Air Holland B757-200 (PH-AHE) - Inflight
The real airplane
Serial number :
Line number :
Boeing B757-27B (C32)
First flight date (airframe) :
16 Februari 1988
Delivery date :
Air Holland Charter BV
2 x Rolls Royce RB211-535 E4
Withdrawn from use :
Current state :
Registered as G-LSAE for Jet2 since september 2006, stored at Manchester since 10 June 2021
In 1988, Air Holland was the first Dutch airline to use the new Boeing 757. The fleet consisted of three aircraft that were flown in from the Boeing factory to Amsterdam. Later on Air Holland added a fourth new Boeing 757 to the fleet.
In total, Air Holland flew 11 different 757s, but never at the same time. Most of them have only been in service for a few months and have flown for many different companies during very short periods of time. PH-AHE was the first to be delivered, and that was in March 1988. She served until October of the following year with Air Holland. Thereafter her career was characterized by moving back and forth between many different airlines, including four different periods where she rejoined Air Holland : from April to October 1990, from May 1998 to October 1999, from June 2000 to June 2002, and finally from October 2002 to March 2004.
The history of Air Holland was more or less synonymous with "trouble". The airline was only really successful in the first years after its establishment in 1985. In 1989, the company was even listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange. But after that, it has always been a story of trial and error. The first bankruptcy came in 1991. On 3 October of that year, the airline with seven aircraft and 300 employees was defunct. A failed investment in Air Aruba, the outbreak of the first Gulf War and mismanagement doomed the once so successful airline. Not long after, however, Air Holland did what it had become specialised in: resurrection. Even several times after that, the scenario repeats itself of big problems that were swept away at the last minute, at least temporarily, by the arrival of yet another new lender. Finally, on 25 March 2004, the Court of Haarlem declared bankruptcy for the very last time. As a result, approximately six hundred travellers were stuck in the Antilles with a worthless Air Holland ticket. The activities of the company that was in suspension of payments came into the possession of "HollandExel", owned by Amsterdam businessman Erik de Vlieger. The jobs of the employees would thus be saved. HollandExel, completely formed on the remains of the defunct Air Holland, took over the entire fleet of Boeing 767-300ERs, and operated as a charter carrier mainly on behalf of TUI and Thomas Cook. During 2005, also on the verge of bankruptcy, HollandExel was purchased by TUI which renamed it Arkefly, making it the Dutch inhouse charter airline for Arke.
Even after the final bankruptcy in 2004, Air Holland's story was not over : on 30 November it became known that the airline may have been financed with drug money from 2001 onwards. The former top executives of the company were arrested and sentenced before the Rotterdam District Court in early November 2005, but eventually acquitted on appeal because the public prosecutor could not rule out that the drug money had been obtained legally. The cash that was invested in Air Holland would have come from Surinamese money changers.
On the accounting level, and as legal person, the company "Air Holland" that initialy owned the Boeing 757 reviewed here was founded in 1984 by John Block, who had previously worked for Martinair Holland and Transavia. Block died in 1994, and at that time, the man was described as the last cowboy in aviation land, because his mission was to fight the powerful position of KLM and he did so successively in the service of Martinair, as founder of Transavia and later again as founder of Air Holland. In the early 1990s, Transavia Airlines tried to buy Air Holland, but this was unsuccessful.
The Boeing 757
In the 1970s, airlines saw their operating costs skyrocket with the onset of the oil crisis. As economic uncertainty loomed, they began pushing for more fuel-efficient planes. Feeling the pressure, Boeing aimed to develop a new family of airliners that maximized commonality and minimized design, development, and production costs. The Boeing 757 was designed as the successor to the Boeing 727, of which it partly inherited the fuselage construction. The aircraft was developed together with the Boeing 767, so that pilots and maintenance staff could work with both aircraft in a small amount of time and costs. The 757 comes in two types : the 757-200 and the 757-300. Boeing initially offered a shorter 757-100 (closer in capacity to the DC-9/MD-80 family) but later dropped that concept. The frame was stretched a few more feet and the 180-seat 757-200 emerged. The 757 is noteworthy for its performance in hot, high, and dry airfields as well as short-runway airports. Its range is significant, especially for a narrowbody and it can comfortably fly six or seven-hour missions, like coast-to-coast flights in the US and transatlantic routes. British Airways and Eastern Airlines were Boeing’s primary launch customers for its new 757 aircraft. Air Holland was the first Dutch airline to acquire the 757. As sales dwindled and the entire aviation industry was rattled by 9/11, Boeing decided to end production of the 757 in 2003. At the time, Boeing believed its next-generation 737 family and new Boeing 787 would fill the market void left by the aging 757. The final 757 was delivered in November 2005 to Shanghai Airlines (the 1,050th 757 airframe built) ending the 23-year production run. Overall, the 757 was a major success given its strong performance profile.
The scale model
The model being reviewed here is a model made exclusively for AviationMegaStore by Inflight. I bought it together with the Inflight American Airlines B757-200 (N631AA) which became available at the same time.
For those who are interested, the model is still available here
Serial nr :
Metal diecast, assembled
approx W 19 x L 23.7 x H 6.9 cm
Comes with :
Rolling gears, antennas, stand
Hope you liked it...
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