The last Boeing 737NG to be assembled for an airline left the final assembly line of Renton sporting the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines livery.
The 737-800, registered PH-BCL and baptized “Red-crested Pochard” by KLM, flew to its base of Amsterdam-Schiphol (AMS) on December 18, 2019. The aircraft should have been delivered earlier this year. However, a defect was identified on its original fuselage built by the supplier Spirit. It had to be destroyed and replaced.
YV676 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 737-800 PH-BCL ‘Red-crested Pochard / Krooneend’ 7542/63624 at PAE this afternoon. This is the last 737NG, excluding military variants like the P-8 and E-7.#KLM #Netherlands #Boeing #B737 #B737NG #PHBCL #YV676 #Everett #Renton #Factory #Krooneend pic.twitter.com/G0JSKeuv3e— Holden Riley (@PlanesAtPaine) December 15, 2019
With this new addition, KLM now operates 52 Boeing 737 aircraft in its fleet: 16 737-700s, 31 737-800s, and 5 737-900s.
A bittersweet retirement
While the PH-BCL is the last 737NG assembled for an airline, the 737NG is not disappearing completely from Boeing’s factories. However, from now on the aircraft variants produced will be exclusively for the military: the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and the E-7 Airborne early warning and control aircraft.
Following the end of the NG generation, the manufacturer was supposed to focus on the production of MAX. However, as it should be suspended by January 2020, no commercial 737 will leave Boeing’s assembly lines for the first time since 1967.
The Boeing 737 Next Generation family was launched in 1993, succeeding to the original Boeing 737. In 1997, the first Boeing 737NG aircraft, a 737-700, entered service with SAS Scandinavian Airlines. Over the next 22 years, 7,097 Boeing 737NG were delivered for customers worldwide.