Finnair retired its last Boeing 757 in 2014, ending a 17-year relationship with the narrowbody and switching to an all-Airbus fleet. The all-economy configured aircraft could be found on routes across the globe, especially on leisure-oriented ones. So what happened to the 757s that served with Finnair? Let’s find out.
Fleet data in this article is courtesy of ch-aviation.
Finnair took delivery of its first Boeing 757-200 in October 1997. The aircraft’s ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operations Performance Standards) rating meant that it could fly several medium and long-haul routes out of Helsinki with no problems. Considering this aircraft was set to be leisure-oriented, Finnair went with a one-class cabin of 227 seats in economy.
Deliveries continued through the next five years, with the last two 757s joining the fleet in 2002. Over the summer, these 757s would come in handy flying short-haul European routes to cities like Las Palmas, Stockholm, Zurich, and more. During the winter, the 757 makes its way to cities like Dubai, Agadir, Sharm al-sheik, and even one-stop hops to Goa.
However, the 757 was quickly facing challenges from the Airbus A321, which offered better economics. Finnair kept the planes for 17 years, having invested in technologies like adding winglets in 2006, but retirements began in 2010. So where did the planes go?
The first Finnair 757s to be retired were OH-LBU and -LBX, which were just over 10 years old each upon their exit. The planes made their way to Russian carrier UTair, but were retired in 2014. They are now listed as flying for Russia’s Azur Air. Meanwhile, -LBV went to neighboring Nordwind Airlines, another leisure operator. Today, this jet is serving as a converted freighter for EAT Leipzig.
Some 757s spent time closer to home. OH-LBS, -LBT, and -LBR made their way to freight and wet lease operator ASL Airlines/Air Contractors to fly from January 2014 to January 2020, keeping the jets in service for almost two decades.
The final Finnair 757 did not go to an airline. Instead, OH-LBO went to US defense contractor L-3 communications and later the Air Force itself, where it served as a passenger aircraft until retirement last year.
Considering the 757’s age, it’s would not be surprising to see several of these aircraft retired. However, most of Finnair’s 757s have weathered the test to time well and remain in active service. More precisely, two 757s are in passenger service, one is in cargo service, two have been scrapped, and two are headed for conversion soon.
For now, don’t expect to fly one of Finnair’s 757s (unless you live in Russia!) but know that these planes will be flying for years to come as freighters.
Did you ever fly Finnair’s 757s? What do you think about the jet? Let us know in the comments!