Happy 50th Birthday — The Boeing 737 Is Half a Century Old Today!

The first flight of the Boeing 737 (the 737-100) occurred on April 9, 1967.

  • Boeing has delivered nearly 9500 737s (including all variants)

  • Their order book is 4500 strong.

Deliveries are expected to grow to 47 per month in late 2017 and 52 per month in 2018.

The 2014 Freddie Awards were held at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, which is home to the very first 737.

Southwest Airlines flies only Boeing 737s, and has over 700 of them.

The Alaska Airlines mainline fleet is all 737s, with more than 150 of them, although their acquisition of Virgin America makes them an Airbus operator as well.

The 737 went from preliminary design to flight in less than 3 years. They accomplished this by re-using structure and systems from the 727.

The first airline to operate a Boeing 737 was Lufthansa. The 737-200 was a stretched version of the original, first ordered by United. The -300, -400, and -500 are referred to as the 737 ‘Classic’ series and about 2000 of those were delivered. 737 -600 through -900 are referred to as ‘Next Generation’.

There are over 3700 orders in place for the 737 MAX, with Southwest Airlines as the launch customer. Norwegian plans to operate the 737 MAX transatlantic from Stewart, Hartford, and Providence.

American Airlines Boeing 737 Interior

Happy birthday to the all-time best-selling commercial aircraft!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Minor correction – the Cessna 172 Skyhawk is the number one in aircraft sales, by many fold. 737 gets the credit for an airliner jet.

    Anyhow – quite incredible of a production, and has certainly served the airlines well.

  2. All-time best-selling commercial jet aircraft – yet! As of March 31st, 13.954 737’s have been ordered, Airbus is closing the gap with 13.075 A320-Family aircraft in their books. It won’t take that much longer and the 320 will outsell the 737; also keep in mind that the first flight of the 737 took place 20 years ahead of the 320.

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