United says goodbye to the 737-500 (and the 767-200ER)

United Airlines retired its last Boeing 737-500 on 30 May, with a final flight from Cleveland to Houston Intercontinental.

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United Airlines

The aircraft operated United 1705, which landed at Intercontinental at 19:44 local time, according to FlightAware. It was the Chicago-based mainline carrier’s last 737 classic.

The 737-500 (N62631) was delivered to Continental Airlines in June 1995 and ordered in May 1993, according to Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database. Continental merged with United in 2010.

With the last 114-seat 737-500 gone, United has a gap in its fleet between the 76-seat Embraer 175s (deliveries begin next year) and the 120-seat Airbus A319 – soon to have 126 seats once the 55 aircraft fleet is updated with slimline Recaro seats. Could a new 100-seat mainline aircraft be in the airline’s future?

Ron Baur, vice-president of fleet at United, declined to comment on a possible order in May, though he confirmed that one would be allowed under the contract its pilots ratified in December 2012.

UPDATE: Twitter user Will let us know that United also retired its last Boeing 767-200ER on 28 May. The aircraft (N68159) operated its last flight from Munich to Newark on 27 May, FlightAware shows. Continental took delivery of the aircraft in 2001 after ordering it in 1998, Ascend shows.

What a week for United – two fleet types gone! Baur definitely deserves kudos for staying busy, what with orders for the E-175, its Boeing 787s returning to service and taking delivery of new 737-900ERs all in the course of just over a month.

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