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blacksoviet
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Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:49 am

El Al operated a small fleet of 2 737-200s from 1982 to 1989. El Al never ordered the 732s successor, the 737-300. Why did El Al operate such a small fleet of 732s?
 
MEA-707
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:13 pm

Interesting question. they also never had 727 (the only Boeing they didn't buy)... I think because their typical routes were around 3-5 hours long, TLV to AMS, LHR, ORY, FRA and such, and the 732 was more ideal for 1-2 hour flights. I saw their 732 in AMS sometimes and thought it was a small and cramped plane for such a long flight. At that time IST, CAI and AMM for which the 732/733 would be ideal were politically not yet possible. Only with eastern Europe and some regional destinations opening up or becoming possible in the late 90s, it was attractive to have a smaller type than the 757 so then they bought the 737NGs.
 
LY777
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Fri Oct 01, 2021 11:11 am

Did the 732s have the legs to fly TLV-AMS? Or was there a stop somewhere?
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:45 pm

LY777 wrote:
Did the 732s have the legs to fly TLV-AMS? Or was there a stop somewhere?


No, it doesn't. The 737-200 range is said to be 2200 kilometers which is as follows:

Image

As you can see Rome is about at the edge of it's range from Tel Aviv, it could barely make it there. I'm guessing the fuel stop was in Athens, which is well within range from Tel Aviv. From Athens it could make it to Amsterdam, although with not much margin.

Anyway, there weren't many places where they could fly with an aircraft that had such a limited range. Most of the area within it's range consists of Islamic countries where they surely weren't welcome, in many of these countries they still aren't. It's limited to Greece, Cyprus and southern Italy. Maybe they were allowed to fly to Turkey, not sure of that but what market would there be for them in Turkey anyway? Eastern Europe was still behind the Iron Curtain so no flying there either.
 
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CrewBunk
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:47 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
LY777 wrote:
Did the 732s have the legs to fly TLV-AMS? Or was there a stop somewhere?


No, it doesn't. The 737-200 range is said to be 2200 kilometers

“Said to be”? By who?

2200 nm. Would probably be closer.

I have flown the 737-200 from YUL to YVR. (1994 nm or 3693 km). Also, slightly less, YYZ-YYJ or YYZ-LAX.

TLV-AMS is 1790 nm. Piece of cake!
 
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CrewBunk
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:08 pm

As for the 737-200 being “small and cramped”, it really depends on how it is configured. The seat width and cabin width are identical to the 707 and 727.

At Canadian Airlines where I flew the 737-200, it was configured 12J (2x2) and 88Y (3x3), with 34” pitch in economy. 3 lavs for 100 passengers with movies/music, etc. It was pretty comfortable.

In fact the YYZ-LAX I flew, (we were Air Canada by then) was an ACJetz flight, configured with 48J seats!
 
blacksoviet
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:34 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
LY777 wrote:
Did the 732s have the legs to fly TLV-AMS? Or was there a stop somewhere?


No, it doesn't. The 737-200 range is said to be 2200 kilometers which is as follows:

Image

As you can see Rome is about at the edge of it's range from Tel Aviv, it could barely make it there. I'm guessing the fuel stop was in Athens, which is well within range from Tel Aviv. From Athens it could make it to Amsterdam, although with not much margin.

Anyway, there weren't many places where they could fly with an aircraft that had such a limited range. Most of the area within it's range consists of Islamic countries where they surely weren't welcome, in many of these countries they still aren't. It's limited to Greece, Cyprus and southern Italy. Maybe they were allowed to fly to Turkey, not sure of that but what market would there be for them in Turkey anyway? Eastern Europe was still behind the Iron Curtain so no flying there either.

It looks like they could have flown to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It may also depend on whether the 732s were advanced models or non-advanced models (non-ADV).
 
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LAXintl
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:44 pm

There is a bit of a back story on the pair of 737s.
They were both purchased by the Israeli government, not by the airline. They agreed aircraft would remain government property and LY bearing cost of maintenance and insurance and operate them.
From a practical point the fleet was mostly focused on the shorthaul and small capacity (111 seat) markets including hop to Eliat.
Besides this pair, LY over the years also leased in 737 capacity from TEA.
Of course, LY would go on to acquire the 737NG in later years.
 
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CrewBunk
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:11 pm

blacksoviet wrote:
It may also depend on whether the 732s were advanced models or non-advanced models (non-ADV).


That’s a good point. I have flown the non-advanced with -9A engines, as well as the advanced with -9A, -15A and -17A engines. MTOWs varied from 117,000 lbs to 128,100 lbs.

I see from the database that ELAL’s were Advanced, with -17A engines and a MTOW of 124,500lbs. For reference to the distances I quoted above, that would be able to do YYZ-LAX but not YUL-YVR.

So, with standard fuel tanks, I would guess ELAL could fly approximately 2100 nms with their 737-200s. That is taking into account a 111 passenger cabin.

I have flown about 6000 hours in the 737-200 of all variants, including gravel equipped off gravel and/or ice runways. The aircraft will always have a place in my heart. But …. that short field capability comes with a price. That thick wing only allows a M0.75 cruise. Something like a 727 would arrive 30 minutes earlier on a long trans-con.
 
blacksoviet
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:59 pm

CrewBunk wrote:
blacksoviet wrote:
It may also depend on whether the 732s were advanced models or non-advanced models (non-ADV).


That’s a good point. I have flown the non-advanced with -9A engines, as well as the advanced with -9A, -15A and -17A engines. MTOWs varied from 117,000 lbs to 128,100 lbs.

I see from the database that ELAL’s were Advanced, with -17A engines and a MTOW of 124,500lbs. For reference to the distances I quoted above, that would be able to do YYZ-LAX but not YUL-YVR.

So, with standard fuel tanks, I would guess ELAL could fly approximately 2100 nms with their 737-200s. That is taking into account a 111 passenger cabin.

I have flown about 6000 hours in the 737-200 of all variants, including gravel equipped off gravel and/or ice runways. The aircraft will always have a place in my heart. But …. that short field capability comes with a price. That thick wing only allows a M0.75 cruise. Something like a 727 would arrive 30 minutes earlier on a long trans-con.

Is there any way to tell the difference between an advanced with -9A engines and a non-advanced with 9A engines?
 
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CrewBunk
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Fri Oct 01, 2021 11:09 pm

blacksoviet wrote:
Is there any way to tell the difference between an advanced with -9A engines and a non-advanced with 9A engines?

The engine nacelles are slightly different. The top of the Advanced nacelle is noticeably wider with less space between the engine and the wing.

Also the inboard Krueger flaps are different. On the Advanced they go for the engine to almost touching the fuselage. On the Non-Advanced, they only come within a couple feet of the fuselage.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:54 am

blacksoviet wrote:
It looks like they could have flown to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Which was part of Yugoslavia at the time and thus behind the iron curtain.
 
blacksoviet
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Sat Oct 02, 2021 9:27 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
blacksoviet wrote:
It looks like they could have flown to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Which was part of Yugoslavia at the time and thus behind the iron curtain.

Why was El Al banned from flying behind the iron curtain?
 
Flanker7
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Sun Oct 03, 2021 8:31 am

LY777 wrote:
Did the 732s have the legs to fly TLV-AMS? Or was there a stop somewhere?



Yes it did, I've actually flown that route with the 732, very uncomfortable I may add.
 
Flanker7
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Sun Oct 03, 2021 8:35 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
LY777 wrote:
Did the 732s have the legs to fly TLV-AMS? Or was there a stop somewhere?


No, it doesn't. The 737-200 range is said to be 2200 kilometers which is as follows:

Image

As you can see Rome is about at the edge of it's range from Tel Aviv, it could barely make it there. I'm guessing the fuel stop was in Athens, which is well within range from Tel Aviv. From Athens it could make it to Amsterdam, although with not much margin.

Anyway, there weren't many places where they could fly with an aircraft that had such a limited range. Most of the area within it's range consists of Islamic countries where they surely weren't welcome, in many of these countries they still aren't. It's limited to Greece, Cyprus and southern Italy. Maybe they were allowed to fly to Turkey, not sure of that but what market would there be for them in Turkey anyway? Eastern Europe was still behind the Iron Curtain so no flying there either.


Hate to prove you wrong but I actually flown TLV-AMS on the 732, non stop.
 
LY777
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Re: Why didn’t El Al like the 737-200?

Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:35 am

Flanker7 wrote:
LY777 wrote:
Did the 732s have the legs to fly TLV-AMS? Or was there a stop somewhere?



Yes it did, I've actually flown that route with the 732, very uncomfortable I may add.


Thanks for the info!

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