15 July 2016

Hau‘oli Lā Hānau Boeing!

The HNL RareBirds Team wished the Boeing Aircraft Company a Happy 100th Birthday!

Boeing aircraft began flying to Hawai‘i with the Boeing 314 Clippers, with Pan American Airways. As more airlines began serving the Hawaiian Islands, the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser made trans-Pacific flights from the mainland by United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and Pan Am. 

Ushering the jet age, a Qantas Airways 707-138 made the first passenger jet flight to HNL, and opened the door Pan Am, Trans World Airlines, Western Airlines, Continental Airlines, and American Airlines, to serve HNL with 707 flights. South Pacific Island Airways and AeroAmerica were the last airlines with 707 service.

The 717-200, formerly the MD-95, is represented in Hawai‘i with Hawaiian Airlines.

Continental's Air Micronesia was the only airline to have passenger 727 service that lasted until the late 1990s.  Currently, Asia Pacific Airlines has 727-200 freighters serving HNL.

At the time, Aloha Airlines was the the only inter-island carrier to bring the Boeing 737 to Hawai‘i. Beginning with the -100, the airline had -200s, -300s, 400s, and -700s in their fleet until its closure in 2008. Continental began 737-800 service with their "Air Mike" routes to replace aforementioned 727 flights. Presently, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, WestJet Airlines, and Fiji Airways have trans-Pacific 737NG flights; and Aloha Air Cargo has 737-200 and -300 cargo flights, and Trans Air has -200 cargo flights within the islands. Hawai‘i is also the first stop for Pacific island-hopping 737 delivery flights.

Pan Am and United were the first airlines to serve HNL with the 747. Continental, TWA, Northwest Airlines, Japan Airlines, China Airlines, Korean Airlines, All Nippon Airways, America West Airlines, Air Siam, and Air Hawaii, all served HNL with 747s at one time. Currently, Delta has the only 747-400 passenger service, with United bringing them in on fleet substitutions. On the cargo side, Atlas Air, Polar Air, UPS and Kalitta Air currently have 747F service to HNL.

The 757 has been a staple for US carriers for flights from the west coast. America West, American, Continental, Delta, Allegiant Air, Northwest Airlines, Omni Air International and United all served Hawai‘i with the 757. Presently, America, Delta, Allegiant, and United have passenger flights, and Asia Pacific Airlines has cargo flights with their 757-200F. China-bound 757 delivery flights used to make HNL a stopover point from BFI.

The 767 replaced many tri-jet and 747 flights.  American, Delta, Hawaiian, All Nippon, Omni, Japan, and UPS all have 767 flights currently serving Hawai‘i. When they were in service, TWA and Continental had 767 flights serving HNL. Qantas and Air New Zealand had 767-300 service but has since replaced them.

When the 777 was introduced in the mid-90s, United was the first airline to serve HNL with their -200s. Currently, United and Japan have 777-200 service, and Korean has 777-300 service to HNL.

The new 787 Dreamliner has five airlines serving HNL: Air New Zealand, All Nippon, Japan, JetStar Airways, and United.

On the military side, the Hawai‘i Air National Guard has the KC-135R Stratotanker in the 203rd ARS, and the C-17A GlobemasterIII in the 204th AS. Omega Air Tanker 707-320Bs occasionally stop through HNL while re-fueling transiting US Navy and US Marine Corps fighters across the Pacific.

There are also a couple of Boeing Stearman bi-wing training aircraft from the 1940s that are owned on O‘ahu.

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