28 December 2012

Time For An "HNL RareBirds Blast From The Past"

Honolulu International Airport has seen some significant growth over the past 50 years. With the imminent construction for the new Mauka Concourse Terminal on the site of the current Inter-Island Commuter Terminal it's time to take a brief look back 50 years.

This is what Honolulu Airport looked liked in 1960 at the old John Rodgers Terminal on Lagoon Drive. All major terminal operations were relocated to the current HNL Terminal complex and the airport was renamed Honolulu International Airport on August 22, 1962.

The new John Rodgers Terminal provided more efficient loading and boarding of the new jets that were now flying to the Hawaiian Islands. With continued growth the terminal soon became obsolete itself and required a major expansion.

With the arrival of the Boeing 747, HNL went through a further expansion in 1970. As shown here in 1971, the new Diamond Head and Ewa Terminals were completed and were now accommodating hundreds of passengers at a time. The State's tourist boom was now well on its way.

For the year 2011, Honolulu International Airport had 262,000 aircraft movements and served 18 million passengers. A far cry from 1960 when just 1.5 million passengers moved through HNL.

Be sure to click on the images for a more detailed look at the facilites and the aircraft that served Honolulu International.

Over the next decade, or so, HNL will undergo another transformation which will add more gates, infrastructural improvements, and a re-configuration of the existing concourses.

27 December 2012

Holidays in Kona

South (General Aviation) Ramp (12/27/12)
Each year between Christmas and New Years the ramps at KOA fill to near overflowing with corporate and private jet aircraft.  Some years the the ramps will see up to 65 jets on the ground.  This year there was still a light inventory when the photos were taken, with only about 44 itinerant jets in place at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.  It's still a good number that will likely increase in the next few days leading into New Years Eve.

Overall corporate jet traffic arrival and departure totals for 2012 at KOA are on pace to match 2011 numbers and finally return to annual totals not seen since 2005 and 2006. 

Since 2004 Airports Division has used the services of Mauna Loa Helicopters to take aerial photos of the crowded ramps and of other areas of the airport that have seen improvements over the previous 12 months or will see changes in the near future.   Those images have provided much needed support at times to justify improvements as well as document the numerous changes the property has seen over the years.

Bravo South Ramp (12/27/12)

26 December 2012

Empire Airlines To Run Hawaiian's Turboprops

Hawaiian Airlines has signed a three-year MoU to have Idaho-based Empire Airlines fly and maintain Hawaiian's new ATR42-500 turboprop operation. Both N801HC and N804HC are at Empire's home base at COE [Couer d'Alene, ID], awaiting it's Hawaiian livery.

This would be the second time Empire assists a local carrier. The first, being with Mahalo Air, when Empire flew Fokker F27s for Mahalo, while the latter waited for their ATR42 AOC.

Further details in this press release.

25 December 2012

Mele Kalikimaka!

On behalf of the HNL RareBirds team, Merry Christmas!

21 December 2012

Kunming's B-5702

Kunming Airlines [KY/KNA], a subsidiary of Shenzhen Airlines is taking delivery of B-5702 (c/n 39131, l/n 4265). The 737-87L was originally ordered by Shenzhen, but then allocated to its subsidiary. The flight arrived today as KNA5702. The flight was not FlightAware's site, but was on FlightRadar24's site.

As seen in both photos, the basic livery belongs to Shenzhen, but the gold logo on the tail is different. The typeface of the Kunming Roman titles appear to be the same as Shenzhen's.

Mahalo to team member Aeros for the photos.

B-2921 Donated To Museum

On December 18th, AWAS donated their recently-returned B-2921 (c/n 27286, l/n 2528) to the Pima Air & Space Museum (Pima, AZ). Pictured above, the former China Southern Airlines 737-3Q8, is being towed from the airport across the street to the museum.

B-2921 stopped through HNL this past August 24th, on its way from China to Marana, AZ.

A big mahalo to the Pima Air & Space Museum for sending us the top photo of B-2921 at MZJ.

United To Switch 2 HNL-SFO Flights To 747-400s

FlightGlobal reports that United Airlines will switch two of their HNL-SFO flights from 777-222s to 747-422s in early 2013. The two flights, currently listed as UAL201/396 and UAL663/724 will be upgraded as the airline consolidates a majority of their 747-400 operations to SFO.

19 December 2012


N227GV (msn 19000159), a privately owned Embraer ERJ-190-100ECJ Lineage 1000, is stopping through HNL from HND (via GUM). Over the past few months it had been flying between Australia and Indonesia.

19000159 was built as a Bizjet with a VIP interior in February 2008 as PP-XTF. It was ordered by Al Jaber Aviation [AJA] (United Arab Emirates) as A6-DWB, but was not taken up. In December 2011, it was purchased by the Bank of Utah.

*** 01.01.13 Update ***
N227GV is still parked on HNL's South Ramp.

Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl Team Charters

Atlas Air and Omni Air International are bringing in the teams participating for the Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl, the annual Christmas Eve college football bowl game here in Honolulu. Atlas is flying in the Southern Methodist University Mustangs (SMU) from DFW as GTI2522, in one of their 767-300ERs. Omni is flying in the Fresno State University Bulldogs from FAT as OAE960, in one of their 767-300ERs as well. Both teams are expected to make their return flights after the game.

18 December 2012

Malaysia's 9M-MXN

Malaysia Airlines is taking delivery of their second 737-8H6 in the past eight days with 9M-MXN (c/n 40141, l/n 4287). It's flying as MAS5473, and will overnight at HNL after its flight from BFI.

Mahalo to team member Lono68 for the photo of 9M-MXN, as it taxies to the Castle & Cooke ramp upon arriving from BFI.

17 December 2012

Kamekona's N6077H

Makani Kai Helicopters' AS-350BA, N6077H (msn 2693), has been transformed into another helicopter charter company for the CBS TV series "Hawai‘i Five-0". This time, the fictitious charter company is based on the recurring character, Kamekona (played by actor Taylor Wily), and another new business venture for his enterprising character.

N6077H was photographed late last month, but we were asked not to run this photo until last night's episode aired. In the meantime, this AS350BA still has the decals affixed.

Senator Daniel K Inouye

The HNL RareBirds team expresses its condolences to the family of the late US Senator Daniel K Inouye (HI-D). He was 88, and passed away today from complications from a respiratory illness.

Beyond any political party lines, the State of Hawai‘i, including the military, airline industry, travel industry, and aviation, benefitted much from the senator's tenure in office. According to his website, he worked to get the Hawai‘i Air National Guard to upgrade to the F-22A Raptor and C-17A Globemaster III; worked (and was working) to get improvements funding for all state airports; and instrumental in reviving the cargo division of Aloha Airlines, after its closure, were among his many accomplishments.

The senator was a true American hero. He was a World War II veteran, a soldier in the 442nd RCT "Go For Broke", who lost his right arm in combat. He went on to serve in Congress, and spent the past five decades as the state's senator, with the last few years as President Pro Temporé.

On a personal note, I had the opportunity to meet Senator Inouye during the F-22A Raptor blessing at HIK, in July 2010. He was one of the speakers during the event, and toured the pair of Raptors that were parked behind the stage. My one regret, was not getting a photo with him.

Hawaiian To Double OGG-LAX For Summer 2013

Hawaiian Airlines announced this morning, that they will double the amount of flights between OGG and LAX for the 2013 summer travel season (13 June - 25 August), from one to two. Both flights will be served by their 767-300ERs.


More information in this Hawaiian Airlines press release.

16 December 2012

Malaysia's 9M-MPB

Another Malaysia Airlines' 747-4H6s is being ferried to ROW from SZB (via HNL). 9M-MPB "Shah Alam" (c/n 25699, l/n 965) is flying as MAS5448, and departs tomorrow for ROW at 0600HST.

9M-MPB was delivered to Malaysia Airlines in April 1993. For a three-year period (July 2005 - May 2008), it wore the colorful "Hibiscus" special livery.

Sorry, no HNL photo.

China Southern's B-2952

China Southern Airlines is sending B-2592 (c/n 27519, l/n 2678), a 737-31B, to GWO [Greenwood-Leflore, Greenwood, MS] via OAK. B-2592 stopped over from MAJ yesterday, and will head off to OAK around 0100HST. It's been reported that this 737-31B will be salvaged for parts, then scrapped.

B-2952 was delivered to Chiana Southern in December 1994.

Mahalo to team member OGGTurbojets for the above photo.

15 December 2012

Lion Air's PK-LKM

Lion Airlines' PK-LKM (c/n 38726, l/n 4284) made an early morning fuel stop at HNL, as their delivery flight had been delayed from its mid-day BFI departure time. The 737-9GPER arrived this morning, at HNL at 0205HST, and left three hours later for MAJ.

Sorry, no HNL photo.

14 December 2012

WestJet Leases Thomas Cook 757s

For the second consecutive winter season, WestJet Airlines is wet-leasing a Thomas Cook 757-2Y0, G-FCLJ (c/n 26160, l/n 555) for its flights from YYC to HNL. WJA3008/3009 [YYC-HNL-YYC] starts its service today. WestJet is also leasing G-WJAN (c/n 28674, l/n 746), which is flying WJA3004/3005 [YYC-OGG-YYC]. G-WJAN was wet-leased for last winter's Alberta-based flights.

12 December 2012

Atlas Air's N852GT

One of Atlas Air's 747-87UFs, N852GT (c/n 37571, l/n 1462), is making the Polar Air Cargo flight, PAC202, from CVG, that continues onto SYD and HKG. So far, of Atlas' four 747-87UFs, N852GT is the only currently to wear the full Atlas livery.  PAC202 parked on the Ewa Hardstands during its HNL stopover, as the south cargo ramp spots were filled. N852GT is seen above departing Runway 8R for SYD.

Air China's B-5696

Air China is taking delivery of B-5696 (c/n 40019, l/n 4275) today. The 737-89L, their third within the past 30 days, is flying as CCA51, and will overnight at HNL. B-5696 is seen above, shortly after arriving from BFI.

China Southern's B-2539

B-2539 (c/n 26068, l/n 2306) is another China Southern Airlines 737-3Y0, leased from GPA, that's being ferried to the US mainland. It arrived at HNL yesterday afternoon as CSN2002 from HAK (via LAO, SPN and MAJ). B-2539, seen above on the south ramp, departs for MZJ (via OAK) later tonight.

11 December 2012

Au Revoir F-WWDD

After, its Hawai‘i stopover, F-WWDD departed from Runway 8R today, for HKG as AIB101. 

There was quite a turnout at the Lagoon Drive General Aviation lot, as a few dozen people showed up to catch a glimpse of the "Super Jumbo". The parking lot was almost full, as the departure time approached. As F-WWDD taxied along Taxiway RB, people rushed to line up along the fence line, or stood on their cars to get their photo of the A380. As soon as the big bird made its turn to heading 155°, the lot emptied within a couple of minutes. 

10 December 2012

Qantas' VH-ZXB

Qantas Airways has begun the phase out process of its Rolls-Royce RB211-524H-powered 767-336ERs from its fleet. The seven, acquired from British Airways, are being withdrawn from service, and ferried to ROW. The first of which, is VH-ZXB (c/n 24338, l/n 293), which is flying from SYD as QFA6025, and will make a stop at HNL later this evening.

24338 was originally delivered to British Airways as G-BNWF in May 1990, and even wore the "Scottish Tartan", Benyhone tail livery for a time. It was acquired by Qantas in November 2000.

photo to follow ...

Malaysia's 9M-MXM

Malaysia Airlines is taking delivery of 9M-MXM (c/n 40140, l/n 4276) today. The 737-8H6 is flying as MAS5473, and will overnight at HNL.

Sorry, we weren't able to get a photo of 9M-MXM at HNL.

09 December 2012

A380 Demo Visits HNL

F-WWDD (msn 004), an A380-861, one of the Airbus Industrie [VK/AIB] A380 demonstrators paid a visit to HNL today, in an event hosted by Hawaiian Airlines. The Super Jumbo is flying as AIB101, and their call-sign is "Airbus101Super". F-WWDD is seen in the top photo, rolling out on Runway 8L. It exited on Taxiway K, and taxied to Gate 29 via Taxiways A and D (above).

F-WWDD's first flight took place in October 2005. It was built with Rolls-Royce Trent 970 engines, and designated as an A380-841 variant. According to Airbus Senior Vice President of A380 Marketing Richard Carcaillet, this airframe has only 3,000 flight hours on it. As a demonstrator, it has worn temporary liveries of Emirates Airlines [EK/UAE], Singapore Airlines [SQ/SIA], Lufthansa (fuselage titles only) [LH/DLH], and Etihad Airways (fuselage only) [EY/ETD]. As seen in the photos on this post, it now wears the "Love At First Flight A<380" titles along with the Airbus house colors. In May 2009, F-WWDD was re-fitted with Engine Alliance GP7270 engines, and re-designated as an A380-861. As with the other Airbus airliners, the version codes designates the type of engines used on the aircraft.

Airbus Senior Vice President of A380 Marketing Richard Carcaillet and Hawaiian Airlines President & CEO Mark Dunkerley held a pre-arrival briefing at Gate 29. The flight, we were told, originated from TLS, and its flight time was approximately 15 hours, 15 minutes.

The interior of F-WWDD is quite bare, but filled with water ballasts, test equipment, a master control panel for the flight test engineer. There are several seats in the forward upper deck for the group that flies with the A380.

A maile lei, and five orchid lei were placed around the fuselage of F-WWDD. Each strand measured over 200 feet in length.

Video courtesy of team member Aeros, of F-WWDD landing on Runway 8L.

KITV's video report on F-WWDD's arrival by reporter Nana Ohkawa and videographer Sonny Ahuna.

A380 Demonstrator (F-WWDD)

F-WWDD landed at HNL at about 2:20pm this afternoon, en route to HKG.  These pictures were shot from Ewa Beach Park as it was on approach to Runway 8L.  This is the first time the A380 has made a scheduled visit to HNL; Qantas A380s have previously landed here for medical diversions while flying LAX-SYD.

Air China's B-2472

Air China's B-2472 (c/n 30158, l/n 1243) made a stop at HIK this afternoon from MBJ (Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay, Jamaica). The 747-4J6 landed on Runway 4R, and taxied to the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam ramp, behind the A380 demonstrator flight. It's seen above, on Taxiway A, shortly after F-WWDD parked at Gate 29. We deduct that this is a government flight, as B-2472 parked at HIK.

08 December 2012

Nok Air's HS-DDO

Nok Air [DD/NOK] is returning one of their 737-4Y0s leased from GECAS, HS-DDO (c/n 26081, l/n 2442), is seen above, taxiing out from the Bradley Pacific Aviation ramp. It's returning to the mainland, destination unknown, and will be re-registered as N291CS later on.

26081 was originally purchased by Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA) in March 1993, then leased to AirBerlin [AB/BER] as D-ABAF. BER sub-leased it to Pegasus Airlines [PC/PGT] during its time, as TC-AFU. Philippine Airlines was the next lessee as EI-CVP in February 2001. GPA sold 26081 to GECAS in 2006. Ukraine International Airlines [PS/AUI] was the next lessee in February 2006, and registered as UR-GAR. Nok Air began its lease from December 2010.

Mahalo to team member Lono68 for the heads-up and photo!

A380 To HNL 9 December

Just in case you all don't know this already, an A380 is supposed to arrive at about 1430 on Sunday, 9 December. Not sure if it will RON nor where it will park. Anyone know more? Surely Mark Dunkerley isn't thinking of acquiring one! :-) But oh my, she'd be oh so pretty painted in Pualani colors.

07 December 2012

Hawai‘i ANG F-22As On Alert Duty

The 199th FS re-assumed the air defense mission of the Hawaiian Islands, as the squadron's (and co-squadron 19thFS) F-22A Raptors received full operational certification.

More information in this news article from the 15th Wing's website.

China Southern's B-5699

China Southern Airlines is taking delivery of B-5699 (c/n 38935, l/n 4274) today. It's their second 737-81B in the past four weeks, and is delivering as CSN121. It's seen above taxiing to the AirService Hawaii ramp, on Taxiway C, after landing on Runway 26L.

06 December 2012

Aloha No, Montana ANG

The detachment of the Montana Air National Guard's 186th FS / 120th FW assigned to temporary duty at HIK comes to an end today at 0000Z (1400L).

The Montana ANG was brought in during the Hawai‘i ANG's transition from the F-15 to the F-22, to fill the role of air defense around the Hawaiian Islands.

The six F-15Cs, pilots, and support personnel ends a 28-month mission, that was scheduled to last 18 months, but was extended due to the maintenance issue with the F-22 oxygen delivery system.

Mahalo to "The Vigilantes" for keeping our skies safe.

05 December 2012

Shandong's B-5652

Shandong Airlines is taking delivery of B-5652 (c/n 39126, l/n 4271) today. The 737-85N is making its delivery flight from BFI as CDG5652, and will overnight at HNL. It's seen above, pulling into Hard Stand J, where it will overnight, before heading off to MAJ tomorrow morning.

Lion Air's PK-LKO

Lion Airlines is taking delivery of PK-LKO (c/n 38684, l/n 4266) today. The 737-9GPER is making its delivery flight as LNI1, and will make its customary brief fuel-stop at HNL. It's seen above taxiing in the alleyway leading to the Castle & Cooke Aviation ramp.

04 December 2012

VH-TJG 737-476

An ex-QF 737-476, VH-TJG (c/n 24432, l/n 1879), is making its way from Australia to the California desert.  It arrived today, December 4, from MEL via SYD and APW as QFA6027.  HNL is the last stop before it heads to its final destination, VCV.  

This aircraft was originally delivered to Australian Airlines on July 3, 1990.  Australian Airlines was bought out by Qantas in 1992.  Ownership of VH-TJG transferred to Qantas when the airlines fully merged in 1993.

Samsung 737-7EG BBJ

Samsung's BBJ HL7759 (c/n 35990, l/n 2107) has stopped in HNL for a visit.  It has been parked on the North Ramp since Monday.  It was previously in HNL between March 8-March 15.

03 December 2012


Another former United Airlines 737-524, N19621 (c/n 27334, l/n 2661, f/n 0621), is making its way to Indonesia to join the Sriwijaya Airlines fleet, under lease from Well Fargo Bank Northwest. It arrived from MCC yesterday, and was scheduled to depart today for MAJ.

Hawaiian Announces HNL-TPE Service

Hawaiian Airlines announced early this morning, that they plan to launch thrice-weekly non-stop A330-243 service between HNL and TPE in July 2013. This would be the only non-stop flight between the two destinations, since China Airlines has discontinued their non-stop TPE-HNL (CAL2/1) flight two years ago.

Currently, the only service between HNL and TPE is the daily one-stop flight offered by China Airlines (CAL18/17), that stops at NRT.

Further information in this Hawaiian Airlines press release.

01 December 2012

November Deliveries

Here were the 737NG delivery flights that stopped through Hawai‘i in November:
4238 | PK-LKK | 38725 | Lion Airlines | -8GP [11.05.12 LNI1]
4237 | 9M-MLQ | 39327 | Malaysia Airlines | -8FZ [11.06.12 MAS5403]
4246 | 9M-MXL | 40139 | Malaysia Airlines | -8H6 [11.09.12 MAS5473]
4244 | B-5698 | 38933 | China Southern Airlines | -81B [11.10.12 CSN5698]
4245 | B-5722 | 41785 | China United Airlines | -89P [11.12.12 CUA577]
4241 | B-5692 | 41301 | Shanghai Airlines | -8SH [11.14.12 CSH692]
4236 | PK-LKL | 38683 | Lion Airlines | -9GPER [11.16.12 LNI1]
4251 | B-5695 | 40018 | Air China | -89L [11.16.12 CCA51]
4257 | 9M-MLR | 39328 | Malaysia Airlines | -8FZ [11.20.12 MAS5403]
4258 | B-5295 | 39723 | China Eastern Airlines | -79P* [11.30.12 CES299]
4262 | B-5693 | 40037 | Air China | -89L [11.30.12 CCA51]

Shanghai's B-2858

Our December edition of "HNL RareBirds Classics" takes us back to June 2004, with the delivery flight of Shanghai Airlines' B-2858 (c/n 33960, l/n 1045). This 757-26D made a stop at HNL, from BFI, and overnighted on the Bradley Pacific Aviation ramp. The China-bound 757-200 deliveries followed the same path as the 737 delivery flights.

B-2858 continues to fly with Shanghai Airlines.