30 April 2010

Xiamen's B-5512

Xiamen Airlines is taking delivery of their second 737-85C this month. B-5512 (c/n 37577) is making its delivery flight as CXA5512, and made its stop at HNL later today.

Sorry, no HNL photo ...

ex-Far East Air Transport N644AL

Another former Far Eastern Air Transport 757-27A, N644AL (c/n 29607), has made a stop at HNL. Previously registered as B-27011, it was delivered to FAT in August 1998.

It's now owned by Aerolease 757 MSN 29607 LLC (Plano, TX).

For its HNL stop, N644AL is parked on the north ramp.

*** Update 05.02.10 ***
N644AL left this early morning for VQQ.

29 April 2010

China Eastern's B-2269

The fourth China Eastern Airlines MD-90-30 to be ferried to the mainland to join the Delta Air Lines fleet, is B-2269 (c/n 53589). It arrived from PVG via SPN and MAJ yesterday.

*** Update 04.30.10 ***
B-2269 left at 22:00 for MZJ via OAK.

Reduced Service From Asia

The global economic recession has rippled to affect airline service between Asia and Hawai‘i.

With Japan Airlines' October 30 exit from KOA, flights to the Neighbor Islands from Japan end. Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi and state tourism officials are pleading with JAL to restore JAZ70/79. It is a tough loss to the Big Island and the tourist industry there. JAL, however, needs to restructure their business model to regain profitability, and exit bankruptcy.

With JAL's downsizing of their fleet (see below), HNL traffic is expected to lose around 625 seats per day with the switch from their 747-446 to their 767-346ERs, including the addition of their HND flight. JAL is expected announce further actions in August.

Korean Airlines recently switched from their 747-4B5s to their A330-323Xs on their ICN-HNL flight (KAL52/51), results in a loss of 80 seats per day.

On a brighter note, All Nippon Airlines (ANA1052/1051) has upgraded from their 767-381ERs to their 777-281s, and results in an average gain of at least 70 seats per flight. That's depending on which seating layout ANA uses, currently they have three different seating arrangements for their 772 fleet ranging from 233 (3-class) to 358 (2-class).

Finding the right airline, aircraft, and destination demand may seem easier than it is, especially when serving the Neighbor Islands. JAL feels its better off directing their Neighbor Island traffic to inter-island carriers.

* Observation *
What the airlines could do, is what United does with their ORD-OGG flight (UAL3), it makes a fuel stop at KOA, since the OGG runway is too short for their 777-222s to make it to ORD. Airlines could do the same with NRT-OGG, then make a stop in KOA to take on more fuel to return to NRT ... that way they could serve two Neighbor Islands with one flight.

At one point, Maui was courting JAL for OGG service, but since the runway is too short, return flights would need to make a stop. Proposals to lengthen OGG's Rwy 2/20 have been met with opposition, saying that a longer runway will allow more tourists on the Valley Isle.

Being that both UA and DL already serve OGG and KOA, they would have existing infrastructure to handle the flights. ANA could use UA's ground handling as they do at HNL.

Should HA receive authority for their proposed HND-HNL flight(s), it could open the door for them as well.

28 April 2010

Hawaiian Air Accepts N380HA

In an acceptance ceremony held in Toulouse, France (TLS) today, Hawaiian Airlines accepted its first Airbus A330-243, N380HA (msn 1104), "Makali‘i". N380HA is being leased from CIT Leasing.

The ceremony, which was streamed live on the Airbus website, showed Kahu Aaron Mahi blessing "Makali‘i", HA CEO Mark Dunkerley and Airbus COO John Leahy untying a maile lei at the entry door, as well as Hawaiian entertainment. The event's culminating moments were the signing of the agreement with Dunkerley, Leahy, and CIT Leasing's Jeff Knittle; and the exchange of gifts between Hawaiian Air, Airbus, CIT, and Rolls-Royce.

In the above copyrighted photo by Airbus, Hawaiian Air CEO Mark Dunkerley (with N380HA in the background) delivers his address prior to dinner. A big mahalo to Hawaiian Air & McNeil Wilson Communications for sharing this photo with us, and the permission to post it.

JAL Makes Major Announcement

Japan Airlines announced sweeping changes in a press release issued today.

Affecting Hawai‘i is the cancellation of JAZ70/79, the NRT-KOA flights effective October 30, 2010, and closing their KOA office. Also, with the retirement of their 46-plane 747-446 fleet (along with 22 A300B-600s), 767-346ERs will be the replacement aircraft for the Boeing jumbos, not their 777-246ERs. There will be a new daily flight serving HNL from HND beginning October 31, 2010. With fleet adjustment, there will be an estimated daily net loss of 625 seats.

JA613J (c/n 33849) is seen above departing Rwy 22L as JAZ79 to NRT after its stop at HNL from KOA.

27 April 2010


An ex-Piedmont Airlines (US Airways Express) Dash 8-102, N846EX (msn 328), is being ferried from YYC to Asia(?) via GTF, CCR, and HNL today.

*** 04.28.10 Update ***
N846EX continues onto MAJ.

26 April 2010

Garuda's PK-GMJ

Garuda Indonesia is taking delivery of PK-GMJ (c/n 30144), a 737-8U3 today. It's on its delivery flight as GIA8011.

24 April 2010

CO & UA In Merger Talks?

It looks like the merger talks between United Airlines and US Airways have broken off and now Continental Airlines has stepped into the picture, courting UA for a possible merger.

If US is now available, who will they seek to dance with next?

Hong Kong Airlines' B-KBT

Hong Kong Airlines is taking delivery of a new 737-84P, B-KBT (c/n 37422), which is leased from its parent comapnay, Hainan Airlines (HNA Group). It arrived yesterday as HKE8002. I was told of this flight arrival, but could not get accurate flight info online. It's scheduled to leave this morning for GUM.

Team member Drewski2112 got a shot of it at BFI. As you can tell in the photo, the 73H lacks titles. Since the photo was taken in mid-March, it's not sure whether "Hong Kong Airlines" were added.

23 April 2010

Air China's B-5507

Another new Air China 737-89L, B-5507 (c/n 36753), is on its delivery flight to PEK as CCA58, that is transiting through HNL, MAJ, and SPN. It's seen above taxiing to its south ramp parking spot to overnight at HNL.

22 April 2010

Continental's N13720

Continental Airlines ferried their Star Alliance 737-724, N13720 (c/n 28939) to HNL from MIA via IAH and LAX. According to a well-placed source, there are a few -724s that will be replacing some of the -824s assigned to GUM.

Mahalo to team member Aeros for the photo!

Xiamen's B-5511

Xiamen Airlines' B-5511 (c/n 37576), is their newest 737-85C, and is making its delivery flight as CXA5511.

21 April 2010

JAL's Golden Week Outlook

JAL Group is forecasting a lower Golden Week pax rate than last year, especially to international destinations. On a brighter look, extra charter flights to HNL is to be expected during the eight-day national holiday.

Just4Airlines.com article link.

Flight School Hawaii Closes

Flight School Hawaii has closed its doors due to the economic recession.

Howard Dicus' blog

USAF F-15E "Gunfighters"

Two USAF F-15E Strike Eagles have been gracing the skies for a few weeks. Ship 90-0254 (c/n 1191/E156) of the 366th Gunbusters based out of Mountain Home AFB, Idaho is seen here returning to Hickam.

19 April 2010

Garuda's PK-GMI

Garuda Indonesia's next 737-8U3, PK-GMI (c/n 30143), is making its delivery trek from BFI to CGK as GIA8011.

Sorry, no HNL photo ... though Drewski2112 got a photo of it departing BFI.

18 April 2010


A 737-242/Adv, N131MS (c/n 22074), owned by Michael Slabaugh (Miami, FL), is in town. It was once registered as YA-GAC with Kam Air (Kabul, Afghanistan), leased from Phoenix Aviation (Sharjah, UAE).

22074 was originally delivered to Nordair (Canada) in 11/1979 as C-GNDM, then integrated in the CP Air, then Canadian International as Canadian carriers consolidated. In 1991, it then went onto Cayman Airways as VR-CYB. Four years later, it went onto Aviateca as N127GU. 22074 was then acquired by Phoenix Aviation, and registered as EX-047, then leased to Kam Air. The most registration was XU-U4F with PMT Air (Cambodia).

FlightAware has flight tracked (so far) from MNL-GUM-MAJ-HNL ...

Mahalo to team member Lono68 for the above photo.

15 April 2010

Blue Angels Return To K-Bay

The US Navy's Blue Angels Aerial Demonstration Team returns to Marine Corps Air Field Kāne‘ohe Bay on September 25 and 26 for the "Kāne‘ohe Bay Air Show".

Honolulu Advertiser article link.

Shandong's B-5526

Shandong Airlines' B-5526 (c/n 31717), is their newest 737-8FZ (leased from BBAM), and is making its delivery from BFI as CDG5526.

China Eastern's B-5265

China Eastern Airlines' B-5265 (c/n 36767), a 737-79P, in the "Better City, Better Life" special livery for the Expo 2010 being held in Shanghai, which is China Eastern's home base. It's making its delivery flight across the Pacific as CES299, and is seen above on the AirService Hawaii ramp.

China Eastern's B-2258

As China Eastern receives more Boeing 737NGs, they are retiring their McDonnell-Douglas MD-90 fleet. Delta Air Lines is acquiring their entire 9-plane MD-90 inventory. The first MD-90 went to MZJ (Pinal Airpark, Marana, AZ), while the second went to GSO (Piedmont Triad Intl Airport, Greensboro, NC) to be integrated into the DL fleet.

B-2258 (c/n 53584) is the third of these MD-90s is making its way from PVG to MZJ as CES599, and is seen above on the Bradley Pacific Aviation ramp.

14 April 2010

ex-Far East Air Transport N646AL

A Far East Air Transport "FAT" (EF/FEA), 757-27A has made a tech stop at HNL on its way to the mainland from TPE. N646AL (c/n 29611), is owned by Aerolease 757 MSN 29611, LLC (Plano, TX). It was the former B-27021 in the Far East Air Transport fleet, and was delivered in January 2000.

B-27021 was also wet leased to EVA Air for a time between 2003 and 2004.

N646AL arrived earlier this morning, and will head for VQQ (Cecil Field Airport, Jacksonville, FL) after midnight.

13 April 2010

Alaska Adds HNL-PDX

Alaska Airlines will add service between HNL and PDX beginning September 20.

Hawai‘i News Now link.

Shanghai's B-5269

Shanghai Airlines' B-5269 (c/n 35779), a 737-76D, is on its delivery flight from BFI to PVG as CSH269. It will make its over-night tech stop @ HNL today.

B-5269 is seen above taxiing to Rwy 8R to depart for MAJ.

12 April 2010

Hawaiian Air Wins 2009 Award

Hawaiian Air has won the 2009 Airline Quality Award!

Hawai‘i News Now link.

11 April 2010


An Airbus A320-323, N941LF (msn 461) , owned by ACG Acquisitions LLC (Newport Beach, CA), made a brief tech stop at HNL yesterday. It's headed westward toward Asia.

N941LF was originally delivered to LACSA, with both the original and the Grupo TACA liveries. In 2003, it then went onto airTran, though the A320 flights were operated by Ryan International (titles by main entry door).

07 April 2010

UA & US In Merger Talks

United Airlines and US Airways are currently in "advanced merger talks" in another attempt to combine forces.

Wall St. Journal, and L.A. Times coverage.

Should the merger be approved, there's no word on how it will affect flights to/from Hawai‘i. Currently, US serves PHX from HNL (2), OGG (2), and KOA, plus HNL and CLT. UA serves HNL from NRT, KIX, LAX (4), SFO (5), DEN, and ORD; LIH from LAX and SFO; OGG from ORD (return via KOA), LAX (3), SFO (3), and DEN; and KOA from LAX (2), SFO (2), DEN, and ORD (via OGG).

US Airways also announced that their non-stop service between CLT and HNL (AWE807/808) will end in September.

Continental 757-33N

Ex-ATA N550TZ, Continental's N73860 (c/n 32584/972) made a tech stop this morning on its way to Cleveland as CO1941 after receiving new paint, interior and winglets in Hong Kong. I believe that this is the fourth (or possibly third) ex-ATA metal that Continental acquired.

JAL To Cut 16,000+ Jobs

In order to streamline their operations, Japan Airlines plans to eliminate over 16,000 jobs and over 30 flights. Some reports have flight cuts reaching 50.

The only possible affect on Hawai‘i is the NRT-KOA flight, JAZ70, operated by a 767-346ER. The return flight, JAZ79, makes a stop at HNL before returning to NRT.

With the addition of the 787, Japan Airlines also plans to retire their 747-446 fleet within the near future. Their fleet types will be simplified to the 737-846, 767-346ER, 777-246, 777-346, and 787-846.

The Yahoo! / Reuters news link.

06 April 2010

Flickr Photostream

I just started a Flickr Photostream of my HNL RareBirds photos. Currently, it's a work in progress, as I add older RareBirds photos. Please pardon the lack of info on some of the photos, I'll be adding them soon. The photos will be be categorized by year. I may do airlines later.

As soon as I post photos here, I'll also post them on the Flickr HNL RareBirds Photostream page.

I'll post an update on our Twitter Page, as to which photos have been uploaded.

01 April 2010

Virgin Blue Orders 105 737NGs

Virgin Blue (Australia) has ordered 105 737NGs, with deliveries beginning in June 2011.

ATW Online article link.

Though HNL rarely sees Virgin Blue delivery flights, OGG and LIH should see their share of the red-clad baby Boeing delivery flights.

Alaska's Retro-Bird

Alaska Airlines retro jet arrived from Seattle as ASA859 Sunday evening. N569AS (c/n 35184/2192) a 737-890, was delivered new to Alaska Airlines back in 2007 already wearing this "Starliner75" paint scheme to commemorate 75 years of service.


A Volga-Dnepr (Волга-Днепр) Airlines Ilyushin Il-76 (Илюшин ИЛ-76ТД-90ВД) is en route to HNL as VDA6202 from FHU (Sierra Vista Municipal Airport, Fort Huachaca, Sierra Vista, AZ). Its ETA to HNL is 13:00HST.

The aircraft arrived around 1220HST, and taxied to HIK ... so much for the photo op! The cargo jet sure looked small.

The above photo courtesy of team member MKU ADX, shows RA-76951 (msn 2073421704), an Il-76TD-90VD. The -90VD series is the new-build, re-engined (Perm PS-90A-76 engines) variant of the classic Soviet-era freighter. In fact, Volga-Dnepr was a financier and launch customer of the Il-76TD-90VD.

China Eastern's B-5501

China Eastern Airlines is taking delivery of B-5501 (c/n 39388), a 737-86N. It's flying from BFI to PVG as CES789, with stops at HNL, MAJ and GUM.