08 May 2020

Miami Air International Closes Doors

It was announced today that Miami Air International has shut down its operations. The airline was not able to obtain new financing to keep the charter airline in business, during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Their employees were laid-off, and their 737-800 fleet (parked as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic) have now been returned to its lessors.

Miami Air International used to fly in and out of HNL for US Navy personnel charters, as well as Hawai‘i Department of Corrections inmate transfer flights between IWA and HNL.

01 May 2020

Kalitta Air's N709CK

Our May edition of "HNL RareBirds Classic" goes back to March 2004, with Kalitta Air's 747-132SF, N709CK (c/n 20247, l/n 159), seen above taxing out to Runway 8R to return to LAX.

20247 was originally delivered to Delta Air Lines in November 1971 as N9900. Boeing acquired it in April 1977 to convert it to a freighter, and three months later, sold to Flying Tiger Line as N805FT. When Federal Express acquired Flying Tigers in 1989, it was transferred, and re-registered as N625FE. In May 1993, it was acquired by Air Hong Kong as VR-HKC. A year later Kalitta / American International Airways purchased this 747-132SF, and registered it as N625PL. In June 1998, it was re-registered as N709CK. From February 1999 to December 2000, it was leased to AIA's Kitty Hawk International subsidiary, then returned to AIA (which re-branded to Kalitta Air). N709CK flew with Kalitta Air until December 2008, when it was stored at OSC, and was scrapped there in June 2015. The registration has been transferred to a Kalitta 747-4B5F (c/n 26396, l/n 951).

13 April 2020

Delta A350 Charters

Two Delta Air Lines A350-941s are flying military charters from UTP [U-Tapao International Airport, Rayong, Thailand] to HNL. This pair of A350s are bringing home 1,350 US Army soldiers stationed at Schofield Barracks. N512DN (msn 267, f/n 3512) flying as DAL8956, and N513DZ (msn 277, f/n 3513) flying as DAL8958, with the first batch of soldiers today. The A350s will be back at HNL tomorrow with another group of soldiers.

01 April 2020

Spotting Alert

Due to the state and counties COVID-19 "Shelter-In-Place" proclamation that lasts until April 30th, we do not recommend heading down to any of the exterior spotting locations around any of the state's airports. Hawai‘i State Sheriff's deputies are on patrol in the lots, and are warning about loitering in the lots.

Most of the international flights have been suspended. Domestic trans-Pacific passenger flights have been greatly reduced. Cargo flights are still going on as scheduled.

Harmony Airways' C-GMYC

Our April edition of "HNL RareBirds Classic" dates back to December 2005, and Harmony Airways' 757-258, C-GMYC (c/n 23917, l/n 152), pictured above exiting Runway 4R on Taxiway K, after a flight from YVR.

23917 was originally delivered to El Al Airlines in November 1987 as 4X-EBL (f/n 501), under lease from Boeing Capital, and returned in January 2001. It was leased to HMY Airlines in November 2002 as C-GMYC (f/n 801). The airline re-branded as Harmony Airways in May 2004, but ceased operations in June 2007. This 757 has been sitting in storage at GWO since Harmony's closure.

31 March 2020

Estafeta N477VX

N477VX (c/n 28861, l/n 2910), a 737-46QF owned by VX Capital Partners, is making its ferry flight from CGK to SBD, via BIK, MAJ, and HNL. The 737 due to be leased to Estafeta Cargo Area [México], and is already painted in their livery. It's scheduled to make a brief fuel stop at HNL tonight.

28861 was originally delivered to Air Europa in July 1997 as EC-GPI, leased from Boullion AS. From April 1998 to April 2001, it was sub-leased to Iberia. In July 2002, it was sold to Aviation Capital Group, and leased to Air One as EI-CXI. In July 2007, it was leased to Garuda Indonesia as PK-GZP until June 2012. Two months later, it was sold to VX Capital Partners, and converted to a freighter. Gading Sari Aviation Service was the first lessee for the freighter in March 2013 as 9M-GSB. When they shutdown in February 2015, it was transferred to Asia Cargo Express, and flew until September 2018, then stored at CGK six months later. It was painted in the Estafeta livery earlier this year, and will receive a Mexican registration upon delivery.

27 March 2020

Hawaiian Airlines Parks Majority Of Its Fleet

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting air travel, Hawaiian Airlines has parked a majority of their 717-200, A321-271N and A330-243 fleet at HNL. The 717-200s are parked outside their Cargo facility, while the A321-271Ns have been towed to Taxiway F, and the A330-243s have been towed to Runway 8L.

Qantas Retires Their 747-400 Fleet

Accelerated by the COVID-19 global pandemic, Qantas Airways retired its remaining 747-438s. The airline had supplemental 747 flights for their SYD-HNL service for the spring schedule, but that came to a quick end. VH-OEI "Ceduna" (c/n 32913, l/n 1330) is seen above, seconds from touching down on Runway 8L.

On a related note, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines also retired their 747-406 fleet this week. PH-BFE "Melbourne" (c/n 24201, l/n 763) is seen above, in a 2010 photo while on final for LAX's Runway 25L.

26 March 2020

Miami Air International Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Aeronewsx.com reports that US charter Airlines, Miami Air International, has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Miami Air International 737-800s are frequent visitors to HNL with charters for the State of Hawai‘i Department of Public Safety; and HIK for crew transfer charters for the US Navy.

N735MA "Arlene" (c/n 37260, l/n 3688, f/n 735), is pictured above as this 737-8K5 taxies to a hardstand on a recent DPS charter flight from the mainland.

23 March 2020

COVID-19 Relief Flights

Other than the two Wamos Air flights to take cruise ship passengers back to Europe, here is a brief list of other airlines providing assistance:

HAL930 | YVR | N389HA
SCX8682 | YVR | N808SY
SCX8652 | LAX | N821SY

HAL936 | LAX | N389HA
SCX8654 | LAX | N821SY

SCX8656 | LAX | N821SY
QFA6034 | SYD | VH-QPB

We will update this list as flight information becomes available.

Amazon Prime Air's N547RL

Amazon's Prime Air is taking delivery of N547RL (c/n 32348 l/n 933), a 737-83NF, leased from GECAS, and to be operated by Sun Country Airlines. It's making its delivery flight from PVG to PAE  (via PNH, SPN, and HNL), and made an overnight stop at HNL last night. Sun Country will be operating cargo flights for Amazon Prime Air within the continental US.

32348 was originally delivered to American Trans Air in August 2001 as N306TZ, leased from GECAS, and flew with ATA until January 2005. GOL Transportes Aéreos was the next lessee, who received this 737 in April 2005 as PR-GIB. Four years later, it was subleased to Transavia as PH-HSS, for a six month period, after which the aircraft was returned to GECAS. In June 2010, it was leased to Sky Airlines as TC-SKS "Dalaman". In July 2013, it was leased to Pegasus, as TC-IZD "Buglem Sera", and flew until June 2019. A month later, it was ferried to PVG for storage, where it underwent freighter conversion.

22 March 2020

Wamos Air Charters

Two Wamos Air 747-4H6s, EC-KXN (c/n 25773, l/n 1023, -446) and EC-MQK (c/n 28427, l/n 1147), are making charter flights from MAD to HNL, to pick up tourists from cruise liners due to the COVID-19 global health crisis. EC-KXN is flying as PLM948P, and EC-MQK is flying as PLM946P. While awaiting their departure times, both 747s will be parking on Taxiway RH.

03.34.2020 UPDATE
EC-MQK departed this morning for FRA as PLM9461, and EC-KXN departed this afternoon for LGW as PLM9481.

17 March 2020


N257AJ (c/n 25857, l/n 2451), a 737-436F owned by the Bank of Utah, is making its ferry flight from TPA to HLP [Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, Jakarta, Indonesia, via OAK, HNL, MAJ and BIK. It's making the OAK-HNL segment today. Note the Harmoni Indonesia decal on before the main entry door in the above photo.

25857 was originally delivered to British Airways in March 1993 as G-DOCX. It flew with BA until September 2015. It was sold to Automatic LLC in March 2016. Aero Acquisitions bought this 737-436 in June 2017. A year later, the Bank of Utah purchased it, and had it converted to a freighter.