Another vintage gem has arrived. Once again, an 'exclusive aviation megastore release'. Thank you LHS!
47 years Boeing 737 service for Transavia
Soon after the 1966 start-up of Transavia Holland with DC-6 aircraft, the first Boeing entered the fleet. During 1968 707-300 PH-TRF was hired for one year and was mainly used to fly cargo. This makes Transavia the first commercial user of Boeing aircraft in the Netherlands.
The European fleet was standardised on the Caravelle from 1970 on.
Then came the 1973 oil crisis, with fuel prices rising rapidly. The Caravelles were cheap to buy, but expensive to run due to their high fuel consumption.
PH-TVE with one of its predecessors, Caravelle PH-TRO
After a 40% buy-in from the KNSM (Royal Dutch Steamboat Company) in 1972 there was room for investments and Transavia decided to renew the fleet with more economical Boeing 737 aircraft. Initially three model ‘C’ for convertible aircraft were ordered, equipped with a side loading cargo door. PH-TVC, TVD and TVE were to be delivered from May 1974 until April 1975. Several other 737s were hired and the last Caravelle left the fleet in 1976, standardizing the fleet on (approximately) 10 Boeing 737s and a single 707.
Flirting with the Airbus A300 and the Boeing 757, the Boeing 737 of all generations has been the standard aircraft of the Transvia fleet ever since. Before the Corona crisis the fleet consisted of 42 B737NGs. Today, during the restart, there are 38 aircraft in Transavia service.
The livery depicted on this model was only worn by the 737 for approximately 4 years.
After the ’66 classic first two tone green color scheme, the 'modern' (read first step to Euro-white) Heineken-green color scheme with a striking black T was already introduced in 1970 during the standardisation on the Caravelle. Transavia director Block and beer magnate Freddy Heineken were friends (and blue, orange and red were already given to KLM, Schreiner and Martinair), hence the choice for the color green. Both first color schemes were designed by Thijs Postma. In 1977 the switch was made to the 'Hockystick' livery.
PH-TVE in Heineken green livery and PH-TVR in the 'Hockeystick' livery.
Actually, it would have been more appropriate to depict the PH-TVC. That was the first 737 for Transavia, exactly the 2.500th 737 built, it survived a ‘Lockerbie look-a-like’ bomb attack in 1981 (in service for Air Malta) and still flies today in Canada as the oldest active 737 in the world.
PH-TVE may not have experienced such a spectacle, but this is also a respectable aircraft. It flew, in Transavia service, for a lot of different companies in wet and dry lease constructions: Air Malta, British Airways, Saudia, Indian Airlines and during the summer seasons it flew holyday makers between Schiphol and the Mediterranean (and during the night hours day-old chicks freight flights to North-Africa).
PH-TVE left the Transvia fleet in 1990. After many wanderings, it is currently still flying in Indonesia as PK-MYR for My Indo Airlines, where it only carries freight.
The dimensions of the B737-200 compared to the B737-800.
A nice leap in time: 47 years of Transvia 737 operations in one view.
We all know the drama of the 737Max design. Even the 737NG is a mediocre design in a number of areas (performance wise she is excellent, but but for example her trim bandwidth is limited.) From a pilot's perspective, the 737-200 is in many ways the best 737 ever built. 'no glass, just class'.