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Photo: Hans Norman
Photo: Hans Norman

Aviation

Bye bye, Ragnfast Viking

Faithful veteran Ragnfast Viking is preparing for retirement as SAS ushers in its more environmentally-friendly fleet.

Ragnfast Viking is named after the Swedish landowner and farmer Ragnfast of Snåttsta, who had no less than four runestones raised in his name after his death. All were raised by his wife Inga, who was the sole heir to Snåttsta when their son died shortly after Ragnfast.  

It is one of only 12 SAS Boeing 737-600s still flying and the smallest member of the SAS 737NG fleet, carrying 120 passengers. The 737-600s have mostly served SAS to destinations with lower ­demand within Scandinavia and ­Europe. 

Manufactured on 7 January 1999 and in SAS service ever since, Ragn­fast can justifiably be called a real SAS veteran and one of the most-flown aircraft in the fleet, with over 35,000 flights and 43,000 hours in the air to its name. The engines are, however, upgraded to the latest ­generation. 

Times change though and newer planes are more environmentally friendly, so Ragnfast, which has already flown to over 50 destinations within Scandinavia and Europe, is slated for retirement in October 2019. 

When Ragnfast is retired, only four of its 737-600 colleagues will remain in the SAS fleet, all of which are expected to be withdrawn by the end of 2019. This will mark the end of long and fruitful service for the ­Boeing 737-600 series, which originally replaced the DC-9-41 and played an important role in the development of the SAS fleet. When an aircraft is retired after service this long, it is scrapped and the airframe is cut up for recycling.  

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