United Airlines (United Continental Holdings) announced today that they will launch non-stop service between IAD (Dulles International Airport, Washington, DC) and HNL on June 7, 2012, using a 767-424ER.
TM Financial Corporation of Honolulu has acquired a Convair CV-640-440DF, N587CA (msn 463). According to FAA records, the mailing address is the same as Trans Executive Airlines (dba TransAir). It arrived this evening from BAK (Columbus Muni Airport, OH), via AMA (Amarillo International Airport, TX), VGT (North Las Vegas Airport, NV), MCE (Merced Municipal Airport, CA) and BFL (Meadows Field Airport, Bakersfield, CA) as RDS587. It's not known how the Convair will be utilized, though speculation is that it may replace the G-159s that were chartered for service between CXI and HNL, that was previously operated for TransAir by Maritime Air Charters (which has relocated N8E to SAT). It may be also chartered by the US Department of the Interior for work around immediate region. It's seen above on the TransAir ramp on Monday, January 31st.
Recently, the airline purchased a 737-200C, N808TA, which they are still awaiting delivery on. No details are available for the whereabouts of this airframe. It's been reported that TransAir will use the 737 to compete against Aloha Air Cargo, as their working agreement has ended.
The history of this Convair is rather vague. According to FAA records, this CV-640 was built in 1957. A database reports that it held the registration N4405, but the FAA records does not show it belonging to this CV-640. In the mid-60s, this CV-640 spent time in the Hawaiian Airlines fleet (f/n 39) as N4405. In the 1970s, it was with Pacific Western Airlines [PW/PWA], registered as CF-PWO. In the early to mid 1980s, it went to Echo Bay Mines and North Cariboo. Viking International acquired the CV-640 as N587CA in the mid 80s, after it was converted into a freighter. In the 1990s, it went to Kitty Hawk Air Cargo. In March 1999, it was sold to Rhoades Aviation of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Air Transport International (ATI) [BC/ATN] will provide the chartered 767-200ER for the new Mokulele Airlines venture to RFD and STN (London-Stansted, UK) that will launch in April. The airline received government approval for the flights.
ATI is known more for government and private charter work. It's one of the few airlines remaining that operate the DC-8-60 and -70. One of ATI's DC-8-60s operates a military charter out of HIK.
Lion Airlines' PK-LJK (c/n 38311, l/n 3900) has the distinction of being the 3,900 737 Next Generation built and delivered. The 737-9GPER is beginning its delivery flight trek from BFI to CGK (via HNL, MAJ, and BIK) today, and is seen above at dusk as it preps for the next leg to MAJ. This is the second 737-9GPER delivered to Lion Air in the past nine days.
PK-LJK had its stay at HNL extended until this morning, as it had a mechanical issue. When looking at the expanded view, there is an access panel open.
The last remaining Embraer E-170LR in the Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia) fleet is ferrying to the mainland. VH-ZHF (msn 17000255) "Little Miss Sunshine Coast", using its registration as its flight designator, originated from BNE, and made stops at HIR (Honaira International Airport, Guadalcanal) and MAJ, before its stop at HNL.
The airline has purged the six 78-seat Brazilian-made regional jets it had, but is keeping the larger E-190ARs it has. 17000255 is headed to MSP to join the Compass Airlines (Delta Connection) [CP/CPZ] fleet as N752CZ, where it will join the other five ex-Virgin Blue E-170LRs.
VH-ZHF will depart for SJC today.
Hawaiian Airlines recently received their second of three ex-Midwest 717-2BLs. N919ME (c/n 55181, l/n 5135) will be re-registered as N492HA. Named after the 'Ewa 'Ewa or the sooty tern, it flew across the Pacific via VCV (Victorville, California) to join Hawaiian's fleet.
Hawaiian Airlines and jetBlue Airways announced that they have formed a code-share partnership. jetBlue has several common west coast cities that both airlines serve, as well as Hawaiian's new route to JFK that begins in June. This new code-share adds to the growing list of airlines that Hawaiian has partnered with. The code-share and mileage partnership begins this week with LAX, and will grow further in June, when Hawaiian will be sharing JFK's Terminal 5 with jetBlue. Eventually, both carriers will be putting their flight codes on each others flights.
In the top photo (courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines), jetBlue President and CEO David Barger and Hawaiian Air President and CEO Mark Dunkerley swap aircraft models to signify the partnership between the two carriers. In the middle photo, one of Hawaiian Air's A330-243s, N381HA (msn 1114) "Hōkūle‘a", is getting pushed out the gate at HNL for departure. In the bottom photo, jetBlue's A320-232, N621JB (msn 2491) "Do-be-do-be-blue", is seen taxiing across the LAS tarmac for departure.
Fly Guam's 737-4Y0, N238AG (c/n 23866, l/n 1589), is making its way back the US mainland. The 737-4Y0, wet-leased from Sky King, is flying as SGB2383. This leaves Fly Guam without an aircraft for their service. It's not known why N238AG is headed back to the mainland.
N238AG left shortly after noon for OAK as SGB2384, and arrived at TUS in the evening as SGB2385.
The FAA, state's Department of Transportation, and Maui County are mulling over options about repaving OGG's main runway, Runway 2/20. One of the three options include shutting down wide-body traffic for almost three months, while the other two call for the extension of the not-often used Runway 5/23 to accommodate mainland and inter-island traffic. A total repaving of the 70-year-old Runway 2/20 is needed as federal funding will no longer cover patch jobs currently done by the state.
One item not covered in the article, is extending Runway 2/20, which would allow non-stop heavy jet flights to/from the midwest, east coast, and possibly Japan. Extending the north-south runway has been a decades-long debate, as a group have consistently protested that extending 2/20 will bring too many tourists to the "Valley Isle". As far back as the late 1980s, Japan Airlines wanted to fly directly to OGG from NRT, but the 7,000-foot Runway 2/20 would prohibit a direct return flight, therefore they chose to go to KOA. United's 777-200 return flight to ORD must stop at KOA for fuel.
Over the past several years, airlines have been expanding service to OGG. Having both runways extended (2/20 to 10,000 feet, and 5/23 to 7,000) with LAHSO (Land And Hold Short) operations will actually put less fatigue on Runway 2/20. The photo above shows OGG from the air, as the flight I was on circled around Haleakalā for its approach to Runway 2.
Kaiser Air brought their 737-7BX, N737KA (c/n 30740, l/n 776) "Lani", in from OGG as KAI65. It's seen above landing on Runway 4R. N737KA arrived at OGG on Wednesday as KAI518 from OAK. The aircraft has a 60 VIP seat configuration, and about as many passengers disembarked from the 737 on the Bradley Pacific ramp.
This 737-7BX was originally delivered to Midway Airlines in February 2001 as N365ML. It then went to Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia) as VH-VBT "Launie Lass" in January 2003. Kaiser Air (through NAS Investments) acquired it in March 2009, and had the interior configured to 60 VIP seats.
A Kāne‘ohe-based US Marine Corps CH-53D from HMH-363 "Red Lions" crashed yesterday in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, killing all six on board. The unit is on a one-year deployment to support Operation Enduring Freedom, and are scheduled to return to Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i in March.
Pictured above, is a CH-53D from the HMH-363 "Red Lions" that was on static display at the 2010 Kāne‘ohe Bay Air Show.
It's with heavy hearts that we express our condolences to the families of those who perished on the CH-53D, who were serving our country and protecting our freedoms. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. Thank you for serving our country.
Completing today's 737-800 delivery trifecta is Shandong Airlines' B-5626 (c/n 38103, l/n 3903). The 737-8HX, leased from ACG, is flying as CDG5626. This also happens to be the second 737-800 delivery to Shandong in as many days. Its departure time from BFI was pushed back six hours, due to the icy conditions there. B-5626 is seen above, under the Hawaiian sun on Taxiway RT, heading for MAJ.
Early yesterday morning, ANZ1, with service to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL/NZAA) from Los Angeles International (LAX/KLAX), was diverted to Honolulu about midway through the flight. ZH-OKP (c/n 39401, l/n 972) is seen above departing later the same evening. This 777-319ER was delivered to Air New Zealand back in November.
The second aircraft in today's trifecta is China Southern Airlines' B-5641 (c/n 38916, l/n 3898). This 737-81B is flying out of BFI as CSN11, and its departure was delayed over two hours, due to the snow and ice. Pictured above, is B-5641 during its push back and engine start for its next leg to MAJ.
Today brings a 737-800 delivery trifecta through HNL! Leading off, is Xiamen Airlines' B-5630 (c/n 38386, l/n 3897). The 737-85C is flying as CXA5630. As with yesterday's delivery flights, snow and ice delayed B-5630's departure for almost three hours. The photo above shows B-5630 in much warmer climate, as it is pushed out from its South Ramp hardstand, to depart for MAJ.
Shandong Airlines' B-5627 (c/n 38637, l/n 3890), a 737-85N, is the first half of today's delivery daily double. It's flying out of BFI as CDG5627. It's seen above, basking under the Hawaiian sun, before its departure to MAJ.
Lion Air is taking delivery of PK-LJJ (c/n 37289, l/n 3888), a 737-9GPER. It's flying from BFI to CGK (via HNL, MAJ, and BIK) as LNI1. It's seen above, shortly after arriving from BFI under voggy skies. PK-LJJ will stay for its brief fuel-stop before continuing onto MAJ this afternoon.
Hawaiian Airlines and All Nippon Airways launched a code-share agreement for flights within Hawai‘i and Japan; and mutual frequent flyer program. This further enhances the partnership between the two airlines, that was announced on 06 October 2010.
Hawaiian Airlines announced today that OGG will become the airline's second hub in the islands. It will create non-stop flights between OGG and KOA, ITO, and LIH. These new 717-200 flights will allow easier connections from those flying into OGG from the west coast cities that Hawaiian serves.
Malaysia Airlines' 9M-MLM (c/n 39323, l/n 3885), a 737-8H6, is the second half of today's 737 delivery daily double. It's flying as MAS5403, and seen above the next morning, taxiing out to Runway 8R, for departure to MAJ.
Skymark Airlines' JA73NK (c/n 38023, l/n 3883) is the first trans-Pacific 737 delivery flight of 2012 to stop through HNL. The GECAS-leased 737-86N is flying as SKY73NK, and is the first of two delivery flights to stop at HNL today. It's seen above the next morning, taxiing out to Runway 8R, to depart for MAJ.
Hawaiian Airlines announced this morning that, beginning April 21st, they will upgrade their KIX service to their A330-243. It will result in an 11,000-seat boost on this route that began on July 21, 2011.
On a related note, the airline announced that they set a passenger capacity record in 2011, transporting over 8.6 million passengers system-wide.
24709 was originally delivered delivered to ILFC, and leased to Malaysia Airlines as 9M-MJG in September 1991. Carnival Airlines acquired the 737-4Q8 in July 1994, and was registered as N604KW. When the airline was merged with Pan American Airways, N604KW went with it, and was named "Clipper Splendid". In July 1998, ILFC leased 24709 to Olympic Airways as SX-BKM. The Greek carrier bought the 737 from ILFC in December 2003, and received the 2007 livery. ACG Acquisitions purchased it in August 2009, and was placed in storage at VCV. Only recently was it ferried to MIA, via RSW, for preparation for ACG's next lessee, Toll Priority. We've been told by sources that this 737-4Q8 has been converted to a freighter.
N709AG was originally scheduled for delivery from December 20th, but was delayed until after the holiday season.
Sorry, we were unable to get a photo of N709AG while at HNL.
President Obama's holiday vacation came to an end today. The VC-25A, 82-8000 (c/n 23824, l/n 679), is seen above seconds before becoming airborne. Air Force One departed to Washington D.C. shortly after 5pm.
Our first 2012 edition of "HNL RareBirds Classic" is Reeve Aleutian Airways' L-188C(PF) Electra, N178RV (c/n 2010), that paid a visit to HNL in 1996. The Electra, seen above, was photographed on HNL's South Ramp, near the UPS hardstands.
The early history of N178RV is somewhat vague, as the dates of delivery are not listed. It was originally delivered to Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL), the predecessor to Air New Zealand, as ZK-TEB. It then went on to Transamerica Airlines [TV/TVA] as N33506. It's next owner was Northwest Territorial Cargo as C-GNWC. Reeve Aleutian [RV/RVV] acquired this Electra in September 1988, and remained with the fleet until the airline's closure in December 2000. It was then acquired by Atlantic Airlines (UK), and had the registration changed to N2RK, and the titles changed to "Reeve Illusion". In August 2010, Buffalo Airways [BFL] (Canada) picked up this Electra, and registered as C-FIJX, but still wears the "Reeve Illusion" colors. Buffalo Airways is the subject of the reality TV show "Ice Pilots" that airs in the USA on the National Geographic Channel.