The last Boeing 737-700 aircraft operated by ANA Wings (AKX/EH), a subsidiary of ANA Holdings (ANAHD, 9202), was retired from service on June 27 with flight NH654 from Okayama to Haneda, 16 years after it entered service in 2005.
The Boeing 737-700 had the smallest number of seats among the jets operated by the ANA Group, with 120 seats in two classes (8 premium class seats and 112 standard seats).
All Nippon Airways (ANA/NH), before becoming a holding company, placed an order for 18 737-700s in June 2003, and began receiving them in November 2005, with full delivery in April 2008. The first aircraft (registration JA01AN) and the second aircraft were gold-painted “Gold Jets,” named after the “Golden Shachi” of Nagoya Castle, as they were based and operated out of Chubu Airport (Centrair).
The first domestic flight of the 737-700 was NH212 from Fukuoka to Chubu on December 23, 2005. The first international flight was the Chubu-Taipei route (EL2111/2112), operated by Air Nippon, an ANA Group company, on January 10, 2006. The launch of the Chubu-Taipei route was originally scheduled for December 23, 2005, but was postponed due to delays in aircraft introduction. For international flights, the maximum 36 seats from row 1 to row 9 of the 136 seats (3-3 seats per row) were named “Premium Economy Asia,” and the center seat was treated as a table with 2-2 seats per row. Domestic flights, on the other hand, were operated with 136 seats per class.
ANA also operates the 737-800 (166 seats in two classes), but the 737-700 is 33.6 meters long, 5.9 meters shorter than the 39.5 meters of the 737-800, and has one emergency exit in the center of the fuselage, while the 737-800 has two on each side.
Three of the 737-700s continued to operate until this fiscal year, when all of them were retired, and the second aircraft (JA02AN) was sold to the U.S. on May 18. JA05AN was retired from service after NH86 from Chubu to Haneda on June 20, and NH654 on June 27 with JA06AN, the last one, was the last flight of ANA’s 737-700.
Flight NH654 departed Okayama at 9:36 a.m. with 119 passengers (including one infant) on board. It landed at Haneda’s runway A (RWY34L) at 10:52 a.m. and arrived at spot No. 82 at 11:03 a.m., completing its last commercial flight. Passengers were presented with boarding certificates, stickers, clear files, and photo books, and employees welcomed them with banners upon their arrival at Haneda.
JA06AN was first introduced to the market on the Kansai-Naha route on August 1, 2006, with a total flight time of 33,097.20 hours and a total cycle time of 22,084 cycles.
Yuichi Oogaya, who was the captain of NH654, is from Okayama and his friends rushed to Okayama Airport. He recalled, "The aircraft was easy to operate even on short runways and in bad conditions, and I felt very secure.