The Boeing 737-200 was a popular narrow-body aircraft that was produced by Boeing from the 1960s to the 1980s. It had a range of up to 2,930 nautical miles (5,420 km) and could carry up to 136 passengers. The 737-200 was known for its reliability, durability, and flexibility, making it a popular choice for many airlines. The newest PlaneTags are made from a 737-200 that flew for TAP Air Portugal as CS-TEO and Aloha Airlines as N824AL. Let’s take a closer look, then get one for your collection.
Our Boeing 737, MSN 23045, was constructed as a 737-282 and delivered to TAP Air Portugal in June 1983. Registered as CS-TEO, it flew short-haul routes throughout Europe for TAP and its charter subsidiary Air Atlantis until early 2008.
TAP Air Portugal, headquartered in Lisbon, is the official flag carrier airline of Portugal. The airline was founded in 1945 and began operations the following year with a flight between Lisbon and Madrid. In the early years, TAP Air Portugal focused on serving destinations in Europe and Africa, but later expanded its services to include destinations in North and South America, as well as Asia.
TAP Air Portugal acquired its first Boeing 737-200 aircraft in 1985, and eventually operated about a dozen in its fleet. The 737-200s were primarily used on TAP Air Portugal's shorter routes, including domestic flights within Portugal and flights to other European destinations. The airline retired its Boeing 737-200 fleet in the early 2000s, as it shifted its focus to more modern and fuel-efficient aircraft. Today, TAP Portugal operates a fleet of about 100 aircraft, including Airbus A319, A320, A321, A330, and A340 aircraft, as well as Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft. These are used to serve destinations across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, as well as longer-haul destinations in the Americas and Asia.
In March 2008, the 737 was reregistered as N824AL and began operating for Aloha Airlines. In the tradition of Aloha Airlines’ naming its 737’s in honor of Hawaiian royalty or Polynesian navigators, it was christened in honor of Kalaniopu'u, the supreme monarch over the island of Hawaii and Maui’s Hana district during the 1700s.
In 1999, N824AL was decorated with a flowered lei painted upon its fuselage to commemorate that year’s Aloha Festivals. N824AL was withdrawn from service in March 2008 and landed for the final time at Mojave later that year, still clad in its Bird of Paradise/Guava Aloha Airlines livery.
Aloha Airlines, headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, operated from 1946 to 2008. Founded by Ted and Betty Mullen in Honolulu, Hawaii, with just one DC-3, Aloha Airlines focused on inter-island travel within Hawaii, but later expanded its services to the continental United States and other international destinations.
In 1983, Aloha Airlines made headlines when one of its planes, Flight 243, suffered a mid-air decompression, resulting in a section of the plane's roof being torn off and the loss of flight attendant Clarabelle Lansing. Despite the terrifying incident, the crew and passengers on board were able to safely land the plane, and the event led to new safety regulations for aircraft.
In the 1990s, Aloha Airlines faced increased competition from other airlines in Hawaii, including Hawaiian Airlines. In 2004, Aloha Airlines filed for bankruptcy, but was able to emerge from it a year later. Unfortunately, the airline was unable to weather the financial crisis of 2008 and, after 61 years of operation, filed for its final bankruptcy and ceased operations in March 2008.
Here is a glimpse of Aloha Airlines’ final flight.
Although Aloha Airlines is no longer in operation, it left a lasting legacy on the airline industry. The airline was known for its friendly service and unique touches, such as offering passengers a complimentary meal and free mai tais on certain flights. Additionally, Aloha Airlines played an important role in developing Hawaii's tourism industry and connecting the islands to the rest of the world.
Aloha Airlines used the Boeing 737-200 extensively in its fleet. The airline operated a total of 61 Boeing 737-200 aircraft (including the combi version) over the course of its history, with the first delivery of the aircraft in 1969. The Boeing 737-200 aircraft was primarily used for inter-island flights within Hawaii, as well as flights to other destinations in the Pacific. The aircraft had a range that was well-suited to these shorter routes, and its size and passenger capacity made it a good fit for Aloha Airlines' business model.
427al - Aloha Airlines Boeing 737-200; N823AL@ITO;03.10.2006 flickr photo by Aero Icarus shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
Aloha Airlines was a pioneer with its usage of the 737-200. The first Boeing 737 flight in Hawaii was on board an Aloha Airlines Funbird. Aloha was also the first airline to use an ETOPS rated 737-200, flying it nearly 1,350 miles south to Kiritimati (Christmas Island), its first destination beyond the Hawaiian islands. Aloha Airlines later became the first airline to fly to and from the U.S. mainland, using ETOPS certified 737-700s. Aloha Airlines became an all Boeing 737 airline, operating 84 737s in all variants, until operations ceased in 2008.
From Departed Flights
The Aloha Airlines 737-200 was a game-changer for the aviation industry in Hawaii, as it brought low-cost air travel to a region that was previously underserved. Prior to the introduction of the 737-200, air travel in Hawaii was dominated by larger airlines, such as United and Hawaiian, which focused on inter-island travel and charged high fares. Aloha Airlines recognized the potential for affordable air travel and saw an opportunity to disrupt the market.
The 737-200 was smaller than the aircraft used by its competitors, which made it more cost-effective to operate. It also had a lower seating capacity, which allowed the airline to offer more frequent flights, making air travel more convenient for locals and tourists alike. Aloha Airlines was able to leverage these capabilities to offer lower fares, making air travel more accessible to a wider audience. The airline's success with the aircraft type helped to pave the way for other low-cost carriers to enter the Hawaiian market, which further increased competition and brought down airfares.
Today, the legacy of the Aloha Airlines 737-200 lives on, as it played a significant role in making air travel more affordable in Hawaii. The aircraft type is fondly remembered by many Hawaiians, and its impact on the aviation industry is still felt to this day.
MotoArt owner Dave Hall remembered the first time he saw N824AL at the Mojave boneyard. “The first thing I noticed was the bird of paradise on the vertical stabilizer,” recalls Hall. “Seeing the tail and the colors of the logo… We knew we had to tag it.”
Over the years, while the MotoArt team were busy taking apart other planes, Hall kept an eye on it. Recently N824AL was moved to the tear down pile to make room for other retired planes. Hall knew it was now or never, and acquired the material at the last minute, just in time for March’s commercial release and the beginning of MotoArt’s 2023 air show season. “We want to get this 737 into as many hands as we can,” says Hall. The team decided to cut the all-white crown of the plane into promotional PlaneTags and save the Bird of Paradise livery for collectors. "We’ll be giving out the all white Aloha PlaneTags as prizes and selling them at an especially low price. These 737 PlaneTags are going to be the first PlaneTags for a lot of folks this year and we’re pretty stoked about that.”
Enjoy these photos from the MotoArt team's personal collection.
The newest commercial PlaneTags are made from the authentic fuselage skin of N824AL and are numbered in a series of 7,500. They will be available on planetags.com beginning on March 16, 2023.
When they drop at noon Pacific Time, they will be available in the following color variants:
If you’re a regular PlaneTags collector, you’ll know the best time to get the colors you want are right at release time. Don’t miss adding these to your collection.
Did you know MotoArt also produced a set of Aloha Funbird 737 PlaneTags ? Made from N823AL, these colorful orange, white, and red PlaneTags were first sold in 2018 and have become a favorite of PlaneTags collectors.