What Happened To Aer Lingus’ Boeing 737s?

In 2021, Aer Lingus operates an all-Airbus fleet of aircraft. The Irish carrier’s smallest jet is the Airbus A320, while its largest is the A330-300. Historically, however, the airline has had a more diverse selection, with jets from Boeing, Douglas, Fokker, and more. In this article, we’ll take a look at Aer Lingus’ Boeing 737s and what has happened to them since they left the fleet.

Aer Lingus 737-500
Aer Lingus operated a total of 10 Boeing 737-500s. These entered the fleet between 1991 and 1998. Photo: Aero Icarus via Wikimedia Commons 

A mix of 737 variants

In its history, Aer Lingus has operated four different 737 variants. The types, total figures (in parentheses), and operational years are listed below with data drawn from Planespotters.net:

  • 737-200 (17): 1969-1997*
  • 737-300 (2): 1987-1993
  • 737-400 (9): 1989-2005*
  • 737-500 (10): 1991-2006

*The -200s operations appear to be quite scattered. The first jet, a -200 combi registered EI-ASD, was delivered in 1969. However, the next -200 came six years later, in 1975. Additionally, between 1989 and 1997, just one was delivered- EI-ASE in 1993. Additionally, at least four 737-400s are counted in this list but spent around one month under the operation of Aer Lingus. These were mainly leased out to Spanish airline Futura, with others leased to US carrier Ryan International Airlines.

Aer Lingus 737-500
Aer Lingus’ -400s and -500s were the last 737s to leave the fleet. Photo: Aero Icarus via Wikimedia Commons 

With nearly 40 737s having passed through Aer Lingus, let’s use this article to focus on the-400s and -500s. Comprising the airline’s most recent 737 operations, their entry-into-service, as well as retirement-from-fleet of these jets, is quite clear and consistent.

What happened to the 737-400s?

Of the nine Aer Lingus 737-400s, six spent any real and useful time in the fleet. The remainder mostly spent time leased out to other carriers, as mentioned above. After serving with Aer Lingus, these jets were sold off and scattered throughout the world.  Operating countries have included Egypt, Ukraine, Algeria, and Turkey.

Having been converted to freighters, two of these are still active, flying with DHL. One aircraft rises above the rest with a more ‘noble’ role. After flying with Aer Lingus as EI-BXD, the -400 was re-registered in Thailand in 2004 as HS-HRH and converted to a VIP configuration. This aircraft has been flying for the Thai Royal Family ever since.

Thai Royal 737
A look at HS-HRH, the ex-Aer Lingus 737 that now flies for Thai Royalty. Photo: Björn Strey via Wikimedia Commons

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What happened to the 737-500s?

737-500s: The 10 -500s that were managed by Aer Lingus also have a diverse history. One aircraft had a similar role to that of some -400s, being leased out to Ryan International Airlines for most of its time under Aer Lingus ownership.

Three of these -500s went over to airBaltic before later flying with AeroSvit Airlines of Ukraine. Two of these three jets now fly with Oryx Jet in the UK with all-premium configurations.

It appears that five aircraft, including the one leased out to Ryan International, headed to Russia to fly with Rossiya. Most of these have since been broken up, although one (formerly EI-CDF, now UR-CGY) is stored in Ukraine, while another (UP-B3724)  is listed as flying with SCAT Airlines of Kazakhstan.

Tatarstan 737
EI-CDT ended up with Tatarstan Air. Photo: Maarten Visser via Wikimedia Commons 

After flying for Air Cuenca in Ecuador, EI-CDS headed to Canada as C-GANJ. The jet still flies for Air North. Finally, EI-CDT went on to fly with carriers in Sweden, Norway, Bulgaria, and France before ending up at Tatarstan Air of Russia before being scrapped.

Did you get a chance to fly on Aer Lingus’ 737s? Let us know by leaving a comment.