30 April 2013

Japan Airlines Upgrades

Japan Airlines announced that three of their Japan-HNL flights will be upgraded from 767-346ERs to 777-246ERs, indefinitely. These flights will feature the JAL Shell Flat Seat in first class.

NRT-HNL:  June 1st (JAL782/781)
NGO-HNL: July 12th
KIX-HNL: September 1st.

Further details in this Japan Airlines press release.

Golden Week Charters

Hawaiian Airlines and Omni Air International are flying Golden Week charter flights from Japan to HNL. Some of the flights include:  HAL910 (KIX-HNL), OAE606 (NRT-HNL), and OAE607 (HIJ-HNL). Both airlines are using 767-300ERs for these flights.

27 April 2013

Batik's PK-LBH

Batik Airlines took delivery of their second 737-9GPER last night. PK-LBH (c/n 38730, l/n 4430) made a late-night gas & go tech stop at HNL, as PKLBH. This was the former Lion Airlines' PK-LKV, which was allocated to Batik.

Sorry, we were unable to get a photo of PK-LBH at HNL, but "BFIBravo"got a shot of it at BFI.

24 April 2013

United 777-222 Landing On 26R

Normally during Kona winds, widebody aircraft land on the "Reef Runway", Runway 26L.  Today, a United Airlines 777-222 flying in as UAL201, IAH-HNL, made a surprising landing on 26R. I haven't seen anything larger than a 737-800 land on 26R before today.

Here's N779UA (c/n 29641, l/n 35) just about to land on 26R.  This was actually the second attempt at landing.  In the first attempt, the aircraft started turning late to line up with the runway, and was still banking at this point.  The pilots leveled off and initiated a go around.  On the second attempt, they took a much wider approach and had a much more stabilized approach.  Below is N779UA just before the nose gear touches down with the thrust reversers opening up.

23 April 2013

Ex-Malaysia Airlines 9M-MRK

A 777-2H6ER formerly belonging to Malaysia Airlines arrived at HNL this afternoon. 9M-MRK (c/n 28418, l/n 231) flew in from Kuala Lumpur International (WMKK/KUL) as MAS5448.

9M-MRK was originally delivered to Malaysia Airlines in July 1999.

Malaysia Airlines is currently in the process of acquiring new A330s and A380s and is slowly withdrawing the 777s and 747s from its long haul fleet.

China Southern's B-5739

China Southern Airlines is taking delivery of their third 737-81B in the past two weeks. B-5739 (c/n 38943, l/n 4427) is making its delivery flight from BFI today, as CSN423, and will overnight at HNL.

Hebei's B-5753

Hebei Airlines is taking delivery of B-5753 (c/n 39331, l/n 4402) today. The 737-85C is making its delivery flight from BFI as HBH5753. Parent company, Xiamen Airlines originally ordered this 737, then allocated it to Hebei.

22 April 2013

Island Air's New CEO

The ownership group for Island Air has named Paul Casey as their CEO. Les Murashige will remain as president, running daily operations. The move was made as the airline seeks further growth and potential expansion.

Paul Casey is no stranger to the Hawai‘i airline market, as he was CEO of Hawaiian Airlines from 1997 to 2002.

Further information in this Hawaii News Now article.

Qantas' VH-TJK

Qantas Airways is sending VH-TJK "Ibis" (c/n 24436, l/n 1998), a 737-476, to VCV for storage. It's flying from MEL to VCV (via SYD, APW, and HNL) as QFA6027.

VH-TJK was originally delivered to Australian Airlines in February 1991, and absorbed into the Qantas fleet when the two carriers merged in October 1993.

21 April 2013

New Japan Airlines Flight Numbers

If you have not noticed, Japan Airlines has changed the flight numbers for its HNL flights from NRT, NGO, and KIX.  The changes listed below were effective from March 31.

  • JL76/JL75 (old)
  • JL786/JL785 (new)
  • JL74/JL73 (old)
  • JL784/JL783 (new)
  • JL72/JL71 (old)
  • JL782/JL781 (new)
  • JL78/JL77 (old)
  • JL791/JL792 (new)
  • JL84/JL83 (old)
  • JL794/JL793 (new)
The HND flight number has not changed and remains JL80/JL89.

Spotting In Phoenix And Southwest Adventures

I went on a trip in March to Phoenix to catch some Spring Training baseball.  While in Phoenix, I found a great place to do some spotting - Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe.

This picture was taken from Hayden Butte, a small mountain next to ASU's Sun Devil Stadium.  Just half way up the trail, you can see PHX and downtown Phoenix.  The ASU campus in Tempe is located to the east and slightly south of PHX's 2 7-25 runways.  The building in the lower right corner is the headquarters of U.S. Airways.

Once at the top, Hayden Butte is a great place to spot aircraft landing (or taking off depending on the winds) to both sides of PHX.  The US A320 in the picture is landing on the north side of PHX (that's the best zoom on my camera).  Aircraft landing on the south side fly much closer to the mountain.

You don't have to hike up Hayden Butte to watch the aircraft fly by.  You can sit in the shade at the light rail station or Sun Devil Stadium and watch aircraft pass overhead, which I ended up doing as the trail is rather steep and it was a hot day. 

After watching a couple of spring training games, my next stop was Las Vegas. My flight on Southwest was uneventful until we were about to land.  I had a window seat and just as we were passing over the piano keys, the engines spooled up and we started climbing again.  I just experienced my first go-around!  Once we leveled off, the pilots explained that the aircraft that landed before us did not exit the runway in time for us to land.

The night before I was to leave LAS, I got another surprise from Southwest.  My non-stop flight to SJC was cancelled.  My only other option to get to SJC in time for my Hawaiian flight to HNL was fly to BUR and change planes.  It was nice to be able to board and deplane using stairs and walking across the ramp, something I haven't done since I last flew to KOA in 2002.  Luckily, the flights were lightly loaded and I was able to make it to my flight in SJC about 10 minutes before boarding started.

Aloha ‘Oe N584HA

Yesterday, Hawaiian Airlines ferried 767-3G5ER, N584HA "Kioea" (c/n 24258, l/n 255), to GYR. It's lease with ILFC is expiring, and is one of four 767-300ERs that will leave the fleet this year.

19 April 2013

Qantas' VH-XZE

Qantas Airways is taking delivery of VH-XZE (c/n 39369, l/n 4421) today. This 737-838 is making its delivery flight from BFI as QFA6024, and will overnight at HNL. This is their second 737 delivery in the past two weeks.

Air China's B-5729

Air China is taking delivery of B-5729 (c/n 40038, l/n 4422) today. This 737-89L is making its delivery flight from BFI as CCA51, which will overnight at HNL.

17 April 2013

Comlux Malta's 9H-GMT

Normally, we don't post private jet photos, unless they are BizJet versions of airliners. However, charter airline Comlux Malta has this gold-clad Dassault Falcon 900LX, 9H-GMT (msn 247), in their fleet. It arrived on Monday from LIH, and departed to ANC today as MLM93.

Island Air's N342AT Livery

Island Air's N342AT has had decals applied for its service with the airline. The aircraft is named "Ho‘opa‘a" (Hawaiian for fast).

China Eastern's B-5802

China Easter Airlines is taking delivery of their third Yunnan Peacock liveried 737-79P today. B-5802 (c/n 39725, l/n 4418) is making its delivery flight from BFI as CES599. It will overnight at HNL upon arrival (above). This is also their second peacock liveried 737-79P that features orange as the main color.

16 April 2013

Xiamen's B-5751

Xiamen Airlines is taking delivery of B-5751 (c/n 38400, l/n 4419) this morning. The 737-85C is making its delivery flight out of BFI as CXA5751, and will overnight at HNL when it arrives. It's seen above the next morning, as it taxies out for departure to MAJ.

15 April 2013

Batik's PK-LBG

Batik Airlines, Lion Air Group's full-service subsidiary, is taking delivery of their first (of ten) 737-9GPER today. PK-LBG (c/n 38688, l/n 4414) is making its delivery flight using its registration as its identifier. Like other Lion Group deliveries, PK-LBG's stop at HNL was a brief two-hour layover. It's seen above rolling out on Runway 4R as it arrives from BFI.

38688 was originally ordered by parent Lion Airlines as PK-LKW. It was thought that Lion's Malaysian subsidiary, Malindo Air, was going to receive this 737-9GPER, but was allocated to Batik, Lion's new Indonesian full-service subsidiary, that will operate internationally and domestically. 

Fly Marianas' EI-TAB

Fly Marianas, the new airline venture from Fly Micronesia LLC, will not not launch as anticipated. They planned to operate a single A320-323, EI-TAB (msn 1624) leased from CIT.

Fly Micronesia LLC also operated as the short-lived Fly Guam, from March to December 2011 with 737-400, N238AG.

EI-TAB was purchased by CIT, and leased to TACA International in June 2002. TACA sub-leased the A320 to Cubana from June 2003 to December 2008. TACA operated EI-TAB until October 2012, after which it was stored at GYR, where it remains.

Further information in this Airliners Gallery article.

14 April 2013


N295AL (c/n 27126, l/n 2730), another former Air China 737-3Z0 has made a stopover at KOA while making its way to MZJ from CTU, as it has been acquired by Air Lease Corp.

27126 was originally delivered to China Southwest Airlines as B-2590 in September 1992. It was absorbed into the Air China fleet when CCA merged with CXN in November 2003.

Sorry, we were unable to get a photo of N295AL at KOA.

13 April 2013

Lion's PK-LKS Crashes

Today, Lion Air's PK-LKS (c/n 38728, l/n 4350), formerly Malindo Air's 9M-LNB, crashed on final approach, short of the runway at DPS. The 737-8GP, delivered on 19 February (above photo), was ordered by Lion Air, but allocated to it's Malaysian subsidiary Malindo for its service launch. It was returned to Lion on March 20, as Malindo is going for an all-737-9GPER fleet.

Thankfully, all 101 passengers and crew of seven escaped with only minor injuries.

Further information in this Aviation Herald article, and this BBC article

China Southern's B-5748

China Southern Airlines is taking delivery of their second 737-81B in three days. B-5748 (c/n 41302, l/n 4415) is making its delivery flight from BFI this morning as CSN48. It will overnight at HNL upon arrival. Since mid-February, this would be China Southern's sixth 737-81B delivered.

Sorry, we weren't able to get a photo of B-5748 at HNL, but team member Drewski2112 got a photo of it at BFI.

12 April 2013

Hawaiian's N392HA

Hawaiian Airlines has taken delivery of their second A430-243 in as many days. N392HA "Hikianalia" [Spica] (msn 1404) made its delivery flight from TLS to LAX, where it entered service.

11 April 2013

Thomson's G-OOBE

Thomson Airways' G-OOBE "Explorer" (c/n 33100, l/n 1029) is making another stopover at HNL as part of another round-the-world trip in partnership with TCS & Starquest Expeditions. The 757-28A is flying as TOM993, and arrived from LAX this afternoon. As seen above, G-OOBE's portside is painted with the TCS & Starquest Expeditions' livery.

This is the second time this 757 has been here on a round-the-world charter, the last time was March 2012.

10 April 2013

Virgin America To Hawai‘i?

In an interview with Airline Reporter, Virgin America CEO David Cush intimated that the airline plans to enter the west coast-Hawai‘i market in 2015, as the airline receives more Sharklet-equipped Airbus A320s (part of a 40-plane order to boost the fleet to 90 by 2016).

Virgin America is currently a code-share partner with Hawaiian Airlines.

The Sharklets, similar to the Blended Winglets on 737NGs, enhance performance parameters of the A320 series. It's noted in the Virgin America press release if any of this current order (which also includes an option for 20 more A320 series) if these airliners will have the New Engine Option (NEO).

Virgin America's N634VA (msn 3359) is pictured above in a 2010 photo taken at LAX, on short final to Runway 24R.

Hawaiian's N391HA

Hawaiian Airlines has taken delivery of their 11th A330-243 today. N391HA (msn 1399) "Hokulei" (Capella) made its delivery flight from TLS to LAX as HAL8401.

China Southern's B-5740

China Southern Airlines is taking delivery of their fourth 737-81B in the past month. B-5740 (c/n 38944, l/n 4409) is making its delivery flight from as CSN7, and will overnight at HNL.

Hawaiian's Two Big Announcements

Ni hao! 
The first major announcement by Hawaiian Airlines this morning, is that they plan to start thrice-weekly A330-243 service between HNL and PEK (HAL888/887) in April 2014, pending governmental approval by both nations.  Beijing would be the tenth international destination for Hawaiian in the past three years.

Hawaiian would become the first airline to offer non-stop scheduled service between the two airports. A few years ago, Hainan Airlines announced they were launching a PEK-HNL route with an A340-600, but has yet to start service.

The other major announcement by Hawaiian, is that they will be terminating the HNL-MNL (HAL 455/456) service at the end of July this year. According to the airline, the route had been under-performing due to fares and fuel prices.

Further details in this Hawaiian Airlines press release.

09 April 2013

Shandong's B-5727

Shandong Airlines is taking delivery of B-5727 (c/n 39110, l/n 4406) this morning. The 737-85N is making its delivery flight as CDG5727, and will overnight at HNL.

08 April 2013


A former Air China 737-3Z0, N294AL (c/n 27047, l/n 2357), is being ferried to MZJ from CTU (via GUM, MAJ, and KOA). It was recently acquired by Air Lease Corp. N294AL arrived last night from MAJ, and left this morning for MZJ.

27047 was originally delivered to China Southwest Airlines in September 1992 as B-2586. Air China transferred this 737-3Z0 into their fleet when they acquired China Southwest in March 2004.

07 April 2013

American Airlines 767-323ER In New Livery

American Airlines' new livery has shown up in HNL.  The 767-323ER used on today's American Airlines flight AA123 from DFW, N368AA (cn 25195/404), is shown here painted in the new livery.

My impression of the new livery is mixed.  The forward part of the fuselage with the new logo and American titles looks fine.  As for the tail section, it just doesn't look right.  When I saw the vertical stabilizer cut off by the AA 757, like the cropped picture below, I thought it actually looked good.  The alternating color gradient of the blue stripes looks really nice.  But, when I saw the entire tail section with the red/white/silvery gray stripes continue past the vertical stabilizer, it looks gaudy instead.

05 April 2013


A former World Airways MD-11, N278WA (c/n 48746, l/n 597), is making its way to CGK from VCV, via HNL. It arrived yesterday, and parked on the North Ramp. N278WA is owned by the Boeing Capital Corporation.

This MD-11 was originally delivered to World Airways in March 1996. Over the years, N278WA has been leased to Philippine Airlines, El Al Israel Airlines, Avianca Colombia, Air Asia, Garuda Indonesia, and SonAir.

N278WA is destined for Avient Cargo of Zimbabwe, after some maintenance work at CGK.

04 April 2013

Royal Jet's A6-DFR

One of Royal Jet's BBJs, A6-DFR (c/n 30884, l/n 747), a 737-7BC, is paying a visit to HNL.

30884 was originally delivered to the Jordanian Government as VP-BFA in January 2004. It was re-registered as VP-BFE in October 2007. The Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight acquired the BBJ and registered as the current A6-DFR in November 2007. Royal Jet added to its fleet in June 2010. The BBJ is outfitted with a VIP interior.

Malaysia's 9M-MSC

Malaysia Airlines is taking delivery of their second 737-8H6 in the past ten days. 9M-MSC (c/n 40145, l/n 4405) is making its delivery flight from BFI as MAS5473, and will overnight at HNL before continuing onto MAJ tomorrow (above photo).

Qantas' VH-XZD

Qantas' newest 737-838 is making its way across the Pacific. VH-XZD (c/n 39368, l/n 4400) wears the name "Moranbah" and will continue on to Australia as QFA6024 tomorrow morning.

03 April 2013

Aloha's N743AL Now With Southwest

A former Aloha Airlines 737-76N, N743AL (c/n 28654, l/n 986), that was leased from GECAS, has been acquired by Southwest Airlines, and will be registered as N7811F (f/n 7811). This is one of two former Air Berlin 737-700s that Southwest is picking up. Both are currently at BFI, in its former carrier's livery, awaiting their new livery.

After it's three-year-plus stint with Aloha (January 2002 - December 2005), this 737-76N was leased to Air Berlin as D-ABBS from December 2005 to March 2013.

N743AL is seen above in this August 2005 photo, seconds from touching down on Runway 26R, completing another west coast run. This would be one more ETOPS 737-700 in the Southwest fleet.

Mahalo to Joe G. Walker for the information.

02 April 2013

Hainan's B-5289

Hainan Airlines is taking delivery of their first 737-74P today. B-5289 (c/n 39198, l/n 4395) is making its delivery flight from BFI as B5289. It's seen above clearing Taxiway C, for its South Ramp Hardstand parking spot.

Hainan has three 737-76Ns leased from GECAS, but they were absorbed into the parent fleet from their subsidiaries.

01 April 2013

MSP RareBirds

Heading home from MSP on March 17th. Here are some of the Delta airliners that we don't see at HNL taken at Concourse G.

Delta's A320-212, N337NW (msn 358, f/n 3237), parked at Gate G13.

Delta's 757-232, N694DL (c/n 29726, l/n 831, f/n 694), being loaded at Gate G15, wears "The Spirit of Freedom" special markings on the nose section.

Delta's MD-90-30, N908DA (c/n 53388, l/n 2117, f/n 9208), starting its engines after being pushed out from Gate G19.

While taxiing out for departure on Runway 17, we passed by this former Northwest Airlines DC-9-31, N960N (c/n 47256, l/n 326, f/n 9910), that's now a fire/rescue trainer for the MSP ARFF.

Northwest's N239NW

Our April edition of "HNL RareBirds Classics" features Northwest Airlines' DC-10-30, N239NW (c/n 48290, l/n 435, f/n 1239), seen above on Taxiway RT, in May 2004. It had received the final NWA livery a month prior to this photograph being taken.

48290 was originally delivered to Thai Airways in December 1987, as HS-TMB. In April 1998, Northwest acquired this DC-10-30, and registered as N239NW. In October 2006, Omni Air International acquired, and registered it as N612AX. Since February 2012, it has been in storage at GYR.

In July 2003, I rode N239NW from SEA to HNL, when it wore the tri-color "bowling shoe" livery.

March 2013 Deliveries

These were the nine 737NG deliveries for March 2013:
4370 | B-5719 | 38940 | China Southern Airlines | -81B [03.08.13 CSN805]
4372 | B-5726 | 38883 | Shandong Airlines | -85N [03.12.13 CDG5726]
4375 | B-5707 | 38399 | Xiamen Airlines | -85N [03.13.13 CXA5707]
4368 | 9M-LNF | 38687 | Malindo Air | -9GPER [03.13.13 MLO1]
4379 | B-5720 | 38941 | China Southern Airlines | -81B [03.19.13 CSN520]
4381 | B-5713 | 39197 | Hainan Airlines | -84P [03.20.13 B5713]
4385 | 9M-MSB | 40144 | Malaysia Airlines | -8H6 [03.25.13 MAS5473]
4388 | B-5721 | 38942 | China Southern Airlines | -81B [03.26.13 CSN201]
4383 | B-5756 | 39724 | China Eastern Airlines | -89P* [03.29.13 CES599]

-800: 8
-900ER: 1

China: 7
Malaysia: 1
Indonesia: 1