SAS Is Set To Retire Its Last Boeing 737-600 Next Month

Next month, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) will retire its last Boeing 737-600. After 21 years of operating the aircraft, the airline will be saying goodbye to the type on November 30, 2019.

SAS 737-600
SAS will say goodbye to the Boeing 737-600 range after over two decades of operating together. Photo: BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons

End of an era

Routes Online reports that The 737-600’s last revenue flight will be a one-way, cross border trip from Stockholm to Oslo, marking a fitting farewell for the airliner. SAS first introduced the aircraft at the end of 1998, operating flights to Amsterdam, Brussels, Helsinki, Oslo and Paris CDG.

According to Planespotters, the first of these planes was delivered in October of that year, affectionately named the Arnljot Viking. Now, the last plane standing is Geirmund Viking, with registration number LN-RPG. This unit was delivered on April 1999 and has remained a trusted companion for the airline ever since.

Additionally, SAS was the launch customer for this 737NG. The carrier made its first order in 1995 before receiving its first one three years later.

SAS 737-600 2
SAS was the first company to make an order for a 737-600. Photo: Alasdair McLellan via Wikimedia Commons

Other key operators

Another airline that has been a significant customer of the aircraft since its introduction is WestJet. The Canadian airline received 13 of the planes between 2005 and 2006 and still operates all of them. Along with WestJet, Tunisair holds the next largest 737-600 fleet. The North African firm operates seven of the aircraft, at an average age of 19.8 years.

SAS is planning to replace these 737-600s with Airbus A320neos. However, there is no indication from the other airlines of any plans to stop operating the 737-600s. This aircraft is a twin-engined short- to medium-range narrowbody airliner and holds a maximum capacity of 149 passengers. In addition, this model is represented, along with the 737-700, 737-800 and 737-900, as a member of the 737 Next Generation (NG) family.

SAS 737-600 Aircraft
There is still a handful of airlines that still operate the aircraft. Photo: ERIC SALARD via Flickr

Fleet overhaul

SAS also recently confirmed that it will be retiring its Airbus A340 fleet. The Star Alliance member will be replacing the aircraft with new A350s. SAS stated that A340s will be retired in the south of France, where they will be dismantled in a bid to sell parts. 

All of these actions are part of the carrier’s efforts to streamline its aircraft to one supplier. By 2023, the airline wants to become an all-Airbus operator. SAS claims that this move will lead to increased flexibility and will help it further enhancements in production efficiency. 

Ultimately, SAS is gearing up for a strong start to the next decade with these overhauls. The airline is showing its intent to develop further from its hubs in the three of Scandinavian cities of Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm.

Simple Flying reached out to Scandinavian Airlines for comment on the retirement of the Boeing 737-600 but did not hear back prior to publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What do you think of SAS’ farewell to the 737-600? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.