own most years, Britan- problems, not least with America's Federal
The first of a pair of Bavaria 737-200s nia often leased in extra aircraft to cover Aviation Administration and Britain's
arrived at Monarch Airline's Luton base in seasonal shortages. Among the sources for Civil Aviation Authority. Both official
late September 1980, followed by the sec- Britannia's extra seasonal aircraft were bodies found objections to the 'foreign'
ond a month later. Joining Britannia's 73 7s Pluna of Paraguay, Quebecair of Canada aircraft. For example, the UK-registered An early production 737-300 was displayed at Farnborough in 1984, wearing basic USAir colours. Jenny Gradidge

708 709
Non-Airline 737s THE BABY GROWS

Despite Boeing's traditional military connections, the 737

remained a largely civilian project. as had been intended
from the beginning. However, long-standing Boeing cus-
tomer, the US Air Force, did place an order for nineteen
specialized navigation trainers, to be based on the 737-
200 airframe. The aircraft was designated the T-43A by
the USAF. With most windows removed, the cabin
rearranged to accommodate up to twelve tramee naviga-
tion stations and four astrodomes fitted to the top of the
fuselage, the first T-43A was delivered in July 1973.
From 1992, at least five of the T-43As were transferred
to a Civilian operator, E.G. & G. Inc, who operate them
alongside ex-airline 737-200s on 'Special ProJects', per-
sonnel and equipment shuttles from Las Vegas, m con-
nection with US government work at the remote Roswell
Air Force base.
Ten years later, the Indonesian government also ordered
specially modified 737s for military use. Designated
Boeing 737-2X9s, the three aircraft are equipped with The USAFT·43A navigation trainer was based around the 737-200 airframe. Jenny Gradidge


•••••••••••••••• • TNI-AU
" -'"'' ". ,-,
(Above) JArs 737-300 operations were stalled following (Belowl Aviogenex's main IT charter market, to and from Yugoslav resorts on the Adriatic Riviera,
the violent break-up of the former Yugoslavia. Steve Bunting vanished overnight when war broke out between new rival states in the region. Richard Howell

Indonesia's 737-2X9s feature radar housings built into the fuselage. Boeing Motorola side-looking, multi-mission radar installed in
distinctive housings above the rear fuselage. The aircraft
IBelowl N1288 was a737-200 supplied to Essex International as a private corporate jet in late 1969. Via author are used to patrol the Indonesian Islands to detect illegal
maritime activities.
The 737 was also adopted as a VIP or corporate trans-
port by a number of civilian operators, as well as pro-
viding luxury accommodation for military organizations
and government heads throughout the world.
Some companies also operated airline-style configured
aircraft on private 'scheduled' sel\lices carrying company
personnel between far-ranging plants and locations.
Range could be extended to 4,606 miles by the addition
of extra fuel cells in one of the lower cargo holds. The
more luxurious executive interiors, where required, could
be installed by Boeing, but in many cases the customers
preferred to use outside craftsmen. Civilian customers for
private 737-200s Included Dome Petroleum, Eldorado Oil,
Essex, Maritime, Noga and Petrolair. Military operators of
both new and second-hand 737s included the air forces
of Brazil. India, Mexico, Peru, Thailand and Venezuela.

110 777

America West, Cameroon Airlines, Con- curtailed and most of the fleet disposed of. The 737 in Wales
tinental, CP Air, Dan-Air, ]ugoslovenski Limited charter services later restarted
Aerotran port OAT), Maersk Air, ew with a single 727-200 once ome sem- One of the unworld International aircraft
York Air, Orion, Pakistan International, blance of peace returned to the region. found a temporary home at Cardiff, the
Piedmont, South we t, unworld Interna- New York Air wa~ to be merged into capital of the UK principality of Wale.
tional, United, U Air and We'tern. Continental by the two airlines' owner, the Airways International Cymru (Wales
Many of the e cu tomers were new 737 Texas Air Corporation, when PeoplExpress International Airways) had begun opera-
operators. In the case of] AT, ew York Air was taken over. unworld International, a tions in 19 4 with a pair of BAC One-
and unworld International, their previous low-fare schedul d and charter carrier Eleven. Owned by a local travel company,
main equipment had been DC-9s. ]AT's based at Las Vegas, operated three leased Red Dragon Travel, IT charters operated
effort, to replace it medium/short-haul 73 7-300s only briefly, supplementing its from Cardiff and the nearby English city of
fleet with the 737 were to be temporarily DC-9 services throughout the west of the Bristol to European resorts. One of the

G-BAZI came to Airways International Cymru from Britannia Airways, via a leasing company. Richard Howell

Monarch's 737-300 services encompassed most of the main holiday airports of southern Europe. G-MONH is --
pictured at one of the busiest, Palma, Majorca. Martyn East ,,~~.. .~ I.. >.

halted when Yugoslavia was broken up USA. The DC-9s only continued in service
Airways International Cymru
One-Elevens was leased out to British Mid-
into several states, following the fall of for a short while before the airline ceased land Airways, but was replaced in 19 5 by : ; . . _ - - -..I• •'r--I-I-I-I-I_1_1_1-1-:::1 1 1 1 1 1 I~ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 •• ••

Communism in Eastern Europe. ]AT's operations due to financial problems. an cx-Britannia Airways 737-200, G-
once extensive network was closed down, In high-density, inclusive-tour, configu- BAZI, obtained via Havelet leasing.
or severely curtailed, for long periods and ration, the Series 30 carried 148 passen- Although attracting a number of con-
the fleet either stored or leased out. ger , eighteen more than the -200's maxi- tract from important tour operators, such
Another Yugoslav 737 operator to uffer as mum. This increased revenue potential, as osmos, Air Cymru, as the company
a result of the political unrest in the coun- linked to lower fuel costs, attracted the name tended to be shortened to in every-
try was Aviogenex. Formed as the coun- cost-consciou charter carrier in particu- day use, had a chequered reputation. Pop-
try's IT specialist, Aviogenex operated a lar. Monarch took delivery of their first ular with pas engers for it friendly ervice,
pair of 737-2 Os alongside a fleet of -300 in 19 6, supplementing their earlier and with its staff as a pleasant company to
Tupolev Tu-134As and Boeing 727-200s, eries -200s and hastening the retirement work for, the daily operation tended to
on IT charters from the Adriatic resorts to of the last of th ir ne-Elevens. New Boe- uffcr from an unusual number of technical
Western Europe. When the Yugoslav ing 757s had replaced the last of Monarch's d lays and operational problems. The air-
tourist industry collapsed with the violent high capacity 720Bs and were used on long- line's situation was not greatly helped Airways International Cymru operated a large proportion of their flights from Bristol/lulsgate, across the
break-up of the country into independent haul flights as well as supplementing the when the unworld aircraft arrived in Severn Estuary from its main base at Cardiff. G-PROK, the second 737-300, is seen here, taxying away from
states, Aviogenex operations were greatly 737s on European ITs. 19 6. The operational fleet then consisted the old Bristol terminal. Martyn East

112 113
New Mediterranean Operators

As well as Europe's charter carriers suddenly finding the

Boeing 737 the answer to their re-equipment prayers,
even more scheduled carriers were seeing the light.
As already related. Air Algerie had been an early
lease contract customer for Aer Lingus's 737s since the
late 1960s. Air Algerie later went on to operate a not
inconsiderable fleet of their own, finally replacing their
ageing Caravelles. Tunis Air had introduced their first
737-200 in 1979, serving an extensive regional network
that extended to Europe. as well as neighbouring North
African states. With Tunisia boasting a number of popu-
lar coastal resorts, Tunis Air's 737s were soon chartered
out to tour operators for IT flights, especially from north-
ern Europe.
Already popular with Arabian carriers, the type was
also adopted by the Israeli national airline, EI AI. Previ-
ously almost solely an operator of longer-range aircrah,
EI AI leased in two 737-200s from Trans European, of
" .~:i: ~" r. ":';'
,.. ;«- < • ~. Belgium, to evaluate the aircrah for use on regional
schedules from Tel Aviv. The pair of leased 737s joineg
EI AI in October 1980 and were operated on schedules to

Airways Europe and around the Mediterranean. An order was

placed for two of their own 737-200s, delivered in Jan-
uary 1983, replacing the leased aircrah.

IntQrnatlonal The independent Israeli airline. Arkia, also took deliv-

ery of Boeing 737-200s, its first, a second-hand ex-Wien

Air Alaska aircrah arriving in 1981. When two new air-
craft were delivered to Arkia in 1983, the original aircrah
was sold. The aircrah were operated on scheduled
domestic and regional flights, as well as an extensive
programme of charters to Europe. Unfortunately, Arkia
A cartoon 737 featured in Airways suHered financial problems after much of their sched-
International Cymru's promotional (Below) The larger 737-300 provided Orion, and its other operators, uled network was closed down for political reasons, and
material. Via author with increased revenue potential for similar costs, Steve Bunting the aircrah were sold or leased out in 1984.
Air Malta took delivery of their first 737 in 1981,
leased in from Transavia of the Netherlands. The first of
Air Malta's own order, for six 737-200s, was delivered in
1983. Operating on scheduled and IT charter services
throughout the Mediterranean region and to Europe, Air
Malta's 737s were acquired to replace the company's
first aircrah, a fleet of second-hand Boeing 720Bs.
In 1983, the Boeing 737-200 also joined the fleet of
the Portuguese national carrier, TAP-Air Portugal. The
" ..~1ii
new aircrah were replacing older Boeings, in the shape
of 727-1 ODs on TAP-Air Portugal's scheduled and holiday
charter network. The airline's charter subsidiary, Air

... ~~\~.
Atlantis, based at the southern resort of Faro, also oper-
ated 737s from 1985. Air Atlantis, too, flew a handful of
727-200s and even long-range 707s on higher-capacity
and further-ranging flights.

of thrce aircraft, onc Onc-Elevcn, one in early 1987, it was joined by two othcr OPPOSITE PAGE

737-200 and the 737-300, all with totally ILFC 737-300s, one of them also an ex- (Top) Air Algerie built up a considerable 737 fleet for
diffcrent seating configurations (89, lJO Sunworld Intcrnational aircraft. This at domestic, regional and trans-Mediterranean scheduled
and 148, respectively), least gave the fleet some semblance of services. Steve Bunting
Should any technical or opcrational standardization. At the end of 1987, thc
(Middle) Arkia flew its first 737s only briefly on IT
problems occur, none of the aircraft could 737-300s were returned to ILFC and the charters and scheduled services in 1983/84. Other
covcr thc othcr's flights, cvcn if available. Scrics 200 was subleascd to a ncw US start- versions were acquired by Arkia some years later.
The first ex-Sunworld aircraft was returned up to be based in Miami. MAP
to its owncrs, 1LFC, at the cnd of thc 1986 Unfortunately, thc contract wcnt sour,
scason, with thc -200, G-BAZI, going to with the US airlinc failing to bcgin opcra- (Bottom) The 737-200 joined Air Malta in 1981, with
Acr Lingus on lease for four months in the tions and stranding the aircraft, along with leased aircraft replaced by their own fleet in 1983.
wintcr, Icaving thc Onc-Elcvcn alonc in its scconded Air Cymru crcws, in Miami Richard Howell
Air Cymru service. After G-BAZI returned amid the legal wrangles. An ill-advised,

174 115

unofficial attempt to repossess the aircraft the last of the Elew'as were finally dis- established analogue technology. Once it
caused even more legal expenses for Air posed of. was more widely available though, the air- CHAPTER EIGHT
Cymru. Without suitable aircraft for the More interstate flights were added, with lines and their pilots were soon enthusing
forthcoming season, and the US legal bills service opening to Seattle and Phoenix. about the new systems and their advan-
eating into its operating capital, the com- Shortly before the introduction of the tages over older versions.
pany was forced to cease operations in
early 1988.
MD-80s, in 1981, the company identity
was amended to A irCal, with a smart new
Chris Harrison flew both the Series 200
and 300 with Orion and, from 1986 A New Lease of Life
modern logo and colour scheme. The air- onwards, other operators:
line was purchased from Westgate Califor-
Air California Progress nia by a new company, AirCal Invest- I found rhc workload much lowcr on rhc 300
ments Inc, for $61.5 million. all-metal-based livery. The latter compa- been taken over by Atlanta-based Delta
due [() rhe assistancc of INS, auromared powcr The Next Big One ny had acquired Piedmont, after purchas- Air Lines, and AirCal had been bought
In the hands of new majority shareholders, Twelve Boeing 737-300s were ordered scnings and calculations in rhc climb. Evenru-
the Westgate-California Corporation, since in June 1984, with options taken out on a ally, when rhe 'glass cockpir' camc our, onc As the Series 300s began rolling off the ing a majority shareholding. However, out by American Airlines.
1970, Air California had continued a steady further eleven, as part of a large fleet could have a much bener 'situational awareness'. Renton production line, beside the still with protracted legal wrangles and opera- Western had struggled in the post-dereg-
popular -200s, Boeing was refining an tional problems, it was to be another eigh- ulation era. As a cost-cutting measure,
even larger 737. The 9ft 6in (2.9m) longer teen months before the Piedmont identi- emphasis was diverted away from larger,
, -400 was fitted with extra over-wing ty was to be fully absorbed into USAir. In expensive bases, such as Los Angeles, where
emergency exits, two each side instead of the spring of 1988, USAir further expand- cut-throat competition was wiping out what
one, and stronger wings and landing gear ed its swiftly growing network by acquir- small profits there were, The airline began
were fitted to cope with the increased ing Pacific Southwest Airlines, giving it a concentrati ng fl ights at less expensi ve 'hubs'
gross weight of up to 142,0001b (64,4lOkg). badly needed foothold in America's west- such as Salt Lake City, in Utah. Still a large,
The first Series 400 flew on 29 April 1988, ern states, important airline, operating DC-1O wide-

A typical UK airport line-up in the 1980s. No less than four different UK 737 operators, Orion Airways, Air
Europe, British Airtours and Britannia Airways all share the Manchester ramp. Steve Bunting

expansion throughout the decade, carrying replacement programme. ine of the firm It gavc one rhc abiliry [() scc, almost as on a
its ten millionth passenger in 1976. As a orders came from AirCal itself - the map, your reference [0 waypoints , track, thLln~
result of deregulation, Air California was remaining three were for aircraft to be der~torms, airpolTs and, evcnrually wirh TCAS
able to expand outside California's borders, leased from ILFC. The -300s were intend- (Tcrrain Collision Avoidancc Sysrcm), othcr The arrival of the even further stretched Series 400 saw the 737 finally losing its 'Baby Boeing' tag, Boeing
initially beginning interstate service to ed to eventually replace the then entire aircraft around you.
Reno, Nevada, in December 1978. fleet of fourteen 737-200s, two leased
By 1979, nine 737s were operated along- - I OOs and seven MD-80s. The forthcoming Series 400 promised even
side three ElectJ'as, the latter type reintro- the first production delivery being made bodies to Hawaii and Mexico, alongside
more technical advances, linked to the Californian Merger Mania Boeing 727-200s and 737-200s, Western
duced into the fleet in 1975 to operate ser- higher capacity offered by the yet-further to launch customer, Piedmont Airlines,
vices to ultra noise-sensitive Lake Tahoe. stretched fuselage, However, as well as being on 15 September the same year. Piedmont The loss of Pacific Southwest Airlines was had begun introducing the 737-300 along-
The New Boyan the Block the latest in a series of mergers and acqui- side the older versions. Delta Air Lines saw
Also in 1979, an order was placed for five a natural development of the 737 breed, the placed the aircraft into service on 1 Octo-
162-passenger McDonnell Douglas M D- Although advanced electronic flight sys- Series 400 was developed in response to a ber 1988. sitions that saw the disappearance of no the chance to extend its network westwards,
80s, wi th options for up to eight more, Two tems were to be introduced on the 73 7- growing threat to the type's sales from The Piedmont Airlines 737-400s were less than three of California's 'home based' and took over the ailing 62-year-old airline
more Boeing 737-200s arrived in 1980, as 300, the earliest examples were built with Europe. Would it rise to the challenge? delivered in a hybrid Piedmont/USAir, carriers. In 1987 Western A ir Lines had as of 1 April 1987,

116 117

Western's attempts to survive after

The Rise and Rise of the Pacemakers deregulation were doomed to failure.
Since its introduction of the 737-200, in 1968, Piedmont Airlines had never looked back. 1984 - a landmark year - the airline carried 13 million passengers and exceeded $1 bil- Its second 737-200, N4502W, was still
A sustained programme of growth and expansion had seen the once humble Local Ser- lion in revenues. thus offiCially becoming a 'major' airline. In January 1985. Piedmont was in the fleet and taken over by Delta in
vice Carrier that had struggled to link the Ohio River Valley to the Atlantic coast, become named 'Airline of the Year' by the influential magazine, Air Transport World. 1987, nineteen years after it had been
one of the US's leading regional airlines. The remaining vintage Martin 404s had left May 1986 saw Piedmont acquiring New York State-based Empire Airlines that oper- delivered. Via author
the fleet in 1970 to be replaced by the Japanese-built YS-llAs.ln 1972. the airline's ated a fleet of Fokker F.28 jets from Syracuse. The addition of the Dutch jets brought
25th year of operation. Piedmont reported record earnings and a profit of $3.323,317 Piedmont's fleet up to 149 aircraft. This consisted of sixty-three Boeing 737-200s, thir-
In 1979, Piedmont had fought off ahostile takeover bid by the then expansive Air Flori- teen 737-300s, thirty-four 727-200s (the 727-1 ODs had left Piedmont in 1983), twenty
da and in 1981 a new hub operation was opened at Charlotte. North Carolina. This was Fokker F.28-1 OOOs and nineteen F.28-4000s. The 1.177 daily departures served eighty-
followed ayear later with another new hub being inaugurated at Dayton. Ohio. The last seven airports in twenty-seven states, the District of Columbia and two international (Be/owl Delta had ordered their own
turbo-prop YS-11 As were sold off by 1982. and Piedmont became an all-jet airline, points in Canada. 'Advanced' 737-200s to replace older
operating the now long-established 737-200s, alongside amixed fleet of 727-1 ODs that International expansion plans were implemented, with new wide-bodied Boeing 767- jets. The ex-Western 737-300s, like
had re-entered Piedmont service in 1977, and 727-200s that had arrived in 1981. 200s opening a Charlotte-London service in June 1987. The 767s also operated on N303WA, soon appeared throughout
Yet another new hub operation was opened at Baltimore in 1983. with twenty-nine daily transcontinental service from the hubs in the eastern states. New international flights the Delta network in full colours.
flights to fourteen destinations. Henson Airlines. a small commuter airline based in Sal- also opened to Nassau, in the Bahamas in November. By then though, negotiations Via author/Steve Bunting
isbury. Maryland. was taken over in 1983. Henson was then operated as a 'Piedmont were well undervvay for the USAir purchase of Piedmont and, on 5 November, the air-
Regional Airline', the beginning of a network of smaller, associated airlines that were to line became a subsidiary of USAir Group Inc. Il
feed traffic into Piedmont's mainline network as 'Piedmont Commuter' carriers. The fol- Operations continued independently for a while, as the full merger of the two sizable
lowing year. a transcontinental service was opened to Los Angeles and San Francisco. In airlines was engineered. However, finally, on 4 August 1989 the last Piedmont flight
ever left Dayton for South Bend, Indiana. The next day, Piedmont ceased to exist and
all operations were conducted under the USAir name. At the time of the final merger
The 737-200 had proved itself the ideal aircraft for Piedmont's network, leading to Piedmont Airlines was flying sixty-two 737-200s, forty-two 737-300s, eight 737-400s,
sustained growth for the airline. Jenny Gradidge six 767-200s. thirty-four 727-200s, twenty F.28-1000s and twenty-five F.28-4000s.

Eventually, the ex-AirCal 737- were grad- Braniff Revival, and Revival Dallas operation and moved home to a
ually disposed of or rerurned to Ie sors as smaller hub already esrabli hed at Kansas
contracts came up for renewal. American ome of the ex-AirCal/American and City, retaining Orlando as a southern base.
rook delivery offurther MD- Os, their pre- Western serie 200 73 7s found temporary The 737-20 s were leased in from the
American's intention to buy AirCal the 3,700 AirCal employees, m'er 95 per ferred twin-engined jet, to replace them in new homes with the re-e tablished Braniff Polaris Aircraft Leasing Corporation in late
Post-Merger Operations 19 7, to supplement the 727 and One-
was announced in November 19 6 and cent were offered jobs within the new alifornian service as soon as it became Inc. After a dramatic ces ation of opera-
the deal was closed in April the next year. operation. Following the acquisition by their new own- practicable to do so. tions by the original Braniff Airways in Elevens. A large order was placed for leased
As with Delta and USAir, American fclt American's Chairman and President, ers, both the fleet of Western and AirCal The ex-Piedmont aircraft suffered no 19 2, the company remained dormant Airbus A320 , intended as the new standard
the need to increase it' profile in the west- Robert J. Crandall was expansive in his started appearing in 'hybrid' schemes, usual- u h ignominy. The length of time it had until a new financial package was put aircraft for Braniff. nfortunatcly, shortly
ern half of the USA, hence its interest in praise for the AirCal staff as he welcomed ly comprising a new name painted over their taken for the two airline to merge had together under new ownership. Braniff after the first of the A320s entered service
AirCal's succe sful network. The merger them into American Airlines: old liveries. Delta had actually been in the allowed them to co-ordinate their fleets reopened service from Dallas with a from Kansas City, Braniff Inc ceased opera-
became effective on 1July 19 7, with Air- process of introducing their own fleet of well before they became one. PSA's MD- much reduced fleet of Boeing 727-200s in tions in eptember 1989.
Cal's identity being replaced by American Rorh Amcrlcan and AII'Cal arc \\'lI1nc". Rorh 'Advanced' 737-200s, to replace older DC- Os and DC-9s were fitted into the com- March 19 4. Later, Orlando-based Florida Once again though, Braniff reappeared.
Airline's image from that date. The order- afC Ciln,do, quality orientated organl:atJ()n~, full 9s, when the Western 737-200s and -300s bined fleet a well, although, in time, the Express Airlines was taken over and their The operating authority of a small charter
ly integration of AirCal employees and of ralcnrcd pcoplc who hclicl'c rhey can achicl'c were added. British BAe 146s were stored and then dis- fleet of BAC One-Elevens joined the 727s. carrier, Emerald Airlines, was purchased by
aircraft into American was to make the anyrhing rhcy scr our (() do. American Airlines, though, had not posed of, after SAir had decided to cut After a period of reorganization and re- new owners and it was turned into the new
merger 'nearly invisible' to passengers. Of previously been a Boeing 737 operator. back its West Coast presence after all. trenchement, Braniff closed down the Braniff. Once more flying Boeing 727-200s,

778 779

Both AirCal's 737-200s and -300s were to acquire

American Airline's titles as soon as the merger took
effect. Both pictures courtesy of American Airlines C.R.
Smith Museum

the 'new' airline was contracted for a num-

ber of charter services by travel companies
around the USA. An attempt to return to
(Top) American Airlines retained the
scheduled services, from Dallas to New ex-AirCal 737s long enough to justify
York and Los Angeles, was initiated in repainting, but they were disposed of
1991, and the network was later expanded as more MD-80s arrived to replace them.
to include Fort Lauderdale, Islip and American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum
Newark. However, scheduled services were
closed down as uneconomic later that year (Above) Braniff's ex-Western 737-200,
and, in July 1992, the third Braniff followed N4509W is seen at Tampa on the afternoon
its predecessors into bankruptcy. of 27 September 1989. Within a couple
of hours of this photograph being taken,
Braniff had ceased operations.
Malcolm L. Hill
Air Europe - and Family
Air Europe had followed Orion by intro- Air Europa was Air Europe's first attempt
ducing the Boeing 737-300. An Orion 737- at establishing a 'family' of airlines. Its
300 was leased-in for crew training before 737-300s operated their first Spanish-based
the type entered charter service with Air IT charters in November 1986.
Europe in 1987. Orders were placed at the Richard Howell

720 727

same time for five more 757s, as well as five Palma, Majorca base in 1987. The fleet both operating Boeing 757s on charter ser-
73 7-400s, for 1988/89 deli very. had grown to th ree 73 7-300s by J 988. In vices. A orwegian charter carrier, Norway
Not all the Air Europe orders were 1990, Universair merged with two other Airlines, was purchased and its Boeing 737-
intended for UK-based operations though. Spanish operators to form Meridiana SA, 300s painted in Air Europe's full livery. Ini-
In June 1986, ILG had invested a 25 per a new scheduled carrier, and ceased to be a tially the Oslo-based airline was renamed
cent holding in a new Spanish [T operator, 737 operator. Air Norway, then Air Europe (Scandi-
initially entitled Air Espania. The operat- VIVA (Vuelos Internacionales de Vaca- navia). As well as continuing to operate IT
ing name was changed to Air Europa ciones SA) was set up in 1988 and was charters from Oslo, Air Europe (Scandi-
before operations began in ovember owned by Iberia and Lufthansa, with a navia)'s aircraft were also used to open
1986, with their aircraft flying in an only modern fleet of four 737-300s. The first scheduled services to London/Gatwick.
very slightly modified Air Europe livery. flight, a uremburg-Palma charter, took
The adoption of the new title and identi- place on 15 April. Initially concentrating
cal livery would enable swift transfer of the on the traditional IT charter markets, Change of Direction
aircraft between the two companies, with VIVA began undertaking scheduled ser-
only one letter of the title and the nation- vices on behalf of Iberia, especially after Air Europe had started to add scheduled
al flag needing to be changed. Iberia bought out Lufthansa's share in services to its UK operations since the
1990. Eventually VIVA opened a sched- early I980s. At first, leisure-orientated'
uled network of its own, centred on Palma, destinations were served, but from 1988
The 'Airline Family' Majorca and Malaga on the mainland. At more business traffic-based services, from
Concept Spreads its peak the VIVA 737 fleet stood at nine London/Gatwick to Amsterdam, Brussels,
Series 300s. The scheduled services oper- Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Geneva, Munich,
Air Europe was far from the only charter ated from [991 to 1996, when Iberia took Paris and Zurich were opened. A small
carrier to embrace the 'family' concept of over the routes and VIVA reverted to an Gatwick-based commuter carrier, Con-
linked airlines. In 1988/89, Trans Euro- all-charter operation. In 1999, Iberia nectair, was acquired in 1989 and rebrand-
pean Airways had established both a new decided to close down the airline and inte- ed as Air Europe Express, flying Shorts
Turkish subsidiary, TUR, and a UK-based grated its aircraft and staff. 330s and 360s. Guernsey AiI'I ines was later
operation, Trans European Airways (UK) Shorter-lived was Nortjet, a new Span- bought out and merged into the new
Ltd. New 'TEAs' were also set up in ish charter operator that began IT services 'Express' operation that operated sched-
Cyprus, France, Italy and Switzerland, in 1990 with the first of three Boeing 737- uled flights from points in the UK to the
with various levels of shareholding by the 400s leased from GPA. However, Nortjet's Channel Islands and from Gatwick to Although Universair was luckier than some Spanish charter hopefuls in that it survived through merger, the
Brussels-based 'parent' a irI inc. fleet was repossessed by GPA in February Antwerp, Dusseldorf and Rotterdam. resulting carrier disposed of the 737-300s. Richard Howell
Air Europa inherited Air Europe's 'mis- 1992, after the airline ceased operations. Still led by [-larry Goodman, ILG, the
sion' to establish more professional, mod- Much more successful was Futura, estab- airline's owners, were very keen for Air
ern, airline practices within the indepen- lished in 1989 with backing from Aer Lin- Europe to establish itself as a major UK
dent Spanish airline community. Its 737s gus and Banco de Santander. Using a sin- scheduled operator. Goodman's ambitious
were to join those operated by long-estab- gle Boeing 737-400, operations began on scheduled service plans eventually led to
lished charter specialist, Spantax, and rela- 17 February 1990. Wi th its sol id fi nancia I Air Europe's original founders, Errol
tive newcomer, Hispania that had begun IT backing, Futura survived and was flying six Cossey and Martin O'Regan, leaving the
charter operations with a fleet of Caravelles 737-400s by 1993, from bases at Palma and company. They grew increasingly wary of
in 1983. Hispania initially leased in 737- Tenerife. Throughout, Aer Lingus main- Air Europe's owners' apparent determina-
200s, and later -300s. The Spanrax aircraft tained a 85 per cent shareholding. In May tion to leave its original specialization, the
were part of a modernization programme 1997 a Palma-London/Gatwick schedule hoi iday charter, and concentrate on the
that was intended to see the replacement of opened under the name of Futura Direct. much riskier scheduled network.
an ageing fleet of Convair CV-990As. A fleet of Fokker 100s was in the process
Unfortunately, Spantax's attempts at reor- of being acquired for use on the less busy
ganizing and its eventual sale to new own- Air Europe Acquisitions scheduled flights from late 1989. For the
ers failed to revive its fortunes and the air- longer term, Air Europe had ordered no
line ceased operations in 1988. Hispania Air Europe's 737-400s started to enter ser- less than eight wide-bodied MD-Ils from
survived long enough to introduce Boeing vice in the 1989 summer season. The high- McDonnell Douglas, as well as still further
757s alongside its 737 -300s, but also ceased denSity configured, 170-passenger 73 7-400s 737s and 757s. However, the end came
trading, due to financial problems in 1989. joined the airline's -300s and replaced the suddenly, on 8 March 1991. On that day, a
last of the -200s, which were disposed of or number of banks and other creditors took
leased out. A single Boeing 747 had also steps to retrieve f, 160 m ill ion owed to
Other Spanish Hopefuls been leased in for a year and flew to US, them by the financially overstretched ILG
Caribbean and Far Eastern destinations. group. That morning, Air Europe's aircraft
Universair was a new IT operator formed The establishment of the Spanish sister were impounded and the whole organiza-
by the Spanish hotel group, Hola. With company was the beginning of lLG's 'Air- tion was placed under administration.
backing from the UK's Orion Airways and lines of Europe' policy that envisaged a Various 'rescue' plans were put forward,
Belgium's Air Belgium, both 737 operators European network of aiI'I ines. Other sub- but ILG collapsed and Air Europe never
in their own right, Universair opened its sidiaries were opened in Italy and Germany, took to the skies again. The German and Air Europe utilized its 737s on new scheduled services as well as the original IT charter programme. Steve Bunting

722 723
The European Challenge A NEW LEASE OF LIFE

By the 1980s, Europe's first bid to rival the 737, the Dassault Mercure, had proved a a substantial customer base for the aircraft. A major breakthrough was achieved with
financial failure, attracting only one customer, and the quantity production of the ear- the sale of A300s to US-based Eastern Air Lines, with later US sales of developed ver-
lier European jet airliner types was drawing to a close. The larger-capacity, sions to American Airlines and Pan American World Airways. Norwegian subsidiaries also ceased opera- season before it was taken over in October company as its low-cost subsidiary. Inter
medium/short-range jet market seemed to be firmly in the hands of America's Boeing Airbus had always planned to offer a portfolio of airliner types and the first new vari- tions. Nonetheless, the Spanish and Ital- 1988, by Bristol-based ParamOLlnt Air- European's 757s and A320s were taken over
and McDonnell Douglas. The new -300 and -400 Boeing 737s and the new MD-80 ant. the slightly smaller Airbus A310, followed in 1982. Airbus's first narrow-bodied ian operations found new owners and ways. Paramount flew mostly M D-80s, by Airtour's own airline operation, Airtours
series of enlarged DC-9s from McDonnell Douglas were attracting orders from airlines type, the A320, was formally launched into development in 1984 and the first flight although a single 737-300 was also operat- International. The remaining lEA 737s
eventually thrived as Air Europa and air
and leasing agents worldwide. The Fokker F.28 and BAe 146 were selling in respectable occurred in February 1987. The A320 was adirect rival to the enlarged 737 models, with were returned to their owners once their last
Europe (Italy). Air Europe Express even- ed. The ex-Amberair 737-200s were even-.
numbers, but were of a considerably lower capacity than the larger American aircraft similar capacity to the 737-400. The sale of the A320 to long-established 737 operator
tually re-emerged as a new commuter car- tually returned to their owners. Paramount Aspro contracts had been completed.
and aimed at a more specialized market. United Airlines, as well as a large order placed by Minneapolis-based Northwest Air-
Recognizing that the smaller aerospace companies of Europe had no hope of produc- lines, an operator of a substantial fleet of DC-9s of different variants, set alarm bells rier, Euroworld, later renamed CityFlyer itself ceased operations in 1990, following
ing serious rivals to the giant American concerns, the European industry had already ringing in the Boeing and McDonnell Douglas sales offices. Express. a financial scandal involving its owner's
taken steps to combine forces and offer competitive products. As early as 1970, an group of companies. Air UK Goes 'Leisure'
Anglo-French study into medium-haul wide-bodied types had led to the formal estab- Inter European Airways had started
lishment of Airbus Industrie, amultinational consortium of aerospace and aircraft man- (Belowl Although initially selling only slowly, the Airbus A300B eventually established Cardiff-based 737-200 IT charter opera- While Air Europe was struggling to move
ufacturing companies. Eventually, Airbus comprised contributions from Aerospatiale of
More UK Comings and Goings
itsell as a serious contender in the international airliner market. Malcolm L. Hill tions in May 1987. Utilizing a single leased, from charter to scheduled services, a
France, British Aerospace loriginally Hawker Siddeley) of the UK, Deutsche Aerospace Orion Airways had disappeared in 1989. ex-Maersk Air aircraft, Inter European had British scheduled airline, Air UK, was
of Germany, Fokker of the Netherlands and CASA of Spain. (Bottoml The acquisition of large fleets of Airbus types IA320 illustrated) by major US been founded by a Cardiff travel company, moving in the opposite direction. Air UK
Its parent company, Horizon Travel, had
The new consortium's first commercial project, the wide-bodied Airbus A300, first carriers, such as Northwest Airlines, made Boeing examine its own offerings very
operated a network of scheduled com-
been taken over by the Thomson Travel Aspro Holidays. Owned by the Asprou.
flew in October 1972. Although initial sales were slow, the A300 eventually established closely. Northwest via author
Group that year. Horizon's operations were brothers, Aspro Holidays specialized in muter and trunk services throughout
merged into Thomson Holidays and, not tours to Greece and Cyprus, as well as serv- Britain and to nearby points in continen-
surprisingly, Orion's services were merged ing traditional Spanish destinations. The tal Europe with a large fleet of F.27 turbo-
into Thomson's own established airline 737 flew from Cardiff and Bristol for the props and BAe 146 jets.
subsidiary, Britannia Airways. At the time 1987 season, being returned to its owners at In June 1987, Air UK and Viking Inter-
of the merger, Orion was operating its 73 7- the end of that summer's flying programme. national, a charter brokerage company,
300s and a pair of wide-bodied, Airbus lEA remained dormant for the winter, but became the major investors in a new IT
A300Bs. As Britannia was operating the came back in style in 1988, leasing in two charter company, to be named Air UK
similar Boeing 767, the Airbus A300Bs brand-new 737-300s. Leisure. Basing itself initially at Lon-
found themselves surplus to requirements This time, operations continued through don/Stansted, Air UK Leisure took deliv-
and were returned to their owners. Orion's the winter months and over the following ery of three second-hand Boeing 737-200s
737-300s were retained for a while though years more 737-300s were acquired, as was in time to commence operations in May
and were flown alongside the long-serving a single 737 -400. In addition to Cardiff and 1988. The first commercial services were
737 -200s. Bristol, new bases were set up at Manehes- charters from Stansted to Faro, Gerona
In April 1988, a new airline had risen tel' and London/Gatwick as Aspro Holidays and Rome, departing on 1 May. Services
from the ashes of Airways International greatly expanded its successful tour pro- also opened from Manchester and East
Cymru. The ex-AIC 737-200, G-BAZI re- gramme. Airbus A320s began to replace the Midlands the next day, with flights to
emerged as G-BOSA in the livery of 737-300s in 1993, joining Boeing 757s that Rhodes and Palma, respectively.
Amberair, the operating name of Card iff- had entered service the previous year. The 737-200s were'replaced in October
based Amber Airways. A second 737-200, As with Orion tbough, lEA was to van- 1989 by the first of an eventual fleet of seven
G-BKMS, was ~Iso leased in and the pair ish as the result of tour company mergers. Series 400s. As well as operating on Air UK
operated IT charters from several UK Manchester-based Airtours took over Aspro Leisure's expanding network of ITs, season-
points. Amberair barely operated for one Holidays in 1993, rebranding the tour al leasings saw some of the aircraft take up

Orion's 737-300s took on Britannia's identity following the merger of the two airlines in 1989. Jenny Gradidge

124 125

with EEA from March 1993 to pril 1994, 737-3 0 was acquired in 1999, soon find- A irways, taking over the Gatwick-based Novair's Series 400s
before the Greek company ceased opera- ing itself in demand with Titan's clientele. independent in late 19 7, it inherited the
tions. Virgin then took over the route itself, A two-class layout was adopted for the latter's order for the rival Airbus A32 . at part of the BCal buy-out by British
with irbus equipment. 737, with eight business-class ami II Originally intended to replace BCal's fleet Airways was British Caledonian's own
In 1992, Air K Leisure was joined hy a economy-class eats, all in leather. of BAC One-Elevens, the A320s were charter subsidiary, British aledonian
ubsidiary company, Leisure International March 2000 saw the 737-300 appear in delivered to BA and initially entered ser- Charter. Originally formed in 19 3, in part-
Airways. LIA was e tahlished to operate the colours of British World Airl ines. Three vice on the Gatlvick network. However, nership with the Rank Organization, BCal
long-haul charters with a small fleet of aircraft entered ervice during the year on the A320 were soon moved to the Charter operated ex-Laker Airways DC-lOs
wide-hody Boeing 767-300s, ba,ed at Lon- IT and ad hoc flights from crew bases at Heathrow base and replaced at Gatwick by on IT charter ervices originally contracted
don/Gatwick. For a while, operations con- Stansted, Ganvick and Manchester. British Boeing 737s. by Rank to the defunct carrier before it
tinued separately, hut in 1996, Air UK World had previously been known as In October 19 8, SA placed a large order 19 2 bankruptcy. In 19 4, Rank purchased
Leisure was merged into LlA. LIA was British Air Ferries, until the airline's name for up to twenty-four more 737s, with an BCal's remaining shareholding and re-
now part of the Unijet travel group, a was changed in 1993. BAF owed its unusu- option to choose which variant would be branded the airline Cal Air International,
major IT holiday operator. The 737-400s al title to long-running car ferry scheduled del ivered at a later date. !)art of a larger order while retaining the BCal ' cottishness'.
were eventually disposed of, in favour of services once operated by the company that included six wide-bodied Boeing 767s When British Airways rebranded its
more long-haul aircraft, although Airhus across the English Channel from Southend. and an extra 757, all twenty-four 737s were own charter operator, British A irtours, as
A320s and A321s were later acquired tef
operate European IT charter services. LIA
lost its identity when Unijet was hought
out by First Choice, another IT operator,
and LlA was merged with First Choice's
Inter European Airways began operations with a single 737-200, G-BNGK, leased in own in-house airline, Air 2000.
for the summer of 1987. Richard Howell

More Stansted 737s

other airlines' li\'eries, e,pecially in the qui- to South East European Airways, of Athens. Titan Airways, based at Stan ·ted, special-
eter winter month,. Malaysian Airlines, EEA operated a small network of domestic ized in contract, ad hoc and short-notice
Indian cheduled carrier Modiluft and flights in Greece, with Fokker F.50 turho- charters, the latter often on behalf of other
anadian charter operators Odyssey Inter- props, hut its main activity was providing airl ines. Beginning operations in 19
national and Vacationair all took out short aircraft and crews for Virgin Atlantic Air- with a small fleet of Cessna twins, Titan
lease, on Air UK Leisure's eric, 400s. G- way's Athens-London scheduled service. grew to fly horts 36 and ATR-42 turbo-
KLB wa, leased out on a longer contract, Flying in full Virgin li\'ery, the 737-4 0 flew props, as well as BAe 146 jet·. A single

British World spread their small 737-300 fleet between bases throughout the UK.
G-OBWZ is seen at london/Gatwick. Aviation Hobby Shop

BAF had turned to more conventional eventually delivered as Series 400s, the first Caledonian Airways, in 19 8, the two sim-
cheduled and charters in the I970s, replac- arriving in 1991. In the meantime, four ilarly cottish themed carriers briefly oper-
ing their special i:ed 'Carvair' aircraft with eries 3 Os were leased from Maersk Air. ated alongside each other from London/
turbo-prop Heralds and Viscounts, before As the newer versions arrived at Gatwick. However, in May, Cal Air was
--------'";G- introducing One-Elevens as their first jets Heathrow, the earlier -2 s were transferred renamed Novair International Airways.
in the 1990s. The 737-30 s displaced the to either Birmingham or Manchester, to The next year, a pair of Boeing 737-400,
One-Elevens, which were finally with- begin replacing the airline' urviving One- was delivered to avail' International ami
drawn in December 2000. Elevens. For a while, the aircraft wore either operated on IT flights from Gatlvick,
'Birmingham' or 'Manchester' suffixes to Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and
their titles, as the out tations were given ewcastle, upplementing the DC-I s.
BA 737 Expansion more autonomy under the British Airways Unfortunately, Rank was not impressed
Regional Division banner. Later, the titles with the profitability of the airline and put
British A irways had heen very satisfied with were amended back to their original format, ovair up for sale. After failing to find a
G-BNZT 'Flagship St Andrew' was one of the trio of 737-200s used to inaugurate Air UK leisure's IT their' uper 737-200s'. When B hecame although the Regional Division continued buyer, Rank decided to cut its losses and all
services in 1988. Via author the su cessful suitor for British aledonian to be responsible for the aircraft's operation. operations were closed down in May 1990.

726 727

The 737-300 featured in the Dan-Air fleet from 1985.

G-BOWR was an ex-Orion/Britannia Airways
Aircraft. MAP

(Below) British Airtours' 737-200s were transferred

to 'new' charter subsidiary, Caledonian Airways,
reviving a respected airline name from the past.
Richard Howell

Novair International operated its 737-400s for only a year before the Rank Organization closed down the
carrier when it failed to find a buyer. Aviation Hobby Shop

BA's Dan-Air Buy-out services that had been part of the compa- BAe 146 jets on less-busy flights. Dan-Air
ny's activities for many years on a much found it very hard-going competing with
British Airways found itself the new oper- smaller scale, proved expensive. Even the established national carriers, despite
ators of a whole new fleet of 73 7s from once Dan-Air had started to make much- gaining an enviable reputation for profes-
October 1992, following its purchase of needed changes in its commercial opera- sional customer service. Dan-Air actually
ailing, Gatwick-based, Dan-Air Services. tions, it soon became clear that it was a gained a breathing space with the demise
A leading independent airline, first estab- classic, sad, case of 'too little, too late'. of Air Europe, against which it had com-
lished in 1952, Dan-Air had suffered Both the BAC One-Eleven and Boeing peted on a number of important Gatwick-
severe financial problems throughout the 737 fleets were used on new scheduled based scheduled routes. The transfer of
1980s. An attempt to switch the compa- routes from Gatwick to Brussels, Dublin, Air Europe's displaced passengers to Dan-
ny's focus from charter to more scheduled Lisbon, Madrid, Nice and Paris, with new Air gave the latter a welcome revenue

boost, when it had been within days of BAe 146s, four BAe 748 turbo-props and night-stopped at Madrid and returned the
insolvency itself. no less than nineteen Boeing 737s of vari- next day as a BA operation.
The Dan-Air management had finally ous marks. Only three 737-300s and nine The few retained aircraft and crews were
recognized the hopelessness of the situation 737 -400s were to be retained by BA. The combined with BA's already established
and began looking for prospective buyers rest of the fleet, their crews and support Gatwick short-haul base. The amalgamated
for their airline. Richard Branson's Virgin staff would be rendered redundant. operations were organized as a new sub-
group came close to buying the scheduled As their IT charter contracts ran out for sidiary, 'British Airways European Opera-
operation, but, eventually, British Airways the 1992 summer season, the Boeing 727- tions at Gatwick', later thankfully short-
bought Dan-Air for a token one pound. 200s and most of the One-Elevens were ened to 'EuroGatwick'. The ex-Dan-Air
Hardly the bargain it sounds, British A ir- placed into storage. The 748s, 146s and 737-300s were only retained for a short
ways also took on the obligations for Dan- the remaining One-Elevens were disposed while, being returned to their owners at the
Air's not inconsiderable debts, as well as of as their scheduled routes were either end of their lease contracts, in 1993 and
responsibility for the welfare of its staff. closed down or taken over by BA. The end 1994. More 737 -400s were transferred from
Only Dan-Air's Gatwick-based scheduled finally came for Dan-Air on the evening of Heathrow though, to replace them and
network was of interest to BA and all char- 8 November 1992. The very last Dan-Air increase the BA profile at Gatwick as the
ter work would cease. flight was operated by Boeing 737-400, hub was developed. As well as new aircraft
At the time of the takeover, Dan-Air G-BN K, on flight DA689, a scheduled ordered from Boeing, BA also acquired sec-
was operating a diverse fleet of twelve BAC service from London/Gatwick to Madrid. ond-hand Series 300s and -400s, as their use
Dan-Air's 737 fleet grew steadily over the years, operating on an expanding scheduled network in addition
to charters. Via author One-Elevens, seven Boeing 727-200s, four Departing Gatwick at 20.20, the aircraft of the type increased.

128 129

(Above) Transavia was to base its prosperity on the 737 for many years, -300s (Below) Lufthansa utilized the 737-300 on their European services. Lufthansa
GB Airways' smart livery was to disappear after the airline signed up to become a 'franchise carrier' for
British Airways. Martyn East joining the original -200s at Amsterdam. Malcolm L. Hill

BA's 'Associated' 737s Gibraltar to London/Gatwick. The new Elsewhere in Europe

service utili:ed 737-200 leased from Bri-
The Bri tish Airways takeover of Bri tish tannia Airways, replacing a previous pool- The Trans European 'family' concept fared
Caledonian also led to drastic changes in ing arrangement using BEA/BA aircraft to as well as that of ir Europe. The group suf-
the operations of British A irtours. The London/I-[eathrow. fered financial collapse in 1991. The Bel-
charter subsidiary was rebranded as 'Cale- The contract with Britannia was replaced gian and UK operations had added Series
donian Airways', taking on the identity of by GB Airways flying their own 737-200s, 300 737s to their original fleets of Series
one of BCal's original constituent airline. initially with three leased in via British 200s. T R, in Turkey, TEA Italy, TEA
With cabin crews taking over BCal" cot- Airway. From 19 9 the airline had moved wit:erland, TE Cyprus and TEA France
tish tartan themed uniform and image, its headquarters and main base to Lon- initially survived the group's coilaI' e,
British Airtours fleet of Lockheed L-I II don/Gatwick, although Gibraltar was still although the Cypriot, French, Italian and
Trimm and Boeing 737-200s were re- an important point on the network. More Turkish companies later suspended opera-
painted in their own version of the grey- leased 737 -200s replaced the original air- tions. fter TEA UK ceased operations its
topped BA livery, complete with a craft and GB Airways expanded quickly operating authority was later used to estab-
heraldic lion painted on the tail. The 737s with flights to Casablanca, Funchal, Mar- lish a new company, Excalibur Airways,
were eventually replaced by larger Boeing rakech, Tangier and Tunis from Gatwick, which operated Airbus A320s. The origi-
757s and were disposed of. with some services also being scheduled nal Belgian company was quickly revived
For many years, BA's predecessor, BEA from Heathrow. A Manche'ter-Gibraltar a EuroBelgian Airline, again operating
had been associated with a small airline schedule was operated, as well as sched- 737s.
based at Gibraltar, a British territory on the uled services from Gibraltar to asablan- In the etherlands, Transavia st 'adily
southern tip of Spain. Gibraltar A irways, its ca, Marrakech and Tangier. In the summer expanded their all-737 fleet, eventually
title shortened in daily usc to Gibair, had of 1994, two of the airline's 737s were adding Series 300 737s and 757 . As well
been founded locally, in 1931, to operate gi ven 'G B Leisure' ti ties and operated IT as their own IT charter service, Transavia
scheduled service to neighbouring Spain charters from Gatwick and Mandle'ter. continued to be active in the leasing mar-
and Morocco. Postwar, BEA took a 51 per From 1995, GB Airways began operat- ket, operating hoth eries 200s and 300s
cent share in the airline and Gibair contin- ing as a BA 'franchise' carrier, adopting for the Dutch national carrier, KLM. The London/Gatwick services several times a quered career, Air Holland halted opera- new and established charter operators had
ued to provide vital local links for the BA's livery, uniforms and flight prefix. BA flag-carrier that had taken a financial day from ovemher 1983, as well as some tions for reorganization several times, but begun to introduce 737s into service. Con-
island, as well as feeding traffic from North had actually sold its last shareholdings in interest in Transavia was to eventually IT work. The aircraft was far too large for survived long enough to operate three dor reintroduced the type, eventually with
Africa to BE's services from Gibraltar to GB Airways that year, but maintained an take delivery of its own 737-400s, replac- the available market on the London route, 737 -300s over its various incarnations. hoth Series 200s and -300s being operated
London. Small twin-engined types had influence under the franchise contract. ing a long-standing fleet of DC-9s. especially Juring the traditionally quiet In Germany, although an early customer at various times in the 19 Os and 90s.
steadily been replaced by single leased DC- Two ex-BA erie' 40 737s were trans- A very short-lived Dutch 737 operation winter season, and all operations ceased in for the rival irbus ingle-aisle types, Hapag Lloyd replaced their last Boeing
3 and turbo-prop Viscount' over the years. ferred to join GB's own five 737-200s and saw a single erie' 200 operated by Rotter- March [9 4. A ir Holland had been estah- Lufthansa continued to utili:e their large 72 7s and BAC One-Elevens with 737s and
Gibair later became GB Airways and, from new routes opened from Gatwick to Mur- dam Airlines. The aircraft wa' leased from lished in 19 5, operating IT charters with 737 fleet, throughout their European and Germania, previously founded as AT with
April 1979, services were operated from cia and Valencia, in Spain. TEA and flown on scheduled Rotterdam- a pair of Boeing 727-200s. During a che- domestic network. Iso in Germany, hoth Caravelles and 727s, introduced 737-300s.

730 737

Originally operating under registry, Air

All Change at Berlin
Berlin greatly expanded their 737 IT char-
The reunification of Germany led to fundamental changes base at Friedrichshafen in southern Germany. A co· ter services from other German cities, fol-
in the airline services offered from Berlin. At the end of operation agreement had been signed with Lufthansa lowing reunification. The reunification also
the Second World War Berlin had been divided up, with covering the Delta Air network from Friedrichshafen led to Germania taking over Berlin-based
its western half buried within the boundaries of East Ger· and Stuttgart. International schedules served Geneva,
Berlin European UK, that had operated ITs
many. Originally, Air France, American Overseas Airlines Zurich and the Channel Islands.
and Britain's BEA had taken on the task of linking West The acquisition of Delta Air by BA and the banks her·
with leased 737-300ssince April 1990.
Berlin with the rest of the new Federal Republic. Later, aided amajor change in the commuter carrier. Renamed
American Overseas was taken over by Pan American and Deutsche BA, the 'new' airline began commercial ser·
Air France operated its Berlin flights in association with vices from Berlin·Tegel to Stuttgart and Munich, in Antipodean 7375
BEA,later British Airways, under apooling agreement. As June 1992. An Initial fleet of three leased 737-300s .\n ....... ft .\II... tralia.
long as East Germany existed as aseparate country, West was joined by four more later in the year and new The New Zealand National Airway' Corpo-
German registered aircraft were forbidden In its airspace routes opened to Dusseldorf and Cologne. ration was merged with ew Zealand's long-
and, thereby, denied access to Berlin. The airline's head office was moved, In 1994, to haul operator, Air New Zealand, in 197 .
Air France eventually returned to the Berlin market Munich, although a large programme of scheduled and Ten 737-200s made the transition, along
though, with the founding of a new carrier, EuroBeriin charter flights still operated from the Berlin base.
with a fleet of Fokker F27s, More 737s were
France, in partnership with Lufthansa. Services opened Smaller Fokker 100s were leased in to supplement the
in 1988 from Berlin·Tegel to Dusseldorf, Hamburg and
delivered in the following years, including-
737s and SAABs that continued in operation. The orig·
Stuttgart, eventually utilizing seven 737-300s. IT char· inal turbo·prop network was sold off in January 1997. several Series 300s. Although NZNAC had
ters also operated from Berlin to southern Europe at Soon replacing BA completely, which closed down or heen an early operator of the Boeing 737,
weekends. Over 885,OilO passengers were carried In transferred its Berlin·based facilities as Deutsche BA ew Zealand's higger neighhour, Australia,
1991, of which 850,000 were carried on the scheduled grew, the 737-300 fleet continued to expand IT charter resisted the arrival of the aircraft for some Ansett chose the 737 to modernize its fleets in the 1980s. MAP
services. EuroBeriin was closed down in 1994 after Ger· routes were opened for German travel companies In time.
man reunification had removed its main reason to exist. 1993 and international schedules opened from Berlin to Originally, the Australian airline indu. try
Pan American's Berlin services had been disposed of Nice, Oslo, St Petersburg and Stockholm, and from Dres- was heavily regulated, with the two major
as part of its cost·cutting measures, but British Airways den to Paris. New routes were opened in 1994 from domestic carriers, Ansen and Trans Aus-
had continued to operate a Berlin base. However, BA Munich and Frankfurt to Paris and from Munich to Dus-
tralia, being forced to compete under very
eventually took steps to withdraw, but still maintained seldorf and Madrid London/Gatwick was linked to
a commercial presence under the new regime. Deutsche BA's network in 1995 with flights from Bremen
restrictive conditions. Flights had to leave at
A consortium, comprising BA and three German and Munich. Berlin-Gatwick services began in 1996 and identical departure times, using comparable
banks, acquired a small West German commuter oper· the last Fokker 100 was returned to its owner in early aircraft. Originally, TAA had favoured buy-
ator, Delta Air, founded in 1978 By 1992, Delta's fleet 1998. Year 2000 saw Deutsche BA operating eighteen ing in Caravelles as their first jets, and larer
of SAAB 340s was operating several routes from Its Boeing 737-300s from bases at Berlin and Munich. lohbied to buy BAC One-Elevens. Howev-
er, Ansen did not want the European
designs and, finally, both airlines ordered p ,.
fleets of Boeing 72 7s and Douglas DC-9-30s.
Eventually the regulations were relaxed
r. 1 luun~ DRAGONAIR

and the airlines were able to enjoy more

freedom in their equipment policy. Ansen
originally began importing 737-200s as
replacements for their DC-9s in 1981.
ewer version Series 300s followed and
Ansen also bought Airbus A320s to oper-
ate on their domestic network alongside
them. Ansen bought shares in a local
New Zealand-based carrier, ewmans Hong Kong's Dragonair began operations with a small fleet of 737-200s. MAP
Air, renaming it Ansen New Zealand and
re-equipping the airline with 73 7 to bet-
ter compete against Air ew Zealand.
BAe146s eventually replaced the 737s, The network and fleet later grew rapidly as L-10 11 Tristars were transferred to expand
Eastern Growth Asiana was encouraged by the Korean gov- the network. The original 737 was joined
and another change of ownership and
name change saw Ansen ew Zealand Elsewhere in the Asian and Pacific regions, ernment to be the country's 'second desig- by five more leased aircraft, before the type
become Qantas New Zealand in 2000. rapid financial growth had seen several new nated carrier' after Korean Air Lines. was discarded in favour of a standardized
Trans Australia changed their name to operators emerging, with both them and In Hong Kong, Dragonair was founded fleet of Airbus aircraft.
Australian Airlines in 19 6, the same year established airlines choosing the new ver- in 19 5 and began flights to Kota Kina- Long-established Thai Airways took
they introduced the first of a large fleet of sions of the 73 7 as their medium/short-haul balu, with a ingle Boeing 737-200 leased delivery of their first 737-200 in 1977, sup-
Boeing 737-300s to replace their own ear- airliner. from Guinne s Peat. ew route licence plementing a fleet of H -748 turbo-props.
lier jet. However, in eptember 1992, In Korea, a brand new carrier, Asiana saw the airline opening services to eight Other 737s followed, as well as Airbus A310
Australian A irl ines was bought out by Airlines began regional and domestic oper- points in mainland China ami to Phuket, wide-bodie , as Thai's original domestic net-
Qantas Airways and became the domestic ation with a fleet of 737 -400s. As well as in Thailand. athay Pacific, the major air- work was expanded to include regional
Deutsche BA adopted 'Germanized' versions of British Airways new 'World Images' livery for their 737-300s.
Deutsche SA arm of what had previously been Aus- the 73 7s, a new international and long-haul line in Hong Kong, took a financial inter- international points. However, Thai was
tralia's international specialist. network was established with Boeing 767s. est in the bUlkling carrier and Lockheed merged into the country's flag carrier airline,

132 133

Thai Airways International, in 1988. Thai japanese use of the 737 had waned slight-
Airways International continued to expand
The Future?
ly after All Nippon Airways disposed of CHAPTER NINE
the 737 Fleet, taking delivery of its first their fleet in favour of larger types. Howev- As the 1990s ran their course, many of the
Series 400s in 1990. er, ANA subsidiary, NKK (Nihon Kinkyori Boeing 73 7's operators were having to
Air Pacific, of Fiji, regularly upgraded Airways), continued to operate a small fleet rethink their operation. In particular, they
their small 737 Fleet, operated on regional
Flights, with new versions replacing older
aircraft as leases came up for renewal. Air
of 73 7-200s on domestic services, alongside
YS-l IA turbo-props. KK was later
rebranded Air ippon. Southwest Airlines,
were having to address the worldwide obses-
sion with deregulation and cost-cutting,
linked with often difficult financial circum-
The Last of the Old Generation
Vanuatu and Solomon Airlines also joined based at Naha on the island of Okinawa, stances. To conquer these challenges, both
established operators such ::1S Air Pacific operated 737s on regional fl ights and to the Boeing and the operators had to make fun-
and Air Nauru in operating small fleets, or main japanese islands. Later renamed japan damental, dramatic changes to both their obvious success, the final Series 200 ver- There was still an identifiable market for
even single 73 7s, of various marks, on their TransOcean Air, japan Air Lines took a
A New Short-body 737
basic philosophies and daily operations. sion could no longer be updated, especial- a lower-capacity aircraft, nearer the Series
Pacific region services. major shareholding in the company. Nothing was likely to be the same again. The Series 200 version of the Boeing 737 ly with the original engine. Environmen- 200 size, especially with scheduled service
ended its 21-year production run in june tal regulations were making it difficult to operators. So, in 1987, Boeing launched the
1988. Over 1,000 jT8D-powered 73 7s were economically operate the jT8D-powered Series 500, basically a new version of the
produced, including over 100 convertible aircraft within the new restrictions that Series 300, shortened by 94in (239cm) by
aircraft, fitted with cargo doors. Despite its were becoming prevalent worldwide. the removal of fuselage plugs forward and

(Abovel The 737-500 launch customer was long-term client Southwest (Belowllufthansa acquired 737-500s to complement the larger -300s and -400s
Airlines. Steve Bunting in its fleet, and replace the older -200s. Lufthansa

• • I~ t

The -300 and -400 versions of the 737 became popular and reliable aircraft in daily service worldwide.
Steve Bunting/MAP

734 735

aft of the wing. The new version incorpo- Scandinavian Expansion division was not part of the Braathens pur-
rated all the larger aircraft's improvements, chase and eventually ceased operations.
including the use of the CFM6 engine. Braarhens certainly appreciated the eries A fleet of Boeing 737-2 was included
Before launching the cries 500, Boeing 500's capahilities as a cries 200 replace- in the inventory of Time Air weden, which
had actually studied an even mailer ver- ment. The Norwegian carrier had already also operated much larger Tri tar. and DC-
sion of the 737, originally designated the placed five erics 400s into 'en'icc on IT s. Time Air weden operated IT charters
737-250. The 100-seater eries 250 failed charters and husier scheduled services from ~ weden and Finland hetween March
to attract orders and the proposal was can- hetween it. more important point. The 1991 and Fehruary 1993, when flights were
celled in 19 6, in favour of thc ~ eries 500. Braathens cries 500 fleet was to eventually suspended following financial prohlems. FAL.CONA'R
Faithful 73 7 customer, outhwest Air- grow to twenty-one aircraft, ousting the last The candinavian region's hugest carri- • •••••••••••••••••
lines, hecame the launch customer, even- of their Serics 200s. In neighhouring Den- er, the multinational Scandinavian Air- S£,DPA
tually taking delivery of 25 Series 500s. mark, Maersk used the Series 500 to expand lines System, came to operate the 737
Braathens, Euralair and Maersk A ir soon its scheduled network, especially from Dan- almost in passing. Long known for operat-
placed orders of their own. A Series 500 ish regional points such as Billund, as wcll as ing a large fleet of DC-9s on its European
was the 2,000th 737 to he delivered, fit- finding it a useful aircraft for its long-estah- regional services, SAS took over the oper-
tingly to the original programme's first cus- lished charter and leasing husiness. ations of Swedish domestic carrier, Linje-
tomer, Lufthansa, on 15 Fehruary 1991. Braathens had expanded out of the Nor- flyg, in 1993. Linjeflyg had flown a purely'
The aircraft was also the German airline's wegian market in 1996 when the company domestic scheduled service network in
100th 737. acquired a 50 per cent interest in Tran- Sweden since 1957 and utilized a large fleet
The Series 500 soon found a niche for swede Airways of Stockholm. Transwcde of Fokker F2 s. In late 1990-early 1991,
itself in the 737 family of aircraft. As a operated a network of scheduled services as howe\u, the airline had taken delivery of The convertible 'ac' 737-300s of Falcon Air operate passenger flights by day and carry Sweden's mail at
replaccment of the older cries 200, it well as charters, with a fleet of Fokker a numher of leased Bocing 737 -500s. night. AViation Hobby Shop
could he seen as ideal. ot everyone want- F 100s. Braathcns later mergcd the Tran- As well as the domestic scheduled
cd the cxtra passenger capacity of the larg- swede schedules with another Swedish car- flights, the 737-500s also operated charters
er eries 300 and 400. The CFM6's hetter rier that it had acquired, Malmo Aviation, for Linjeflyg to Malaga, Rome and Zakyn-
fleet into its ranks, more of the aircraft were By 19 the wed ish Post Office had pur- hetween Stockholm, Gothcnhurg, Malmo
fuel consumption and cxtra power ovcr under the name Braathens Malmo. Tran- thos. No less than ten were dclivered to
Ica'ied out on contracts of \'arying lengths. chased the company to ensure control over and mea. Every moming the passenger
the ]T8D could just as well he translated swede also flew holiday charters under the Linjdlyg and the last two direct to AS
its important postal network. A fourth scats are refitted into the cabins and the air-
into more rangc or hetter short-runway name of Transwede Leisure, with Boeing after the takeO\'er. Prior to the merger, two
Electra joined Falcon and the operating craft operate IT charters to southem Europc,
performance, as into the extra load-carry- 737-200s, -300s aml-500s, Ica'ed in for the aircraft were suhleased to LOT, the Polish Sweden's Postal 'QCs' hase was moved to Malmo. In 1990 the air as well as a scheduled domestic service from
ing of the higger versions. IT contracts over the years. The Leisure airline. As A tried to assimilate the ncw
In the 1960s, Falcon Air was founded at taxi operation was sold and in 1991 the Stockholm to Umea, in northcm wcden.
Gothenhurg and flew as an air taxi compa- Electras were replaced with three new Boe-
ny with a fleet of Cessna, Piper and ing 737-300QCs. Maersk s British Connection
Beechcraft light aircraft. The small compa- Conversion of Falcon Air's 73 7s from pas-
ny's operations were transformed in 1986 senger to cargo configuration takes less than Maersk Air not only placed their Series 500s
when the first of a fleet of three Lockheed an hour. Every evening the aircraft are re- into their Denmark-hased flights. Since
Electra freighter turho-props entered ser- configured to rake up to sixteen containers 1993, Maersk had operatcd a UK suhsidiary,
vice on cargo and mail-carrying contracts. and the aircraft operate mail services Maersk Air (UK) Ltd. The airline was

•••••••• ••••••

Braathens 737-500s operated a growing regional network, including international scheduled services from
Norway to Newcastle in the UK. MAP Maersk Air (UK) operated their new 737-500s on British Airways-branded scheduled services from Birmingham. Via author

736 737

formed when Birmingham based-Brymon brief period in the early 1970s, when a trio taken out on two 737-400s. However, Tragic lessons at Kegworth
European A irways was 'de-merged' into its of new BAC One-Elevens were operated, before confirming the order, Air 2000
original constituent parts, Brymon Airways BMA had preferred to operate turbo-prop decided on the Airbus A320 as its smaller Soon after the first pair of Series 400s entered BMA service, the first aircraft, G-OBME. ground. Even more bad luck came their way as, instead of open countryside that might
crashed at Kegworth, while attempting an emergency landing at BMA's home base at have made the crash more survivable, directly in the stricken 737-400's path was the
and Birmingham European Airways. The aircraft on its largely domestic network. jet to supplement the 757s. Coincidental-
East Midlands Airport. The aircraft was operating flight BD092, an evening scheduled M1 motorway.
two airlines had been joined in J989, Bry- The One-Elevens had been disposed of as ly, C-KKUH went on to be leaseu to both
flight from London/Heathrow to Belfast. While flying 20 nautical miles southeast of After it struck the ground and smashed through a fence, the aircraft dropped 30ft (9m)
mon having operated scheduled services too expensive for BMA's then modest net- Linjeflyg, as SE-DLA 'Vaermland II' dur- East Midlands, passengers and cabin crew noticed smoke entering the cabin through on to the main carriageway of the motorway and continued across it. By incredible good
with a fleet of De Havilland Canada DHC- work. For some years after, apart from a ing 1990, and British Midland, as C- the air conditioning, as well as sparks coming out of the left engine. The flight-deck fortune there were no vehicles directly in the aircraft's path as it carried on and crashed
8 turbo-props from Plymouth and Bristol, number of second-hand 707s flown on OBML (with whom it often operated Air crew, Capt Kevin Hunt and FlO David McClelland, also noticed the severe vibration and into the other side, finally coming to rest. its fuselage shattered, towards the top of an
and Birmingham European operating a charter and leasing contracts, the airline 2000 sub-charters), from 1991 to 1997. smell of smoke. As he disengaged the auto-pilot and took control of the aircraft, the embankment. Forty-seven of the 118 passengers perished in the crash. That figure could
scheduled network from Birmingham with a stuck to propeller aircraft. The Vickers Vis- The increased use of the 737s soon leu to Captain asked which engine was causing the problem. By an appalling series of mis- have been much higher, but fortunately there was no post-crash fire despite a great deal
fleet mostly comprised of BAC One-Eleven count, along with a handful of Dart Her- the gradual runuown and disposal of the understandings the wrong engine, the right-hand one, was switched off. of leaking fuel around the area. As adirect result of the accident. emergency training was
jets. The merger had not been a success, alds, Fokker E27s or Shorts turbo-prop DC-9 fleet and the first of the ex-Lin/SAS Declaring an emergency and turning towards East Midlands Airport, the pilots redesigned, with more emphasis on cockpit/cabin communication procedures in a crisis.
with both units still maintaining largely sep- types over the ensuing years, formed the Series 500s was leased in by BMA in 1993. attempted to increase power on the left engine when the lowered landing gear caused
arate operations. backbone of the airline's fleet. more drag. They were genuinely alarmed to find it gave no response and it was too late
to attempt to restart the right-hand, serviceable engine. With the runway agonizingly G-OBME was in service with British Midland for only a matter of months before forty-
Instead, Maersk Air, already a minority A single leased DC-9 brought the jet seven died on board it in the Kegworth crash. Via author
in sight and lined up, the aircraft was unable to maintain height and glided towards the
shareholder, bought out the Birmingham- back to BMA's scheduled network in 1976. Aer Lingus Fleet Update
based half of Brymon European. The Route expansion into more major domestic
southwest-based division, the original Bry- services and the eventual opening of a larg- The Series 500 was taken up by Aer Lin-
mon Airways, reverted to its old name and er international presence from London to gus as replacement for their long-serving
was bought out by British Airways. Jt went Europe saw more second-hand DC-9s join- Series 200. Having already replaceu the
on to operate its scheduled routes as a ing the carrier. The first appearance of737s leased Series 300s with larger 400 series
wholly owned 'franchise' carrier in BA's with British Midland titles was in 1987, 737s on thei I' busier routes, the Irish
name. Maersk Air (UK)'s aircraft also took with the delivery of the airline's first Series national carrier neeu a lower capacity air-
up British Airways livery, as a contracted 300, for operation on the busier routes from craft on its European network. The ageing
'franchise' carrier, flying from Binning- London-Heathrow. Leased Series 200s also Series 200s woulu soon fall foul of envi-
ham. The Danish parent company trans- operated briefly and BMA's first Series 400 ronmental regulations, as woulu the air-
ferred several Series 500s to the UK ser- was placed into service in late 1988. line's quartet of BAC One-Elevens that
vice to replace the old One-Elevens. As As the British Midland 737 fleet grew, had been in use even longer than the 737-
well as operating the BA flights, M<'lersk the type was seen increasingly on scheduled 200s. In fact, the 737-200s had been
Air (UK)'s aircraft are also used for IT services from other bases, as well as an intended to replace the One-Elevens, but
charter work, in their own right. expanded IT charter programme. In addi- the British jets hau continueu in use, finu-
tion to flying IT charters on behalf ofBMA, ing a useful niche on Aer Li ngus's less busy
spare 737 capacity was sub-chartered to routes and as back-ups to the 737s.
British Midland's other carriers, in particular Air 2000, an IT The arrival of the 737-500s saw the
Boeing Twins charter carrier that then operated Boeing swift ueparture of the remaining 737-200s
757s and Airbus A320s of its own. and One-Elevens. It also saw the end of
UK independent airline, British Midland Air 2000 had actually leased a single all-cargo and 'combi' services, with the
Airways, was to become the main customer Series 300, C-KKUH, from ILFC for the departure of the last 'QC' 73 7-200s. From
for SAS's excess 737-500 capacity. After a summer season of 1989, and options were then on, the airline's cargo was carried in

AIR 2 0 0 0

••• ••••••

G-KKUH was intended to be the first of many 737-300s operated by Air 2000 on European ITs. However, the
Boeing 737s, including -300 G-OBMA, eventually replaced DC-9s with British Midland Airways. MAP airline elected to order Airbus A320s instead. Via author

738 739

\\'''' Acromaritime was the non-scheduled sub- remaining seventeen aircraft were quickly Boeing 737-200QCs, operating passenger
~u a sa
.................. sidiary of UTA (Union de Transports put to use alongside the established Series charters and scheduled services on behalf
Aeriens), Air France's arch rival on long- 200s on the European and domestic net- of Air France and Air Inter in the daytime,
haul routes. Aeromaritime operated a large work. However, Air France had also ordered reverting to cargo/mail operations every
fleet of both 73 7-300s and -400s on its Euro- a large fleet of the Boeing 73 7's rival, the night. After sl ightly reworking the airline's
pean and orth African charter network. Airbus A320, instead of the larger 737 vari- name to Inter Ciel Service, to make it
UTA was purchased by Air France in 1991 ants, and the European type was soon to find more attractive to customers for passenger
and its fleet, and that of Aeromaritime, was favour with the airline. [n 1997, Air France work, the company name was changed to
eventually absorbed by Air France and Air absorbed the large, Airbus-oriented, fleet of L'Aeropostale as more nigh t-ti me postal
Charter. In 1992 Europe Aero Service flew Air Inter (that had already been renamed contracts were transferred from Air France
six 737s, both Series 200s and -500s, four Air France Europe), and the Boeings began and Air Inter. The L'Aeropostale fleet
Caravelles and four Boeing 727s, on IT to be seriously outnumbered. grew to accommodate the increased wor~
charters and a rapidly increasing scheduled load, with no less than fifteen 73 7-300s, all
network. However, EAS later ceased opera- 'QC' versions with large freight doors,
tions, following financial problems. The French 'Combis' operating the extensive passenger and
Charter operators Corsair, Minerve and cargo/postal network.
Star Europe also flew the 73 7 on the Before its demise, EAS had participated in The owners of EAS had also participated
French registry. Minerve was later merged the establishment of a new specialist oper- in the creation of Air Toulouse, which had
with Air Outre Mer to form a new, large, ator. Along with Air Inter and Transport operated Caravclles briefly in 1990. The

Aer Lingus 737-500s displaced the last of the long-serving -200s on the Irish carrier's
European and domestic routes. Steve Bunting

the holds of the passenger configured family, with A320s and A319s being ear- programmes, Euralair operated a number of
fleets, or contracted-in freighter aircraft. marked to eventually replace the remain- services on behalf of Air France's non-
However, Aer Lingus's apparent faith- ing Boeing 737s. scheduled subsidiary, Air Charter. Air
fulness to Boeing came to an end with the France also leased in Euralair's 73 7s for its
introduction of Airbus A321s in the late own scheduled services and as a result,
1990s. Airbus A330 wide-bodied airliners
More French Interest Euralair's aircraft often wore various combi-
had already replaced long-serving Boeing nations of livery and joint titles. l"'AEROPOSTAlE
747s on the airline's trans-Atlantic routes Euralair, a French IT charter operator, had A similar arrangement was contracted
from 1994. The successful introduction of operated the Series 200 before taking deliv- by Air France with French independent
Airbus A321s eventually led to orders for ery of its first Series 500 in June 1990. [n carriers, Acromaritime and Europe Aero
more examples of the Airbus short-haul addition to its own charter and scheduled Service, for the use of their 73 7 fleets.

F-GIXI had been converted to 'QC' configuration for L'Aeropostale after flying with Aer Lingus, Futura and
Viva. Steve Bunting

Ul I independent, AOM French Airlines. Star
Europe leased two Boeing 737-400s in the
winter season of 1996/97, but they were
replaced by two new Airbus A320s in time
Aerien Transregional, EAS formed Inter
Cargo Service. Operating a pair of Van-
guard freighter turbo-props, Inter Cargo
had opened scheduled freight services in
new financing led to the appearance of Air
Toulouse [nternational in 1992, using two
ex-EAS Caravelles. A single Boeing 737-
200, also ex-EAS, eventually took over
for the 1997 summer season. Corsair ini- 1987, flying from Paris to Toulouse, for from the Caravelles and a massive expan-
tially operated 737-200s to supplement TAT, and to Marseilles and other southern sion saw six in use by the summer of 1998.
their original Caravclle fleet, later replac- French towns, for Air Inter and Air France. The expansion proved to be too rapid, and
ing them with larger Series 300 and -400s. The Vanguard operation came to a tragic Air Toulouse International was declared
Air France itself also took delivery of end though, when both aircraft were lost in bankrupt in June 1999. Subsequently, a
a fleet of Series 500s, the first arriving in crashes within weeks of each other in 1989. name change followed refinancing and IT
Boeing 737-3005 served Aeromaritime on Paris-based charter flights until the fleet was absorbed by Air 1991. The original order for twenty Series lCS was reorganized though and restart- charters began under the name of Aeris in
France. Steve Bunting . 500s was later reduced by three, but the ed operations with a pair of ex-Lufthansa July 1999, with four 737-300s.

140 141

The Series 500 in the USA times of the Peopl Express takeover and the eastern half of the country, again aimed
regular lapses into bankruptcy protection at regaining lost traffic. either of the 'new'
Although outhwest Airline had been a had done little to enhance the reputation carriers was a succe s and both were eventu-
launch customer for the Series 500, there of the airline with the travelling public, let ally reabsorbed into the mainstream airline.
was little other 'home market' interest in alone the rest of the industry. The 737-500 order was part of a massive
the variant. One of the few major customers It was to take a change of ownership and re-equipment plan, designed to see the dis-
of the 737-500 in the SA was 737 pio- management to begin the turn round, but posal of the older, les reliable and uneco-
neering operator, nited Airlines. The fir t new initiatives and policy changes finally nomic types. Continental Airlines' short-
of an eventual fleet of fifty-seven of the started to see Continental making a re- haul network was hampered by being
smallerCFM56-powered 737 entered Unit- markable comeback from the mid-1990s. operated by a mixed bag of variants of sev-
ed service in late 1990. nited had already The much criticized entrepreneur Frank eral different airliner types, and badly in
taken delivery of the eries 300, of which Loren:o, who had masterminded the origi- need of standardization. The ex-Lufthansa/
over 10 were eventually to be delivered. nal Continental(Texas Internationalmerg- PeoplExpress 73 7-I 0 were among the tar-
The new 737s operated alongside a fleet er, sold most ofhis direct and indirect hare- geted fleet members, with the eries 500s
of Airbus A32 s, later joined by slightly holdings in Continental in 1990. The new meant to replace them and older DC-9s as
smaller A321s, and a dwindling number of management team, led by new CEO Gor- soon as possible. Larger 737 models, as well
fuel-thirsty Boeing 727-200s, operating don Bethune, concentrated on restoring as Boeing 757s, were also on order with a

The 737 still featured heavily in America West's programme, despite increased use of Airbus types in the
Phoenix-based airline's fleet. Aviation Hobby Shop

1992, was based at Salt Lake City and flew geographical origins. De pite operating a help pay for the new airport, Colorado
low-cost services throughout the western fleet relying less on the 737, with 757s and Springs was a low-cost airline hub waiting
U A. The purchase of their fleet and route Airbus types tak ing on an increasi ng per- to happen.
network gave Southwest a greatly increased centage of the workload, America We t We tern Pacific's founder, Edward R.
presence in the region. The airline's influ- was still flying over sixty 737-200s and Beauvais, had a long history of association
ence in California was boosted even more -300s in 2000. Although still firmly rooted with regional carriers in the western half of
by the opening of a hub at Los Angeles/Bur- in the west, with major hubs at Phoenix the USA. Originally an employee of
bank and Southwest Airline's success was and Las Vegas, America West also opened Bonanza Airlines, one of the original Air
said to account for the progressive reduction a base at Columbus, Ohio. The new hub West components, Beauvais later went on
of service in the-area by Air and Delta. was opened to serve routes further east, as to run his own consultancy company and
The two national carriers had spent a well a southwards to Florida, and also became involved in a proposed Continen-
lot of money increasing their own ali- linked up with the more western-based tal-Western merger. Beauvais was a lead-
fornian profile by buying out PSA and services. A code-share agreement with ing member of the group that founded
Western respectively and their reduction Continental Airlines also gave America America West Airlines as the Phoenix-
Southwest expanded its influence across the USA, especially in California, with three of its busy fleet of Californian services was a major com- West acces' to more Texan markets, via based airline's chairman until 1992.
captured here at San Diego. Malcolm L. Hill mercial victory for outhwest. outhwest ontinental's Houston hub. One innovation that caught the travel-
irlines also expanded to the north and ling publ ic's attention from the start was
east, developing new operational hubs at Western Pacific's 'LogoJet' programm .
hicago/Midway and Baltimore, far from Western Pacific and Although the idea of using an airliner for
short and medium-haul inter-city services Continental's long-suffering reputation as a view to eventually replacing the remaining its Texan roots. ew high-frequency ser- advertising purposes was not a new one -
throughout United's domestic U network.
reliable carrier supplying a quality service to Boeing 727s and McDonnell Douglas DC- vices linking Florida point replaced a sim- there had been several sport team-~ ased
As well as providing invaluable local com- its passengers. More emphasis was placed 9s and MD-80s over the following years. ilar network previously flown by Piedmont ndoubtedly one of the most colourful and regional promotional liveries in the
munications, the short-haul fleet fed pas- on higher revenue business-class traffic, but later neglected by SAir. Southwest imitators first made its presence preceding years - actually selling the air-
sengers into United's growing international with a IPW 'Business First' service initially Southwest's 737-500s eventually re- well and truly known when it burst on to liner as a flying billboard was a new twist
route system. Once replaced by the later introduced on transoceanic flights. Southwest and America placed the oldest of the airline's 737-200s, the US airline scene in 1995. Western on the theme. First customer to sign up for
737 and Airbuses, the last of the original Innovative promotions included the although over thirty 'Advanced' JT D- Pacific Airlines was originally formed to the revenue-boosting measure was the
,cries 200 were finally disposed of after
West Go Nationwide
attempt to form new divisions, separate powered Series 200s still remained in the exploit the under-used Colorado prings Broadmoor, a five-star Colorado prings
over thirty years of faithful service. from the mainstream Continental Airlines Much more popular in the U A was the fleet. However, it was with the 737-30 that Airport. Denv r's new airport is sited near- resort hotel owned by Edward L. Gaylord,
Continental A irl ines was the only other operation. 'Continental West' was orga- Series 300, with Southwest Airlines, in par- Southwest based their prosperity, with near- ly forty miles from the city centre, to the a major investor in Western Pacific Air-
major US customer for the Series 500. For nized to take over the western network ticular, using the type to service its massive ly 200 of the variant in the all- 73 7 fleet of north. Residents south of Denver found it lines. The Broad moor was soon followed
many years after its emergence from the and regain traffic lost to an increasingly expansion through the late 19 Os and over 300 operational aircraft by the year much more convenient to usc Colorado by Colorado Tech, a technical college.
'merger-mania' of the 19 Os Continental omnipresent South we t Airlines, and other 1990s. In 1994, outhwet had acquired 2 00. Spring's closer facility. As Denver fares Even the city of Colorado prings itself
had truggled to survive. Long-running new lost-cost carrier. Later, 'Continental Morris Air, which operated a fleet of 737- Fellow low-cost operator, America West were traditionally high, not helped by a promoted itself using one of the airline's
labour-relation problems, the unsettled Lite' took over more leisure-related routes in 300s. Morris Air, which began services in Airlines, also expanded well outside its local surcharge imposed on every ticket to aircraft. Most dramatic was the sale to Fox

142 143

•••••••••• N303FL

---- The attractive tail designs of Frontier's 737s are unique to each individual aircraft, depicting flora, fauna
and the geography of the American West. Steve Bunting

desperate move, Peiser moved the opera- Founded to take advantage of Continental design featuring the natural wildlife or
tion to Denver's new International Air- Airline's drastic downsizing of its once scenery of America's West.
port, which put it in direct competition substantial Denver pr sellCe, Frontier Despite growing pains, Frontier Airlines
with several industry giants. Western Pacif- operated an initial f1eet of Boeing 737- survived, carrying 2.56 million pa "senger" in
II ...:. ic did not stand a chance. After an abortive 200s, later joined by -300s. A" well as only its third year. The route network soon
merger attempt with another carrier, We"t- reviving the name of the region' still well- encompassed both coasts, from San Diego to
ern Pacific Airlines was closed down on 4 respected pioneer local carrier, Frontier Boston, all points served via the Denver
February 1998. made a name for itself in its own right with hub. It was Frontier that had considered
its eye-catching livery. Although the fuse- merging with troubled Western Pacific, but
lage remained plain white, with only the wisely backed out of the deal. The owners of
A New Frontier airline's title and it' motto, 'The pirit of another low-cost scheduled 737-200 opera-
the West', it was raised from the mundane tor, Vanguard Airlines, took out a minority
In July 1994, a new Frontier Airlines had by the tail design. Each aircraft's tail sur- shareholding in Frontier. Vanguard operate
(Top) Fox Television rented space on Western Pacific's 737-300s. Aviation Hobby face was painted with a different graphic
(Above) Western Pacific adopted a more sober livery once the logojet started scheduled operations from Denver. a similar network, albeil on a smaller scale,
programme was cancelled. Aviation Hobby Shop

Television of the space on ex-USAir 737- Las Vegas casinos, car-hire companies and End of the Dream
300, N949Wr. Fox had Western Pacific insurance firms all willingly laid out large
paint the aircraft wilh its popular televi- fees for the privilege of having their name However, although its high-profile and
sion cartoon characters 'The Simpsons'. on the side of a Western PaCific airliner. unique style of service was attracting pas-
From 2 April 1995, Western Pacific's There were a handful of aircraft operated in sengers, Western Pacific Airlines was far
f1eet of 73 7-300s linked Colorado Springs a 'standard' Western Pacific livery, as well as from profitable. Eventually the main
with Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, on mostly narural metal 737 thar pro- investors grew impatient for profits and, at
Oklahoma City and Phoenix. San Francis- claimed the airline's aim to help its cus- the end of 1996, installed a new manage-
co joined the network in May, and Chica- tomers 'Beat the System'. ment team. Beam'ais remained chairman,
go/Midway, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, At its peak Western Pacific was operar- but with little or no authority and no inf1u-
Indianapolis, ew York/Newark, San Diego, ing no less rhan eighteen Boeing 737-300s. ence over the new managers. The new
eartle, Tulsa, Washington-Dulles and As well as providing a much-needed team was headed by Robert Peiser, who
Wichita were all added by the end of the increase in passenger figures for Colorado promptly scrapped the Logo]et programme,
year as more aircraft became available. Springs in its own right, Western Pacific's in an attempt to attract a more business-
The Logo]et programme was expanded succe's attracted other airlines back to the oriented, higher-revenue, customer to the
with the swiftly growing, all 737-300 airport, anxious to claim their share of the airline. Employee morale and service tan- Alaska Airlines had spread its influence over routes far removed from its northern origins. A large fleet of
equipped f1eet. everal Colorado ski resorts, available traffic. dards plummeted as debts built up. In a last 737-400s was acquired, with MD-80s, to service the expanded networks. Steve Bunting

744 745

The 737 and the Southwest 'Wannabes'

The spread of the low-cost carrier, worldwide as well as in the USA. has formed amajor as well and its route network soon stretched as far north as New York. Despite attract-
part of the story of the 737 in the last years of the twentieth century and beginning of ing a loyal following, the airline ceased operations in 1997, following heavy losses.
the next. The continued success of Southwest Airlines, America West, and others, did Pro-Air was established with a head office in Seattle in 1995. However, it was to be
not go unnoticed. There were many willing to sink their reputations and money into the much further east that the new airline made a name for itself. when commercial oper-
new style of air travel. However, as always in the tough commercial world, there were ations finally began in July 1997. Pro-Air set up its main hub at Detroit's old downtown
as many, if not more, failures as successes. airport, putting two new 737-400s into service on a low-fare network that eventually
Of the enthusiastic exploiters of deregulation, the previously mentioned Air Florida, included Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Indianapolis, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia
Midway Airlines, Presidential Airways, Sunworld International Airways and Western and Seattle. An extra 737-400 and two smaller 737-300s also joined the original air-
Pacific were only some of the unlucky hopefuls that fell by the wayside. The likes of craft pair as service was expanded. However, in 2000, Pro Air had its certificate
AirCal, Morris Air, New York Air and PeoplExpress were at least taken over as going removed by the federal authorities, citing operational and maintenance discrepancies,
concerns, with most of their employees having some sort of future to look forward to. and all operations were brought to a halt
Other enthusiastic workforces were less fortunate. Even shorter-lived was Los Angeles/Long Beach-based Winair Airlines. Founded by
Richard I. Winwood, Winair was originally based at Salt Lake City as a charter service.
MNU~ Eastwind Airlines, based at Greensboro, North Carolina and Trenton, New Jersey
began operations in 1995. The second-hand Boeing 737-200s were later joined by When 'scheduled' services began from Long Beach in 1998, they were still officially
II I I I II I I ••• I I . I I"
brand new later versions on a network that covered routes from Florida to New Eng- designated as 'direct-sales charters'. The fleet of 737-200s, later joined by leased
land. Owned by UM Holdings, Eastwind initially enjoyed local success, especially at Series 300s and 400s, operated from Long Beach to Las Vegas, Oakland, Sacramento
Trenton, with many of its passengers switching from nearby, but overcrowded, Newark and Salt Lake City. However, after only eight months of 'scheduled' operation, the air-
and Philadelphia Airports. Unfortunately, the early traffic growth could not be main- line ceased operations in July 1999, citing lack of investment as the cause of its finan-
tained and, after UM Holdings supported the airline while an unsuccessful bid was cial difficulties.
made to find a buyer, the airline operation was closed down in 1999.
Another 1995 start-up was Air South, that began operations with leased Boeing 737-
200s, operating a low-cost network from Columbia, South Carolina. Initially flying south- Air South's short-lived operation utilized 737-200s on a busy schedule up the US east
wards to Florida cities via points in Georgia, Air South eventually turned its eyes north coast. Malcolm L. Hill

MarkAir failed in its attempt to rival the giant Alaska Airlines. Steve Bunting

from Kansas City, but any full merger plans more southern-based marker. This formed money on the new service and finally ceased
between the two were later abandoned. the basis of a route expansion programme operations in 1992.
Vanguard's own re-equipment plans took that now saw the airline operating as far
the form of leasing in MD-80s to repla e south as Mexico, as well as routes from al-
their much older Boeing 737-200 aircraft. ifornia to the mid-west. Jet America had
Although very atisfied with its ail-Boe- been in exi tence ince 19 1 and operated
More Worldwide Presence
ing 737 fleet, with seven -200s and seven- eight MD- O. More of the McDonnell The CFM 56-powered 73 7 versions were as
teen -300s in service in 2001, Frontier Ai r- Douglas twin-jets were acquired by Alaska popular worldwide as their JT8-D predeces-
lines chose not to order new versions to Airlines following the takeover. As well as sors. In South America, the large 737-200
replace them. Instead, in October 1999, it the MD- Os though, Alaska eventually fleer- ofCruziero and VARIG were amalga-
announced an order for two Airbus type" acquired no les than forty of the larger Boe- mated when the two airlines were merged
the ll4-passenger A31 and 132-passen- ing 737-400s, to replace the last 727-200s. under the VARIG name in 1993. Over thir-
ger A319. Forty-six orders and options Despite the bankruptcy of Wi en Air Alas- ty 737-300s eventually joined the fleet,
were taken out on the two types, with ka, another operator stepped in to replace operating over the vast regional and domes-
planned del ivery for late 200 I. them in the busier domestic Alaskan mar- tic Brazilian network. VARIG subsidiary,
kets. MarkAir had originally been founded Rio ul took delivery of a fleet of 737-500s,
as a specialist cargo operator, Interior Air- as well as a single Series 300. Rival Brazilian
More 49th State 7375 ways. Later renamed Alaska International carrier, VASP, also supplemented its Series
Air, the airline became famou for its world- 200 with 737-300s. ao Paulo-based inde-
Alaska Airlines had operated a handful of wide ad hoc charter services wi th its fleet of pendent, Transbrasil began replacing their
737-200s alongside its Boeing 727s for sev- Lockheed Hercules freighters. Five convert- Boeing 727-100s with 737-300s from 1986.
eral years. However, with the tri-jet becom- ible 737-200s initially opened scheduled pas- In Africa, Kenya Airways supplemented A321s. orth African national carriers Air turbo-prop Fokker E27s and Twin Otters 300s, along with several Series 400s and a
ing more of an economic liability, the 737 senger services from Anchorage to several its small fleet of 737-200s with four eries Algerie, Royal Air Maroc and Tunis Air all flown on local services. The Indian Airlines trio of smaller Series 500s. New Malaysian
began to feature more in the airline\, future points in Alaska. The first 737s were later 300. eighbouring Air Malawi and Air supplemented or replaced their earlier 737- Corporation had chosen to replace their independent airline, Transmile Air ervice
plans. The carrier had started to expand joi ned by another Series 200C, two 737 -300 Tanzania both operated a ingle 737-300 with CFM56-powered versions. 737-200s with Airbus A320s and passed also operate several older 737-200s.
well outside its traditional Seattle and and three 737-400s. The route network was and Air Afrique and Cameroon Airlines Pakistan International Airlines intro- many of the surplus Boeings on to a new Although Singapore Airlines itself no
Alaska-oriented markets since acquiring extended south to include Chicago, Las both fly small fleets of Series 300 on their duced a fleet of Boeing 737 -300s on domes- subsidiary, Alliance Air, which operates the longer operated the Boeing 737, its sub-
California-based Jet America Airlines in Vegas, Los Angeles, e\\' York, Portland, scheduled services. Further north, Egyptair tic and regional flights, filling a niche aircraft on low-cost domestic services. sidiary Tradewinds operated five 737-300s
19 7. The takeover of the Los A ngcles- an Diego, an Francisco and cattle. replaced their eries 200s with cries 500s, between the wide-bodied international Malaysia Airlines had remained faithful from 1990. Tradewinds' name was changed
based airline gave Alaska access to a much Unfortunately, the company was soon losing as well as introducing Airbus A320s and fleet of Airbus and Boeing types, and the to the 737, introducing a large fleet ofSerie- to Silkair in 1992 and the Boeings were

746 747
Behind the 'Bamboo Curtain' THE LAST OF THE OLD GENERATION

Although remaining firmly under Communist control. mainland China began a major government. However, all the other 'new' Chinese domestic airlines were created from
programme of regionalization of its airline operations in the mid-1980s. Until then, the the old regional divisions of CMC. A 'Big Three' group of Chinese airlines soon
Civil Aviation Administration of China (CMC) had been solely responsible for the oper- emerged, with Air China, the old CMC international division based at Beijing, China Brazil's major domestic operators, VASP and VARIG
ation of China's vast domestic and international network. CMC had operated a large Eastern based at Shanghai and China Southern based at Guangzhou, easily becoming were long-established operators of the 737 on their
fleet comprising a mixture of both Western-designed and Russian-produced airliners. the biggest and most important carriers. Nonetheless, the smaller divisions were soon regional services. Both pictures courtesy of Steve
Many of its more important domestic schedules were flown by a fleet of Hawker Sid- rapidly expanding under their new freedoms, promoting their own regional identities. Bunting
deley Trident jet airliners, bought from the United Kingdom in the early 1970s. Under the new liberalized system, even more independents were founded to take
CMC's first Boeings had comprised an order for ten Boeing 707s, for use on the inter- advantage of the increasing traffic.
national network, placed after the USA and the People's Republic of China signed trade The first new independent to appear was Xiamen airlines, soon followed by the likes
agreements for the first time since the Chinese Communists had come to power. Boe- of Shenzen Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Wuhan Airlines, China Great Wall Corporation and
ing 737-200s had entered service in 1983, originally imported to begin the replacement many others. As well as the reassigned CMC fleet. more aircraft were imported to
of some of the remaining Russian types such as the IL-18 turbo-prop and Tu-154 jet equip the new carriers, including 737s of varying models, many on leasing contracts as
CMC also acquired a number of McDonnell Douglas MD-80s, including some actually well as outright purchase. American types did not enjoy a monopoly though, as sever-
built under licence in China. McDonnell Douglas had originally hoped to establish a pro- al Chinese airlines opted for Airbus aircraft, and even a handful of the more modern
duction line for the MD-80 series in China and provided parts for several aircraft after an Russian types, such as the IL-86 and Yak-42, made an appearance.
agreement was reached with local manufacturers. However, in the event, only a handful As in any rapidly expanding, competitive, commercial situation, both winners and
were completed before the project was abandoned. Boeing, though, signed contracts losers would soon appear. By the turn of the century the differing fortunes of the new
with Chinese companies for the construction of aircraft components. Factories in Cheng- airlines were becoming apparent. Both 'associate agreements' and mergers, of varying
du, Chongqing, Shanghai, Shenyang and Xian are now major subcontractors for Boeing. degree, soon started appearing between the airlines in an effort to minimize duplica-
The dissolution of CMC into smaller carriers was preceded by the creation of a tion and maximize efficiency. Outright takeovers and even more mergers were soon
new independent carrier, Shanghai Airlines, originally founded by the local municipal being mooted to bring the number of airlines down to a more manageable state.

(Below) Pakistan International introduced a fleet of 737-300s on to both its domestic and international routes from Karachi. PIA, via author


(Topl CAAC's 737-200s initially passed to the new Air (Above) China Southern was one of the numerous airlines that appeared throughout China following the dissolution of
China. MAP CAAC. Steve Bunting

148 149

rerlaced by A irbus and Fokker narrow-bod- al airl ines of Bulg::lria, the Czech Republ ic, Russia itself, the Ukraine, and the Baltic
ied tyres from 1998. Poland, Romania and the Slovak Repub- State of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
lic. The cries 500, esrecially, seemed to Ukraine International Airlines began
fill a niche on their thinner routes, with operation with 737-200 leased in from
East European Revolution the larger models also making an aprear- Guinness Peat, that had a shareholding in
ance on busier sectors. In the C:ech the new airline, in 1992. In direct compe-
With the fall of the East European Com- Republic the economy thrived enough to tition with the ex-Aeroflot directorate,
munist regimes in the early 1990s, a huge see the establishment of new charter air- now orerating as Air Ukraine, UIA has
market opened up for the Western aircraft lines. Two of the new Czech airlines, Fis- gone on to operate 737 -300s alongside the
manufacturers. Ever since the end of the cher and Travel Service Airlines, selected original -200s. Also in the Ukraine,
Second World War, most of the airlines of Boeing product, with the larger CFM56 AeroSvit flies regional and international
the 'Iron Curtain' countries had relied on 737s their model of choice. services with a fleet of 737-200s.
~ l . E V\-\ungar\an P\\\"\""\cs
Ru ia to provide their aircraft needs. The After breaking up into new republics All the Baltic tates spawned 737 opera-
•• •••• • ••• ••• • •• factories of Antonov, Ilyushin, Tupolev
and others, had produced everal cred-
and federations, the former Yugoslav
nations also set about forming their own
tors. Estonia Air began operations as a new
flag carrier in 1992, eventually flying three
itable aircraft over the years, at reasonable carriers. J T began rebuilding itself as the 737 -500s, alongside a fleet of Fokker 50
cost to the Warsaw Pact nations. flag carrier ,for Serbia, bringing its 737- turbo-props. Riga A irlines of Latvia was also
Western aircraft had made some inroads 300s back into service once international founded in 1992, to operate three 737-200s
into the Warsaw Pact countrie , although anctions were lifted. Croatia and Mace- on international and regional flight. The
the'e were fel\' and rarely sustained. More donia also placed 737s into service, airline's name was changed to Riair in 1995,
liberal Yugoslavia had operated a Western- although Croatia Airlines later replaced but the carrier ceased orerations in 2000.
built fleet, starting with Convair pror-1in- their leased 737-200s with Airbus tyres. Lithuania's new carrier, Lithuanian Airlines
ers in the 1950s. Poland's national airline, was organized out of the old Aeroflot region-
Hungarv's MALEV pioneered the introduction of the 737 in service with airlines of the former communist
LOT had bought Vickers Viscount turbo- al directorate, taking on its new identity just
nations of Eastern Europe. MAP rrors ::lnd Romania's TAROM ore rated a Break-Up of Aeroflot days before Lithuania regained indepen-
large fleet of BAC One-Eleven jets, as well dence. Eventually, Series 200, -300 and -
as Boeing 707 on long-range flights. Hun- In the former R, the airline scene was 500s all joined the Lithuanian fleet.
gary's MALEV was one of the first to changed out of all recognition. ewly
imrort the 737, when eries 200s were formed republics were swift to establish their
leased in as early as 19 8, to begin the own national carriers and new independent Russian Revivals
rerlacement ofTupolev Tu-134s and other airlines also sprang up to provide comreti-
Russian tyres. Series 300, -400 and -500 tion. For the most rart, the established local Transaero, a new Moscow-based indepen-
737s followed the initial leased fleet into directorate of the once giant Aeroflot sim- dent, not associated with the old Aeroflot,
MALEV service. ply broke away from the old regime and was was founded in 1993. Initially operating
The later, CFM56-powered, 737 also renamed, usually with the old Rus ian-built ex-British Airways Boeing 737-200' to Tel
found favour with the reorgani:ed nation- fleet. Most outstanding excertions were Aviv, Transaero swiftly expanded to include

The 737 also formed the initial fleet of Ukraine International Airlines when the new independent was
Croatia Airlines began operations with Boeing 737-200s from the former Yugoslav republic. Malcolm L. Hill formed to rival the local ex-Aeroflot Directorate. Air Ukraine. Steve Bunting

150 151


The Next Generation

Higher, Faster - and Cheaper! America West, United and US Airways Looking to Boeing's Laurels
operated their Airbus fleets alongside
By the I990s, the increasing threat to established Boeing 737s. All three airlines Other Boeing airliner programmes provid-
Boeing's market-base by the European had also placed orders for the slighdy ed the 737 team with a host of improve-
Airbus consortium was causing a great smaller A318. ments that could be incorporated into the
deal of concern in Seattle. The A320 The Airbus threat to Boeing had grown basic aircraft to create yet further devel-
model in particular, Airbus's nearest rival from a mild annoyance, in the early days, oped 73 7s. 0 less than five different major
model to the 737, was selling in great to a major worry. Over the years, Boeing redesigns for a new aircraft were considered
numbers to airlines that had traditionally had suffered its share of industrial prob- by Boeing. Eventually, however, the deci-
considered Boeing first. Not surprisingly, lems, development and production delays sion was made to proceed with the simpler
the European carriers began to favour the that had also contributed to some loss of proposal that comprised a 737 with a new,
Airbuses. Air France, British Airways, customer confidence. Another serious more efficient wing. The high degree of
(Above) Aeroflot Russian Airlines heralded in a rival was the last thing Boeing needed. commonality with the current 737 models
Lufthansa and Sabena were among the
new era with the Boeing 737-400. Aeroflot also meant that Boeing was able to avoid
once loyal 737 customers that chose to Although the CFM56-powered 737
replace their older models with Airbus models had certainly gone some way to the expensive recertification costs of a type
products. offer some competition to Airbus, it was that was entirely new. The new version was
Export sales, valuable as they were, were recognized that there was still room for fur- initially designated the '737-X'.
one thing, but even in the USA itself large ther improvement to give Boeing back its An advisory airline group was set up,
further modified to Aeroflot-Russian Air- fleets of Airbus A320s were bei ng flown on lead. [n particular, the 737 needed to fly with contributions from customer airlines.
lines in June 2000, to emphasize the air- domestic routes. America West Airlines, higher, faster and even more economically One of the more surprising outcomes was
line's commitment to developing its Northwest Airlines, United Airlines and if it was to continue to offer any competi- the rejection by the group of the adoption
domestic and CIS services, as well as its US Airways operated the largest numbers. tion to Airbus. of 'Fly-By-Wire' technology on the new
continued international presence.
Aeroflot became a 73 7 operator in
1998, leasing in the first of an initial fleet
of ten Bermudan-registered Boeing 737-
400s. The 737s were introduced onto the
European network, as well as the more
important domestic and regional services
throughout the CIS. Over 130 destina-
tions in seventy countries are served. [n
2001, as well as the ten 737 -400s, Aeroflot
operates a modern fleet that includes two
The 737-400 brought new standards of comfort to Aeroflot's passengers and crews Boeing 777s, four Boeing 767s, eleven Air-
used to the more 'basic' amenities of Russian-built types. Aeroflot bus A310s and a single DC-lO, as well as
over seventy Russian airliners.

Boeing 757s in its fleet. Unfortunately, were reorganized as Aeroflot-Russian [nter- To the Future
Transaero came close to becoming a vic- national Airlines, a new joint-stock com-
tim of its own success, as route expansion pany in 1992. The Russian government The decision to offer the CFM56-powered
and other costs soon started outstripping still held 51.17 per cent of the stock, the versions of the 73 7 had proved a great suc-
its revenue. Painful downsizing and reor- rest of the shareholding being held by cess, as well as giving the whole programme
ganization followed a ncar-bankruptcy; Aeroflot's employees. The old Moscow- a much-needed new lease of life. Howev-
however, by 2000, the revitalized carrier based Aeroflot international scheduled er, the competition, especially from Airbus
had recovered enough to be serving more operations were taken under the new carri- [ndustrie, was still increasingly eating into
than thirty domestic and international er's remit, as were routes throughout Russ- Boeing's sales figures. Yet more improve-
points with a fleet of 737-200s. ian territory and to other former members ments were needed to get Boeing back on
The airline operations that remained of the USSR, now the Commonwealth of top. It was time to move on again to the US Airways, as the rebranded USAir had become. was still a major user of the Boeing 737 in America. However.
under the Aeroflot-Soviet Airlines name Independent States (ClS). The name was next step, to the next generation. the airline had also introduced Airbus A318s. and A320s to replace the Boeings. Malcolm L. Hill

152 153
73 7. This had been a major new-technolo- miles in the first' ext Generation' mod- the launch order in late 1993. In very ba -ic hort-body Series 500, rolled out in Decem- MD-80/90 neet with ' ext Generation'
gy feature u ed by Airbus in selling the els. To compensate for the larger wing, the
term the eries 700 was the Boeing 737- ber 1997. Launch customer for the -600 was Boeing 73 7s. Boeing did not have it all their
A32 . FBW had been uccessfully de igned dorsal fin and vertical stabilizer were 300, which it replaced on the production candinavian Airlines ystem, which own way with AS though, as orders were Another innovation Boeing wanted to
into Boeing's new long-range, wide-body lengthened and the span of the horizontal line, with the new features. The first -700 seemed to have got over its apparent reluc- also placed for Airbus A321s, the European include in the 'Next Generation' 737s was
type, the 777, and Boeing had seriously srabi Iizer was extended. These measures was rolled out in December 1996. tance to operate 73 7s after acquiring the ex- rival to the 757, and wide-body 330s and new avionics and night-deck displays, fir t
considered installing it on the 737-X. were also required to allow the use of high- Six months later, the first Series 800, Linjenyg -500 aircraft, most of which had A340s were also ordered to replace Boeing developed for other aircraft in the Boeing
Instead, the advisory group members, in er-powered CFMB56-7B engines. The which replaced the -4 ,followed in June been promptly lea ed out. A ordered no 767s on A 's long-haul nights. airliner range. ot all the potential cus-
particular outhwest Airlines, were more in new version of the CFM56 engine was 1997. The - 00 was first ordered by Ger- Ie s than thirty-eight Series 600s, in addi- The first -700 new on 9 February 1997. tomers wanted the new-style technology
favour of retaining the 737's basic simplici- designed with 15 per cent lower mainte- man charter airline Hapag Lloyd. Unlike tion to placing orders for fifteen Serie OOs By the time the first aircraft were entering though. Southwest, especially, wanted to
ty as well as commonality with previous nance costs and 8 per cent lower fuel burn. the -700, the Series 800 does incorporate <I and a pai I' of -700s. Options were held on no Southwest Airlines service in early 1998, remain with EFIS (electronic night instru-
models. CFM International went to great lengths, further stretch over the Series 400. This less than sixty-eight other 737s. The airline the order book for the 'Next Generation' ment system), as fitted to all its new 737s
The major new feature, a larger, 'high- offering to become a ri ok-sharing partner allows an IT charter configuration of 189 planned to eventually replace its D -9/ 737s had reached a staggering 900 aircraft. since all but the very fir t -300s onwards.
speed', wing had a 25 per cent increase in in the project, in return for the exclu ive passengers. To permit the higher capacity,
area, with a span increased to 112ft 7in right to provide engines for the new type. the over-wing emergency exits were total-
04.3m). The tip cord of the old wing was ly redesigned to be upward hinging units Mid-Atlantic 737s
extended and a whole new wingbox was on all the new 737 versions, in place of the
designed. More room for fuel was provided Two island nations whose once strategically advantageous position in the mid-Atlantic scheduled and charter flights, with both the -100 and -200 versions being acquired over
Launch Orders original inward-opening type.
had led to their becoming well-equipped for supporting air services were to become the years. DC-8s played a brief part in the airline's operations following the merger of
by moving the rear spar aft. 0 Ie s than ext to be launched, albeit somewhat
3 per cent more fuel could now be car- home to resident fleets of 737s. Both Iceland and the Azores archipelago had original- Icelandair and Loftleider, a leading independent low-fare Icelandic airline. Eventually,
The first of the' ext Generation' 73 7s out of numerical sequence, was the Series
ly been developed as important refuelling stops for trans-Atlantic traffic linking the old however, more modern 757s and 737s took over from the older tri-jets, including some
ried, allowing a range of 3,2 nautical was to be the 73 7-700. Southwest pia ed 600, a 'Next Generation' version of the world with the new, but were later overflown as technology improved. Meanwhile, 737 all-cargo operations.
their local populations had come to recognize the advantage of air travel. both locally Another leasing specialist was established in Iceland in 1986. Air Atlanta Icelandic's
and as a means to remain connected with the outside world. large fleet eventually included several 737s that were operated on both leasing con-
In the north, Icelandair had been providing scheduled services to the island's scat- tracts and IT charters in their own right In 1991, Islandsflug, operator of a flight school
tered communities, and linking it to both Europe and the North American continent for and a handling and maintenance facility, opened scheduled services to sixteen desti-
several decades. However, the main scheduled carrier was not to be the first Icelandic nations around Iceland using a Dornier turbo-prop. In 1998, a single 737 was used to
operator of the 737. Staff of a failed charter carrier, Air Viking, formed a new charter open IT flights from Keflavik to Eindhoven, Manchester and Rimini. By 2001, the -200
airline, Eagle Air (Arnaflug). in 1976. Initially operating Air Viking's pair of second-hand had been joined by two -300s and leasing services were also operated under the name
Boeing 720Bs, Eagle Air flew IT and ad hoc charters from Iceland, mainly to Spanish of Icebird Airlines.
resorts and to Germany. Eagle Air also became involved in leasing work with its 720Bs, Further south, the Azores archipelago had been served by the scheduled operations
sending them off on short-term contracts to other carriers in their own slow season. of SATA Air Acores, its own airline since 1947. SATA concentrated on providing vital
Icelandair bought amajority shareholding in Eagle Air in 1979. Under the national air- links between the Portuguese island group with a fleet eventually comprising BAe and
line's control, scheduled services were opened from Keflavik to Amsterdam, Dusseldorf Dornier turbo-props. A new wholly owned subsidiary, SATA International, was formed
and Zurich, using a 737-200 that replaced the 720Bs in 1981. The 737 was also used when the assets of afailed local carrier, OceanAir, were taken over. In 1998, SATA Inter-
for the established charter network and leasing services. Unfortunately financial prob- national was awarded scheduled routes to mainland Portugal. Using a fleet of Boeing
lems started to beset the small airline and it was closed down by Icelandair in 1990. 737-300s and Airbus A31 Os, SATA International also undertook charter services from
Icelandair itself, known locally as Flugfelag, preferred to utilize the Boeing 727 on its both the Azores and Portuguese resort areas to the UK and Europe.

(Abovel The Boeing 737-700 was difficult to distinguish purely by sight from the 737-300. Southwest (Below) Hapag Lloyd ordered -800s for its extensive
painted the -700's flap hinge fairings bright orange to help ground crews tell the two apart. MAP programme of IT charters from Germany. Steve Bunting


Islandsflug operates its own IT programme from Iceland, as well as offering leasing services with its 737s. Aviation Hobby Shop

154 155

The continued usc of the EFIS format use of six Honeywell multifunction liquid unthinkable was that the company, the with the sales figures for its L-188 Electra. As with Boeing, MDC was not only the older DC-9 series and intended to offer
would provide commonality, and allow crystal displays allowed the primary flight McDonnell Douglas Corporation, was As a result, Lockheed had actually bowed involved in commercial airliner produc- the advantages of the new technologies on
Southwest greater flexibility in crew assign- display and navigation data to be tailored actually bought out by Boeing. out of the airliner market altogether, con- tion, although, also like Boeing, it was less dense routes. Boeing redesignated the
ments and simplify conversion training. to the airline's needs, in either format, as Douglas had soundly beaten Boeing in centrating mostly on military projects until probably its most public activity. Involve- design as the Boeing 717 -200 and contin-
Nonetheless, the newer system, PFD/ND required. the pre-war competition for the world's air- it produced the L-lOll TristaI' wide-body. ment in aerospace projects in the fields of ued with its development work. Only one
(primary flight display/navigation display), liner market. Its main rival through the Although the aircraft was an operational missile technology, satellite, military and operator, low-cost scheduled airline Valu-
originally developed for the Boeing 777, 1940s and 50s had been California neigh- success, with many examples built and space-flight programmes, amongst others, jet, had placed a definite order. Even this
was wanted by other operators. Many of The Douglas Factor bour, Lockheed. They had matched each enjoying long careers with a number of car- also occupied the company, but none of order was in the balance, as Valujet was
these customers already operated similar other model for model through the Douglas riers, the L-lOll was also a financial failure, them were making it much money either. busy reinventing itself following its
equipment on other aircraft in their fleets. In 1997, the unthinkable happened in that DC-4/6/7 and elegant Lockheed Constella- unable to follow up on its early promise. As MDe's financial problems piled up, the grounding by federal authorities after the
In response to the differing requirements, Boeing's greatest competitor, ever since tion series. As the jet age approached, Lock- Instead of Lockheed, Douglas had found situation worsened dramatically and there fatal crash in Florida by one of its DC-9-
Boeing solved the dilemma by developing the days of the 247/DC-2 rivalry in the heed had placed all its airliner eggs in the itself up against a rejuvenated Boeing and was a genuine possibility that the much 30s. Atlanta-based Valujet had recently
a new CDS (common display system). The 1930s, vanished overnight. Even more turbo-prop basket, and been disappointed an enterprising Convair in the competi- revered company would collapse com- merged with anorher low-fare airline, Air-
tion for the US jetliner market. Convair pletely. Eventually, Boeing stepped in with Tran, that flew several Boeing 737-200s
was eventually to admit defeat up against the proverbial offer that could not be from Orlando.
the two giants and the Douglas DC-8 had refused, and absorbed MDe. The resulting 'new' AirTran confirmed
come a very poor second to the Boeing the order for fifty of the new twin-jet,
707. The expense of its jet airliner pro- intending to standardize on the type. Boe-
grammes was a major factor in Douglas's MD-95 to Boeing 717 ing was eventually rewarded with more
merger with McDonnell, to produce orders and options from TWA and other
MDe. The Long Beach, California-based At the time of the takeover, MDC was carriers worldwide.
manufacturer had been increasingly strug- producing the MD-ll, an enlarged and
gling to survive as Boeing and, eventually, longer-ranged version of the DC-I0, and
Airbus sales had encroached on its tradi- the stretched MD-90 series of twin-jets. 717 and the 737-600
tional markets and customers. Although acknowledged as one of the
The wide-body DC-I0 airliner had world's quietest jets in service, and into its The decision to proceed with the MD-
enjoyed an early success, but sales suffered third year of production, the MD-90 was a 95/717 was even more of a surprise as the
after a number of accidents blighted the direct competitor to the 'Next Genera- 100-120-passenger ai rcraft was close to
type's reputation. The long-esrabl ished tion' 737s. So it came as no great surprise the capacity and performance of the -600
DC-9 short-haul jet had sold very well, but when the eventual closure of the MD-90 version of the 'Next Generation' 737s.
later, stretched, MD-80 versions suffered by production line was announced by Boeing. The 717 was seen by Boeing as more of a
comparison with the 737-300/400/500 However, curiously, in 1998, Boeing did rival to the new 'regional jets' that had
series and new Airbus narrow-bodied types. decide to continue development of one of been making their appearance on local
Re-engined and updated MD-80s were the newer MD-90 derivatives, the MD-95. routes. Passenger capacities on the Bom-
being produced, as the MD-90 series, but Much smaller than the MD-90s in ser- bardier/Canadair from Canada, Embraer's
were struggling to reach viable sales targets. vice, the MD-95 was closer to the size of Brazilian-built local jets, developed from

Douglas and lockheed worked tirelessly to outdo each other and design the ultimate piston-engined airliner. The results The Boeing 717 still bore a striking resemblance to the DC-9 line from which it was directly descended.
were the robust DC-7 (top) and aesthetic Super Constellation series (above). American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum/Aer Lingus Dnly the much larger engines make identification easier. Aviation Hobby Shop

156 157

the turbo-prop Brasilia, Dornier's jets, also The 'Next Generation' Goes Airline in 2001, foI'entry inroservice that
developed from a turbo-prop design, were into Service summer on the Seattle-based a irI ines' US
all increasing. Pas enger loads of 70- 0 regional and Alaskan network.
were now possible on the larger versions of outhwest Airline's, and the world' , fir t The large order book for the 'Next Gen-
what had originally been perceived just as Boeing 73 7-700' ext Generation' com- eration' versions of the 73 7 meant that the
stretched business jets, and it was this mar- mercial flight took place on I January new type were soon spreading their wings
ket d,at the 717 was aimed ar. 199. N700GS operated Flight II from on air routes all over the world. Both
The 717 -200 first flew on 2 September Dallas/Love Field ro Houston/Hobby and scheduled and charter, establ ished and new
1998. Four aircraft were eventually used in on to Harlingen, all within Southwest's Boeing 737 operators were soon taking
the test and development programme and home state of Texas. The first Hapag Lloyd delivery of the -700s and -800s. Pioneer
certifi ation was granted just under a year 737- entered service from Germany in 737 airline, Braathens was an early -700 • : rznl/Rir
later on I eptember 1999. A propo ed time for the 199 summer season of IT operator, placing the first of an order for fif- I' •••••• 'i .' . j
717 -I version, reduced in size ro carry charters. placed the -600 into sched- teen in service on its orwegian and Euro-
eight-five passenger in a mixed-clas lay- uled ervice in the autumn of 199 , on pean network in earl y 1998. German ia - ..... -- .. _- ... --'

out, was being considered to offer further routes from Scandinavia ro Paris. The first replaced its -300s with -700' ext Genera-
competition ro the 'regional jet' types. production -900 was delivered to Alaska tion' versions, operating on behalf of

The high capacity -800 found itself popular with many charter carriers. Novair operate them from Sweden
to sunnier climes in southern Europe. Aviation Hobby Shop

Deutsche BA and fellow charter carrier 73 7s into service. Denmark's terling Euro- started charter operations from tockholm
LT ,as well a' it own ·ervices. Dutch car- pean A irways had been born from the a hes in 1997. Owned by wed ish tour operator
riers KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and of a long-established carrier, terling Air- Apollo Resor, ovair initially flew a single
Trans<wia, the latter now a subsidiary of the ways, thm had ceased operation in ep- Lockheed Tristar and one Airbus A320 on
former, took del ivery of 73 7-800s for use on tember 1993. Originally founded in 1962 both long and medium IT charter flights.
their European networks, supplementing by Tjaerborg Reiser, a large Danish travel Four new ' ext Generation' 737-800s
earlier versions. The 73 7-800 made its first company, Sterling had gained an enviable eventually took over the A320 services as
appearance in the Caribbean with the reputation as a qual ity charter carrier and Novair' operations expanded.
delivery of the first of a sextet of aircraft to was operating charter services from most
BWIA West Indies to supplement and candinavian countries, as well as serving
eventually replace their fleet of DC-9 and its home marker. Its original DC-6Bs had The 'Next Generation' and
MD80 types. eventually been replaced by a large fleet of the Major US Carriers
pan ish leaders in the IT charter market, Caravelles and in turn these were replaced
Air Europa, as well as operating a regional by Boeing 727-200s and 757s. Sterling's A major coup for Boeing was an order for no
(Above) BWIA of the Caribbean became a new 737 operator with the -800. • (Belowl Futura introduced a new livery with the arrival of their 'Next
Aviation Hobby Shop. Generation' 737-800s. MAP/Aviation Hobby Shop
and long-haul scheduled network in its own fortunes began ro wane in the early 1990s less than 100 Series 800s from American
right, took delivery of - OOs to upplement and a takeover bid by France's Europe Airlines. ince disposing of the ex-AirCal
the smaller -300s and -400s in the fleet. A Aero Service failed in 1993, eventually -200s and -300s in the late 19 Os, American
new sub'idiary, Air Europa Canarias, wa leading ro terling Airway' bankruptcy. had relied on its large numbers of MD- 2s
established in 1999 to operate two of the The 'new' terling European Airways and Fokker 100s to supplement Boeing 727-
parent company's 737-300s from Gran began commercial operations in May 1994, 200s in its narrow-bodied fleer. The 737-
Canaria. Moves were actually made to with a fleet of six Boeing 727-200s. 800s entered service from American's Dallas
merge Air Europa into Iberia, itself flying Ithough on a much smaller scale, the oper- and Chicago hubs during 1999, as replace-
three -400s in its huge, varied, fleet, but the mions were similar to the original airline's, ments for the ageing 727s.
merger was finally called off in early 200l. flying IT charters from Copenhagen to The American Airlines 737- OOs carry
Futura International also took delivery of Mediterranean re·orts. A Norwegian com- twenty first-clas passengers, with 126 in

-_..,--- ,:z,~#:,A--~--------........c;::::::=Z!!~~iI.~r:.~
the -800 for panish-based IT work. Five
were in use for the 2001 summer season,
operating with the earl ier -400 series.
pany, Fred Olsen, took a 95 per cent share in
terling European in 1995, immediately
implementing a modernization programme.
economy class. Both cabins feature nell'
seating units, designed to offer more lum-
bar support and legroom, and adjustable
• ••••••• • EC-HBZ
Two 737- 300s were acquired, followed in headrests, as well as telephone and power
1998 by the first of an order for five -800s. ports at every seat and overhead aisle
Denmark's IT Saga The 72 7s were converted to freighter con- video monitors throughout the aircraft.
figuration and operated on contract charter The delivery of the fiftieth Boeing 737-
A. well a the multinational SA and or- for the T T organi:ation. 00, N951AN, to American was marked
way';, Braathens, other candinavian air- or connected in any way to the defunct by the aircraft being painted in the airline's
lines soon placed the 'Next Generation' UK 737 operator of the same name, ovair 1960s 'Astrojet' livery. A Boeing 757 had

158 159

ExperienceThe e American Airlines (Be/ow) N951AN turned heads wherever it appeared on American's network
(Opposite) American airlines introduced many upgraded passenger features

On Board Our All-New 737s. with their 737·800s, American Airlines C,R. Smilh Museum in its smart 1960s 'Astrojet' livery, American airlines C,R, Smith Museum

A, /1(111 "lth,' 11I",/ ('x/('/I'II,' Illn m/i a«//lN/I"" lI/1h Ii/,,/alll' nrl"'I,t;II"c!III/e/'l"r IIIII/II/"re

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Ihl' 111'\\ 'l"lh ,Iho.lrd our 111'\\ - )-, olin \ ou

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gl'I11TI >U, Iq,:n" 1111 ,ll1d In hill' 12 ,11.11111"1, "I ,llIdll) pn 'C:I,I 11111 11 Ilg
\ddlll<lll,i1 'IX"I,i1 ,1,,(lIl1nl11l'l1l' Ill< 1I11l' ,I ll'kphllill 1',I"ll1glr, \\ III ,i1" 1 Ix' ,Ihit 1" "'Ill! 1"'1'1\ l
,111.1 1)( 1\\ 1'1 1)( 111 111 1'\ 1'I\ '1',1I ,111.1 III ('Ih, ,1.1 ,1I,it \ Idl'(' .1,11,1 .111.1 1)( 1\\ II 1.1 pit lp' 111111111"1' \\ hil" 111 1l1~11I
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. ~ Continental

Main Cabin -
A New Standard.
Ihl \1.1111 ( ,I hill "I '"II Ill'\\ - C it'.ltUI\"
Continental placed its 737·800s on transcontinental service from its Houston and Newark hubs, as well as
III,t.:I t"h 111'11111" 1',11' \\ IIh 11, \\ II 1\ Illnl shorter, high-density routes, Aviation Hobby Shop
uph< 11'111\, ,I ,1\ \\ 1\ 1.1111'1 Ihll' 1... llhl'l

h'",I,h\',!. ,111.1 ,I r<" 111/\ )2 pll, It

Ih,' 12h \l.lill (,Ihlll p,I",'llgvr, (.111 ,i1'l' been painteJ in late 1950s style in 1999, to President-elect George W, Bush anJ his ernization plan, Finally managing to throw
1'111' 1\ ll'kpl/lllll'" 1I111llllll11,Itlllib ,1I l',lllt "'.11 celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Amer- entourage from Austin, Texas, to Washing- off its post-merger reputation for meJiocre
ican's jet service, anJ haJ proveJ very pop- ton DC, following the delayeJ announce- anJ disorganizeJ operations, Continental
r< 1\\ Ihnl" ,1I11pit' \1.1111 ( ,Ihlll 'ltll.lgl 'p,l'l'
ular. The 737 'A trojet' attracteJ similar ment of his election victory, was soon winning awarJ after awarJ for it
I"l "lin. III Il.I,t.:g,lgl' \11.1 !Ill' ,1'1'l1 I' " ,ii,,) attention anJ, on 17 December 2000, only Continental Airlines placeJ large orJers renewed style of service, The last remain-
l''1ulppnl \\ III ,pnl.ll "',IIUII" I. >1 dl',lhlnl two Jays after entering revenue service, for the 'Next Generation' 737 moJels as ing ex-LufthansajPeoplExpre series 100s
N951 AN was chartereJ to carry the new part of a massive re-equipment and moJ- anJ all the -200s, as well as many olJ model

The undoubted success of Southwest Airlines' low-fare
services did not go unnoticed in the hallowed board-
DC-9s and all the 72 7s in the fleet, were operations from Chicago in 1993 with a rooms of America's major airlines. They were losing traf-
eventually replaced by the 'Next Genera- fleet of Fokker 100s. The Chicago net- fic to Southwest and its copiers on most fronts and badly
tion' 737s. In addition, over sixty 737-300s work failed to make money, not least of needed to regain the lost passenger revenue. One solu-
remained, alongside the nearly seventy all because Southwest had taken the tion that was adopted by some was an 'If you can't beat
'em, join 'em' attitude.
737-500s, over thirty 737-700s and over opportunity of the original Midway Air-
In 1994, United transferred a number of its 737-300s
fifty 737-800s in service, with nearly forty lines' absence to develop a highly effec-
to a new low-fare subsidiary, Shuttle By United, which
other 73 7s of various versions on order. tive new hub at Midway Airport. Instead, took over a number of West Coast routes. Operating a
The improved performance of the 737- the new Midway Airlines upped sticks in low-cost philosophy, with only basic on-board facilities,
700 prompted Continental to study plac- 1995 and moved its headquarters to Shuttle By United was later renamed United Shuttle and
ing the version on trans-Atlantic service, Raleigh/Durham International Airport, expanded with more 737s being moved into the fleet as
on the New York/Newark-Shannon route. in North Carolina. Raleigh/Durham had a large order for Airbus A318s and A320s was delivered
However, increased traffic demands saw been developed as a new East Coast hub to the parent airline.
larger 757s being utilized by Continental by American Airlines, but the large air- Delta set up Delta Express, again a wholly owned
instead. onetheless, loha Airlines line found its efforts from there to be subsidiary, in 1996, specifically to combat Southwest's
placed its 737-700s on new Hawaii-main- entry into the Florida vacation markets. This time 737-
unsuccessful and withdrew most of its ser-
200s were used to equip the new division.
USAir had become US Airways in 1998, in a major
rebranding exercise. The same year, it set up its own r
low-cost operation, MetroJet, based at Baltimore. Also
established to directly combat Southwest Airline's
expansion into its traditional markets, MetroJet was
equipped with 737-200s, again transferred from the par-
ent company.
During 2000, United made an offer to buyout US Air-
ways that had continued to make losses despite improv-
ing its service reputation after the name change.
Although at an advanced stage in negotiations, United
called off the merger in mid-200l.
In the UK, British Airways was facing the loss of
domestic and European traffic to new low-cost opera-
tors, Ryanair and easyJet. In response, a new Lon-
don/Stansted-based subsidiary was established with
leased 737-300s. Named Go Fly, the new carrier began
scheduled flights from Stansted to European and domes-
tic points in 1998. Sixteen destinations were served by
2001, and Go opened a new base at Bristol, in the west
of England, later that year. However, also in 2001, British
The Delta Shuttle replaced its long-serving 727-200s with 737-800s on the high Airways decided that Go's operation was not compatible
frequency, no-reservations service between New York, Boston and Washington.
with its own image as a quality service provider and put
Aviation Hobby Shop
the airline up for sale. After considering several offers,
British Airways sold Go to the low cost carrier's own
KLM UK, previously Air UK and renamed after the
land routes to Oakland and Las Vegas, an vices. Identifying an under-utilized niche Dutch airline had bought a majority shareholding, was
unprecedented distance for the aircraft catchment area, Midway set about estab- suffering from the competition with its Stansted-based
originally envisaged as a short-range, pure- lishing a new network far from its Mid- scheduled services after Ryanair and Go Fly moved in. In
ly inter-city airliner. west roots. retaliation, in January 2000, KLM UK transferred eight
BAe 146s to a new low-fare subsidiary, named Buzz. A
Delta placed the 737-800 in service Initial results were promising and the
total of fourteen routes from Stansted were in operation
alongside its fleet of eighty 737-200s and Fokkers were joined by Airbus A320s on
by 2001 and the BAe 146s were joined by a pair of Boe-
-300s. The larger -800s were ordered to busier routes. Unfortunately, once again ing 737-300s on the busier services.
replace the airline's last 727-200s. As well Midway was threatened with serious finan- On the other side of the world, Freedom Air Interna-
as mainline services, the 73 7-800s also cial problems, after overstretching itself. tional began operations from Auckland in 1995. Wholly
replaced the older Boeing tri-jets on the The Airbuses were returned and a new start owned by Air New Zealand, low-fare schedules operate
no-reservations 'Del ta Shuttle' between made with the Fokkers. In 2000, new Boe- alongside charters, not only within New Zealand, but
New York, Boston and Washington, which ing 73 7-700s arrived along with new Bom- also across the Tasman Sea to Australia. Despite serv-
Delta had originally purchased from Pan bardier/Canadair Regional Jets, destined to ing a relatively sparsely populated region, Freedom Air's
American. replace the long-serving Fokkers. Nine 737s pair of 737-300s found themselves in demand, not least
when Dailtas New Zealand suddenly ceased operations
and no less than twenty-four Canadairs were
in 2001. Freedom Air's aircraft, alongside Air New (Topl us Airways transferred several 737-200s to its new low-cost Metrojet operation. MAP
in use in 200 I, along with six remaining
Zealand's own 737s, operated extra services to substi-
Midway Revival Fokkers. As well as locally originating traf- tute for the defunct carrier. (Middle) Although Go Fly's operation from Stansted was a success, British Airways decided to sell off the low-cost subsidiary. Aviation Hobby Shop
fic, Raleigh/Durham acted as a hub for a net-
Yet another 'revived' regional airline in work stretching throughout the eastern half (Bottom) The bright yellow 737-300s of Buzz supplemented a larger fleet of BAe 146s. Aviation Hobby Shop
the USA was Midway, which restarted of the USA.

162 163

II:=_.. ~~~~~~:;~=='······•···•·••·•·•····••··•.
::::-:--_II,._N\27GU --

Boeing 737-700s were acquired by Midway Airlines to increase capacity on their Raleigh/Durham-based
services. MAP

All Change in Canada threat, CanJet, Royal Airlines and West- Aerolineas Argentinas came up against a
Jet Airline were 737 operator among the new low-cost rival when a previously small
In Canada, the long-established, major, independent airlines all claiming their commuter airline, LAPA (Lineas Aereas
737 operator Canadian Airlines Inrerna- 'rightful hare' of new route authorities. Privada Argenrinas), sold off its fleet of
tional, was to lose its identity in a takeover WestJet had been established in Calgary in turbo-props and placed it first second-hand
battle that it lost with arch rival Air Cana- 1995, and was flying twenry-two 737 -200s Boeing 737-200 into service in 1993. LAPA
da. Through 2000 the CAl fleet of 737- on low-fare scheduled services in the experienced rapid growth, offering low-fare
200s was repainred in basic AirCanada liv- region by 200 I. Five 'Next Generation' services throughout Argenrina in direct
ery, although still with Canadian titles and Series 600s were on order, as were no less competition with Aerolineas. More 737-
logo on the fuselage. In 200 I, the merger than thirty-one 737-700s. 200s were gathered from various sources,
took even more effect as the first totally Royal Airlines originally began opera- later joined by new Boeing 73 7-700s.
repainted 737s started appearing, with the tions with two Boeing 727-200s, as a char- In both Central and South America, a
CAL identity finally disappearing. Borh Air ter airline in Montreal in 1992. Scheduled number of carriers formed new all iances to
Canada and CAl had begun the process of services were opened, with six 737-200s combat the growing influence of mainline
replacing their older short/medium-haul operating alongside the airline's Airbus U carriers in the region. TACA lnrerna-
fleets with Airbus types, a process likely to A310 wide-bodies and Boeing 757s. In tional Airlines, the national carrier for EI
continue in the years following the merger 2 01 Royal was acquired by rival charter Salvador and Honduras, had operated
with the new enlarged carrier. and scheduled carrier Canada 3000, that 737s for many years. In the lare 1990s, the
An exception to the merger process was nursed ambitions to become the new 'sec- neighbouring operations of Aviateca Aviateca joined forces with three other Central American airlines under the Grupo TACA banner, while Aero
CAL's subsidiary, Canadian orth. Provid- ond force' once CAL disappears. CanJet (Guatemala), LAC A (Co ta Rica) and Continente of Peru also established a local subsidiary in Chile. Both pictures courtesy of Aviation Hobby Shop
ing vital social services in the arctic regions opened it scheduled network, from Toron- ICA (Nicaragua) were brought under
of Canada with two convertible 737-20 C, to to Halifax, Ottawa and Wind or in ep- the TACA influence, to co-ordinate their
Canadian North was old off in eptember tember 2000, with a pair of 73 7-200s. Seven operations in the region and on routes to
services that eventually included an inter- in Chile in partnership with a Chilean -70 s, with twelve on order. Another onri-
199 , before the merger, to orten-a Inc, a -200s were in use with CanJet by mid-200l. the U A. The combined fleets comprised
national network that stretched a far as investment group. Aero Conrinenre Chile nenral/Copa alliance was formed with a new
holding company 1 per cenr owned by a mixture of both Boeing and Airbus types.
Miami, in addition to dome tic ervices. operate eight 737-200 on it domestic and Chilean airline, Avanr Airline. Originally
native anadian communities. A new associate airline, TACA Peru, was
regional service from Sanriago. operating as Aero Chile, formed in 1996,
The A ir Canada/Canadian irlines Meanwhile, South of the set up to operate two 737-200s from Lima. Aero onrinente soon became Peru's major
airline operator and in 2001 wa flying five A 49 per cent shareholding in Copa Air- the company was later renamed Lineas
International merger was pounced on by Border Also in Peru, Aero Continente began
737-200s, a single -100, three 727-100 and lines, of Panama, also a long-standing 737 Aereas Chi1canas, and renamed again in
Canada's own growing band of low-fare operations in 1992, initially focused on char-
even a wide-body 767, as well a twO Fokker operator, was bought by Conrinenral in May 1997. Domestic scheduled services were
operators as a chance to expand their Liberalization saw the growth of new opera- ter work in suwort of oil exploration in the
F.28s and a small fleet of turbo-props. In 1999. Copa began the replacemenr of their operated the length of Ch iIe wi th a fleet of
influence. iting the size of the newly tors in both Central and outh America, northeast of the country. In July 1993, two
1999, a new associate airline was established fleet of 737-200s with 'Next Generation' 737-200s until operations ceased in 2001.
en larged Air Canada as a monopol istic as well as the consolidation of old ones. 727-200s and a 727-100 opened scheduled

764 765

Further East deregulation in the American style was scheduled operations from Bombay in British 737 Disappointments and Revival
resisted, there was usually enough liberal- 1992, with scheduled flights to Mangalore The growth of the Airbus threat was pressed home to Boeing with the decision of However, one prodigal return to the 737 fold was Britannia Airways. Britannia had
The Series 800 found a new home with ization to allow the limited entry of new and Cochin, later adding Goa, Jaipur and British Airways not to order the 'Next Generation' 737s for its European routes. Instead. replaced their last 737·200 in 1994, with the much larger Boeing 757 taking over as the
Mandarin Airlines of Taiwan. Mandarin blood into the local airline industry. The Trivandrum. Lufthansa provided backing a mixed order was placed for Airbus A318s. 319s and 32os. to eventually replace the airline's narrow·body aircraft. Although the 757s offered the flexibility of being capa·
had originally been formed as a subsidiary well-proven, widely and cheaply available for another of the first new Indian carriers, earlier 737 models. British Airways' franchise associate, GB Airways, also placed its ble of operating both long and short-haul charters, like the wide-bodied Boeing 767s
of China Airlines to take over schedules to Boeing 737 was often the choice of equip- Modiluft, which began scheduled domes- first Airbus A320s and A321 sin service in 2001, planning to replace its seven 737s with
Australia and Canada. However, a change ment for the new operators. tic operations with ex-Lufthansa 737-200s an identical number of Airbus aircraft.
in policy saw Mandarin switching its [n the Far East, initial growth in an eco- in 1994. Unfortunately, East West and Still expanding its European and UK domestic scheduled network, British Midland
Airways declined Boeing's offer of 'Next Generation' 737s, choosing instead the Airbus (Below) British Airways Boeing 737s are eventually to be replaced by new Airbus
attention to domestic and regional fl ights nomic boom had been swiftly followed by Modiluft suffered numerous operational
after the operations of Formosa Airlines recession. [n the Philippines, a number of difficulties and ceased flying in 1997. A320 and A321. The British Midland Boeing 737·30os and ·4oos were to be disposed types. Via author
were taken over in 1999. A 73 7-400 was new independent carriers had been estab- Much more successful were the 737 of, although the 737·500s would remain in the fleet for the time being. The airline's
name was modified, and a new livery and image unveiled, as 'british midland bmi', in (Bottom)Airbus A320s displaced 737-300s and -400s with the rebranded 'british
joined by five -800s on the busier flights, lished and grew quickly. Of the numerous operations of Jet Airways and Sahara Air- midland bmi'. Aviation Hobby Shop
preparation for trans·Atlantic Airbus services in 2001.
with Fokker E 100 jets and Fokker F.50 and new independents, Air Philippines and lines. Both new carriers began scheduled
Dornier 228 turbo-props operating lower- Grand International Airways both built up services in 1993, competing with Indian
capacity services. Ch ina Airl ines itself also large fleets of 737s only to have their new Airlines on domestic services throughout

_---. ...

... .. ao.-.....,fJll'OO


Despite strong backing from lufthansa, which provided it with 737s, Modiluft failed to survive. Aviation
Hobby Shop

took del ivery of Series 800s, wi th thirteen markets vanish overnight, Even the giant India. By 2001 both were operating large
ordered for its shon and medium-range Philippine ir Lines itself was forced to fleets of 737s, Jet Airways flying ten 737-
services. cease operations temporarily. Eventually, 400s, seven 737-700s and nine 737-800s,
Korean Air introduced fifteen 737- the economic climate improved in the with nine more -800s on order. Sahara
800s, to begin the replacement of older region, but often roo late for the once hope- operated an all-73 7 fleet of three -400s,
Fokker and McDonnell Douglas types. ful new carriers, many of which had been two -800s and single examples of the -200
Otherwise, Korean Air operated an all- forced to severely cut back their operations, and -700 versions,
wide-bodied fleet of Airbus A300s, Boeing Mixed fortunes also met new indepen-
747 and 777s. dent airlines on the Indian subcontinent.
Competition for the Indian Airlines Cor- New 737s in the Eastern
poration was actively encouraged by the Mediterranean
Low Cost Goes Global government in the early 1990s and a num-
ber of new operators rose to the challenge. Liberalization also allowed growth in char-
When the rest of the world followed the [AC had already transferred most of its ter markets, as well as the scheduled service
USA's deregulation lead, many new air- 737-200s to a new subsidiary, Alliance Air, sector. A boom in holiday resort develop-
lines sprang up to take advantage of the based at ew Delhi. East West Airlines ment saw Turkey, especially, spawn a num-
new order. Even where wide-reaching began Boeing 737-200 and Fokker E27 ber of new IT charter carriers, dedicated to


British 737 Disappointments and Revival continued

Sahara Airlines enjoyed greater success than some new Indian carriers, eventually operating several versions of the 737. MAP

(Above)The 737·800 made its first appearance in Britannia Airways' colours with the (Belowl Sabre Airways was renamed Excel Airways in 2001, Aviation Hobby Shop
Scandinavian subsidiary, Britannia AB, Aviation Hobby Shop

........................ TURKISH·
•• , , 1 1 1 , • , • • ''''"''l!~~:'jo.;,'':- -- ....... -- .....

also in the Britannia Airways fleet, the airline soon found it required a lower-capacity joined by two 727-200s. The airline had been established to take over IT charters pre-
aircraft for less well-travelled routes and to help develop new markets not able to sup- viously contracted to Newcastle-based Ambassador Airways, which had ceased flying
port the larger aircraft. that November. Ambassador had flown Boeing 757s, 737s and A320s, but the bank-
Three 1BO-passenger Airbus A320s were leased from Irish charter carrier TransAer to ruptcy of its travel company owners had led to its downfall. Sabre took over the 737s
serve on thinner IT routes, in the late 1990s. However, any hopes that Airbus might have and the Gatwick and Manchester-based contracts that Ambassador had flown for other
cherished that this would lead to a direct order from Britannia were soon to be dashed. tour operators.
In 199B, Britannia's owner, Thomson International, took control of Swedish tour operator The 737-200s were leased out in 1997 to Peach Air, a subsidiary of Caledonian Air-
Fritdsresor and its own charter airline Blue Scandinavia. The Swedish IT charter carrier ways. Peach Air initially flew the Sabre 737-200s and a Lockheed L-l0l1 Tristar
was rebranded as Britannia Airways AB and took on the British airline's full identity. leased from Air Atlanta Icelandic. The Peach Air operations came to an end in Novem-
In 199B, a single 737-800 was leased by the Swedish operation, from Danish IT car- ber 1998 and Sabre disposed of the -200s at the end of the lease contract. However,
rier Sterling European, and operated alongside its three Boeing 757s. The same year, Sabre had continued to expand its own charter operations and the 727-200s were
Britannia in Luton announced a $270 million order for five more 737-800s, to be oper- being replaced by new 737-800s, the first of which had entered service earlier in
ated by both 'Britannias'. In 2001 three were in use with Britannia AB and the other two 1998. Two of the Boeing 737-800s were leased out to Miami Air, of Florida, during
entered service with the UK-based operation. the winter of 2000/2001. In 2001, following its acquisition by Libra Holidays, Sabre
The 737-800 also found favour with another UK IT carrier, Sabre Airways. Originally was renamed Excel Airways, beginning operations under the new title in May,