Lufthansa Boeing 737-300 D-ABEC in Frankfurt 04

Bye-Bye Bobby!

As many of you already know, Lufthansa was the launch customer and most important client of the Boeing 737. Had the German airline not stuck to the project (taking 22 of the 30 -100s built), the most successful airliner of all time might not have made through its first year… Therefore it was very sad to see the era of 737 operation coming to an end after nearly 49 years of continued service.

When I became a pilot I had the chance to join the ranks of 737 pilots, but never did as I decided for the A320. Yet, many of my training course colleagues became 737-skippers and I had the chance to join one of them for a final flight on the “bobby”, as it is commonly known among Lufthansa flight crew and ground staff. The spirit among the crew was great, even though it was one of the last flights for both pilots and flight attendants before transitioning to the Airbus short-haul fleet. Here are some impressions from that flight.

The last scheduled Lufthansa Boeing 737 flight took place on 29 October 2016, landing at Frankfurt from Nuremberg. After that two aircraft made a final flight to Hévíz–Balafon Airport (formerly Sármellék) SOB/LHSM in Hungary where Lufthansa staff and guests were celebrating for a night, before returning home the day after. A big farewell celebration was waiting for them in Frankfurt in one of the Lufthansa Technik hangars. After some speeches, music and snacks it was time for a D-ABEN to perform a last roll-out from the hangar in the evening sun to the apron where its friends were already parked. It was a touching moment, as everybody clapped and cheered one last time for the little bobby…

Lufthansa is facing big changes in the future, but it will have to face them without the little workhorse of the past. I have had countless flights as a passenger and some flights on the jumpseat of these classic 737s and they have been in fantastic condition to the very end! Now there is just one thing left to say…

Bye-Bye Bobby - Lufthansa Boeing 737-300 D-ABEK in Frankfurt 01

Bye-Bye Bobby

PS: I saw of them a day later, fully covered up and prepared for storage. D-ABEC and D-ABEK are being towed to the south side of the airport for storage before being flown away…

Lufthansa Boeing 737-300 D-ABEK in Frankfurt towed for storage

9 Responses to Bye-Bye Bobby!

  1. Rinco November 4, 2016 at 7:36 am #

    A Bye-Bye with excellent pictures!

    Great shots Felix!

  2. Gabor November 6, 2016 at 10:30 am #

    FRA-SOB gcm distance is exactly 737 km

  3. Felix Gottwald November 6, 2016 at 5:28 pm #

    Thank you! Maybe we can see one of them again somewhere, when they have started their second life…

  4. Felix Gottwald November 6, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

    Wow, I didn’t know that! I wonder if that is an incident or intentional…

  5. Oliver November 26, 2016 at 9:15 am #

    Great shots Felix…. ! I’m a great fan of your posts and photos of your Blog.

  6. Felix Gottwald November 26, 2016 at 9:38 am #

    Thanks! I appreciate it 🙂

  7. Ingrid January 30, 2017 at 8:45 pm #

    Hello Felix,
    thank you for the very nice photos – I enjoyed them really much …
    By the way – do you have a Grandma named Ilse?

  8. Burkhard Jacobfeuerborn November 1, 2017 at 8:41 pm #

    Hallo Felix,
    kannst du mir zufällig die letzten Flugnummern der Sarmellek Flüge nennen?
    Ein Flugpaar war LH 344 / 345 und der andere?

    vielleicht 342 und 343 oder wie? Ich bräuchts für ein Memoalbum. dankeschön

    Burkhard JFB ex B737 CPT ( fast 20 Jahre)

  9. Felix Gottwald November 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm #

    Hallo Burkhard,

    ich schreibe dir ne Mail, kann dir sicher helfen!

    Viele Grüße, Felix

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