End of an Era: Onboard The Final SAS Boeing 737 Flight

End of an Era: Onboard The Final SAS Boeing 737 Flight
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

AviationSource managed to get a spot onboard the final SAS Boeing 737 flight. Take a look at writer Adrian Olstad’s experiences on this momentous occasion.

The 19th of November marked the end of an era for Scandinavian Airlines Systems, commonly known as SAS.

The Boeing 737 has been a workhorse with the company for the past 25 years, and is as of 19 November, at 21:19 local time in Oslo, history.

I was lucky enough to buy myself a ticket on this once-in-a-lifetime flight days before the announcement, and it has been way over a month of patient and emotional waiting for this flight to be flown.

Join me as I, together with 140 aviation enthusiasts, experience the last commercial flight of the Boeing 737 with Scandinavian Airlines, SAS.

Flight Information


  • Flight Number – SK737
  • Route – Stockholm to Oslo
  • Aircraft – Boeing 737-700
  • Aircraft Registration & Age – LN-RRB “Dag Viking”, 16 years old
  • Date: 19th November 2023

About LN-RRB


End of an Era: Onboard The Final SAS Boeing 737 Flight
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

LN-RRB, nicknamed “Dag Viking”, joined the SAS fleet 16 years ago, being successfully delivered on 13 July 2007, having its first flight with SAS Norway on 30 July the same year.

This equals to 5937 days in service. In 2009, the aircraft was transferred to what we today know as the mainline SAS, SAS Scandinavian Airlines.

In LN-RRB’s history, the aircraft has had 1760 days in the air, completed 31499 landings as of the final one during this flight, acquired 42251 flight hours and undergone 243 wheel changes.

Absolutely incredible.

The Boeing 737 fleet of SAS in general, has slowly but surely been phased out one after the other in the last couple of years, to make space for the more sustainable Airbus A320neo family of aircraft.

Since the first delivery six years ago, the A320neo has been making its way to dominance in the SAS fleet, and serves the airline well at that.

With SAS stepping away from Boeing and leaving the idea of flying the Boeing 737 MAX behind, the A320neo seemed as a relatively sustainable and wise choice for the fleet overhaul, thus the Airbus A320neo was destined to carry the SAS legacy in the years ahead.

With a brief look into the star of the show’s history and its replacement, let’s dive into the experience of being on this historic flight.

The Airport Experience


With the flight originating from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN), getting to the airport was fairly straight forward as I took a flight with Norwegian to Stockholm a few hours prior to departure.

Stockholm Arlanda is a large airport, and at the point of my arrival, better defined as a huge construction area.

After leaving the gate, making my way to the SAS lounge as the SK737 ticket included access for every passenger, I saw nothing but white, tall walls with logos of the shops that were appearing in the months ahead.

Despite this, Stockholm Arlanda is fairly easy to circumnavigate, and no directional signs are left behind.

End of an Era: Onboard The Final SAS Boeing 737 Flight
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

As I made my way up the stairs to the lounge however, I quickly realized that lounge-entry would be quite impossible until a later time.

With queues and no available sitting areas available, I decided to give the lounge another go at a later time, with my quest now being to find a place where I could eat.

The airport has a lot of restaurants, and with this in mind from my previous trip through Stockholm earlier this year, I knew I wasn’t going to struggle in finding a suitable place to have some food.

After eating what I had bought, it was time to find the gate, and boy was I not alone when I first found it.

The gate area was notably packed with both SAS representatives, ground staff and around 140 avgeeks with the same intention as everyone else – to say farewell to the Boeing 737.

Boarding Experience


Video Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

Prior to boarding, the gate went dead silent as the gate manager came on to say a few words on the occasion that was the last commercial Boeing 737 flight.

This was later accompanied by the secondary gate manager on hand announcing that we would be boarding row-by-row as the entire flight was sold out in SAS Plus, which is SAS’ version of European Business.

Being seated in 4A, I had to wait a bit until the rows 1 and up were called for boarding.

After passing the gates, I was handed an SAS goodie bag which contained an SAS branded water bottle, together with a “remove before flight” tag.

Upon approaching the aircraft door, the First Officer for the flight greeted the passengers. After saying a short “hi”, I made my way into the cabin and found my seat – 4A.

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The Onboard Experience


End of an Era: Onboard The Final SAS Boeing 737 Flight
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

Upon sitting down, I found the lovely engine-view that my seat brought with it, and it did not disappoint!

Boarding was done quickly, and it did not take long until the captain on today’s flight came out in the cabin to complete a PA regarding our plans.

Almost shedding a tear, and admitting to being a bit emotional seeing all of us onboard, the captain laid out our plans for the flight.

Any ordinary service between Stockholm and Oslo usually takes 50 minutes, however, our plans tonight was to spend well over two hours from takeoff to landing.

Digressing on our plan, we were going to fly to Copenhagen first and complete a low-pass to commemorate the 737-700’s years of service to and from Copenhagen.

This was going to be followed by climbing to 20,000 feet and proceed with drawing “700” in the air.

Additionally, the plan was to overfly Fornebu Airport – Gardermoen’s predecessor – but did not happen due to insufficient visibility. However, this was vouched for very well, as you will se later in this report.

As we approached our set departure time, the parking brakes were released at exactly 17:37 UTC, being 18:37 local in Stockholm. Flight SK737 was a go.

We eventually taxied out to Runway 08, where we departed a few minutes later and set our nose in the direction of Copenhagen Kastrup (CPH), reaching an altitude of 36,000 feet.

The cabin crew came through the galley, offering drinks and a box of praelines to those who wanted. Personally, I went for a can of soda together with the praelines.

Descending into Copenhagen, it was announced over the PA that we would be passing over Copenhagen’s runway 04R, meaning that I was definitely on the right side of the aircraft for this view!

We overflew Copenhagen at a low of 500 feet according to radars

After executing the low-pass over Copenhagen, we continued our climb to 20,000 feet over Skagerak in order to initiate the process of drawing in the air.

As previously mentioned, we would be drawing the number “700” as this was a Boeing 737-700.

Data provided by RadarBox.com.

Champagne & Quiz


End of an Era: Onboard The Final SAS Boeing 737 Flight
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

Just prior to the first turn on the first “0”, the cabin crew came around with the choice of either champagne or apple juice, along with a snack.

To celebrate the last commercial flight, my choice was the champagne and a bag of chips.

End of an Era: Onboard The Final SAS Boeing 737 Flight
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

This was then followed by the opportunity to win an SAS 737 die-cast aircraft model through a quiz! A fun little competition, and I actually went home with one of those die-casts myself!

Before long, we were done writing the “700” in the skies, and set our nose towards Oslo, and here is where the pilots vouched for the missed fly-by of Fornebu.

As Fornebu became a no-go, a low-pass at Oslo Gardermoen was to be performed, and it did not disappoint one bit!

At an altitude of roughly 1000 feet, we flew over runway 01R and rocked our wings, a maneuver also known as a “wing wave”.

After this, we proceeded on a “Standard Missed Approach Path”, in which the air traffic controllers vectored our aircraft in for a safe, last landing.

Arrival on the SAS Boeing 737 For The Final Time…


Upon touchdown, the cabin was immediately filled with the claps of over one hundred aviation enthusiasts celebrating the last ever landing of a commercial SAS 737-700.

The crew, also a bit touched, took to the PA to wish us welcome to Oslo and say goodbye to the aircraft.

We were back on blocks at 20:37 UTC, which translates to 21:37 local time in Oslo.

Parked up on a remote stand, we were permitted to approach the aircraft in order to take some photographs before being brought back to the terminal by bus.

Through all of this, visits to the cockpit were also possible.

End of an Era: Onboard The Final SAS Boeing 737 Flight
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource
End of an Era: Onboard The Final SAS Boeing 737 Flight
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

Aviation History is Made


Like the title says, aviation history was made on this day.

Not only does it mean the end of Boeing 737 operations for SAS, excluding the one flying military operations, but it also means the entry into a whole new generation of SAS.

My ride on this special flight has been, and will forever be unforgettable.

The crew, the activities, the likeminded avgeeks, all with the same passion – It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it is aviation history that has been made, and I take great pride in having been onboard to experience it all.

Thank you for reading.

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