Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Air Do retires the Boeing 737-500.

On January 12th, AIRDO [HD/ADO] (d.b.a. Air Do) officially (but quietly) retired the Boeing 737-500. The last revenue flights were a round-trip from Tokyo/Haneda [HND/RJTT] to Memanbetsu [MMB/RJCM] and back, operated by their ultimate aircraft 737-54K JA8595. It remained in the fleet as back-up equipment for three more days. The penultimate aircraft was 737-54K JA300K, which was retired on January 4th. Their 737-500s seated 126.

Boeing 737-54K JA8595 became the last remaining example. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

Flight HD077 departed Haneda at 1115 JST and arrived at Memanbetsu at 1255, and return leg HD078 left the northeastern Hokkaido city at 1339 and arrived back at Tokyo's downtown airport at 1535. No farewell ceremonies were held, and Air Do has said the aircraft remaining as a back-up equipment as the reason not having any. However, all 737-500s, including this airframe, are being returned to service with All Nippon Airways' [NH/ANA] commuter arm ANA Wings [EH/AKX], subsidiary of Air Do's 14% shareholder ANA Holdings, and they likely preferred to avoid embarrassing its de facto parent.

Boeing 737-54K JA305K Bear Do Dream was retired on November 30th, 2014. (Photo: Air Do)

The 737 Classics are being replaced by Next-Generation 737s supplied by ANA. In December, the Hokkaido-based airline took delivery of their eighth 737-700 on lease from ANA, and the ninth is due from the same source shortly. 737-781(WL) JA16AN became Air Do's eighth of the type, while 737-781(WL) JA14AN will become their ninth. The newer 737-700s seat 144. The longer-range capability of the replacements is allowing Air Do to experiment with international charters (Air Do loads first international charter to Taipei.).

Boeing 737-54K JA8196 Bear Do was retired on March 14th, 2014. (Photo: Air Do)

The 737-500 entered service with Air Do on January 31st, 2008. Two special liveries adorned the type; 737-54K JA8196 Bear Do and 737-54K JA305K Bear Do Dream. They were retired on March 14th, 2014 (Air Do retires 'Bear Do'; five Boeing 737-500s remain.) and November 30th, 2014 (Air Do bids farewell to Bear Do Dream.), respectively. This completes their fleet transition program which started in October 2012. Air Do's fleet is now comprised of two 767-300ERs, two 767-300s, and eight 737-700s, with their ninth joining shortly.

Source: Air Do @ Facebook.
Source: Aviation Wire, 2016 January 9th. (in Japanese)

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