Last week, Brussels Airlines sent their last ‘Jumbolino’ into retirement when aircraft ‘OO-DWD’ landed in Brussels after a short flight from Geneva. This last touchdown put an exclamation point on a long and successful career for the ‘AVRO RJ100’ aircraft type in the ‘SN’ fleet.
According to Brussels, the Jumbolino was part of their fleet for 15 years. 32 of them transported 31.5 million passengers over the course of 606,000 flights to 89 destinations.
A friend of mine, FlyerTalk & VFT member ‘Claudi STR’ was fortunate to be on the final flight of the Jumbolino and was kind enough to share some of her photos from the ‘Retirement’ flight.
The last safety briefing aboard the Avro’s last flight
Passengers received a souvenir to mark the retirement flight.
‘OO-DWD’ prepared for boarding her final passengers…
The Avro got its ‘Jumbolino’ nickname due to the fact that it has 4 jet engines, not unlike her much larger relatives like the 747, A380 and A340 aircraft…..
In the past, retired Jumbolinos have found new homes with other airlines as well as being repurposed to serve as fire-fighting aircraft around world. Though she won’t carry any more passengers for Brussels, there are a lot of hours left on her engines.
When flight LX7545 arrived in Zurich after a short hop from Geneva on August 15, it marked the end of an era in SWISS aviation. With the completion of this flight came the retirement of SWISS’ last Avro RJ100 aircraft, one of 21 that had served SWISS dutifully for 15 years. In addition to the RJ100, SWISS had also operated 4 of RJ85 variant.
During its 2 decades of service, this workhorse earned the nickname of ‘Jumbolino’ due to the fact that it hung 4 engines from its wings as it sought to imitate much larger aircraft even though it served as a short haul specialist.
SWISS’ last RJ100 arrives to a water cannon salute after completing its final flight. (Photo Credit: SWISS).
According to SWISS, the RJ100 fleet flew over 700,000 hours and operated well over a half-million flights during its successful tenure with the airline.
The retirement of the Jumbolino was primarily due to the addition of Bombardier C-series aircraft to the fleet. With the C-series, SWISS gains substantial operational improvement and capacity over the RJ100. Currently there are 10 C-Series (8 of the -100, and 2 of the -300 variant), with plans for 20 more to join the fleet by the end of next year.
3 RJ100s remain in service with Brussels Airlines but their retirement is planned before the end of the year. Lufthansa Group will no longer operate the aircraft type after SN retires their 3 birds.
SWISS has once again updated their expected retirement date for the Avro RJ100 or as we like to refer to as the ‘Jumbolino’. She’s known as the Jumbolino due to the 4 jet engines that are strapped to the wings of a small regional aircraft.
Per SWISS’ previous update, the target retirement date was set for August 26, 2017 however they have moved the date up to August 16. Currently there are 7 ‘Jumbolinos’ left in service and most will be phased out over the summer months leading up to the August 16 date. At their peak in the LX fleet, 25 Jumbolinos were darting around SWISS destinations throughout Europe.
The reason for the minor shift is due to SWISS finally getting all the C-Series jets from Bombardier after extended delivery delays. Five have been put into service and one remains to be delivered. These aircraft will help fill in the void created by the removal of the Jumbolinos.
So for those of you who have a soft spot for aircraft entering retirement, start paying attention to the LX timetable for mid August. I suspect there may be another tweak or 2 left to the schedule before its finalized, but SWISS will publish the final timetable well ahead of the retirement party.
H/T: FlyerTalk’s Oliver2002