29 May 2019

Airbus At 50 Years

Airbus Industrie is celebrating 50 years of aircraft development!

In its early years, Airbus aircraft did not make many appearances at HNL, until the early 1980s with Wardair Canada, when they used their A310s for service from the Canadian west coast. The A310s continued with other now-defunct Canadian carriers, Royal Air, and Canada 3000. There has not been regular scheduled service with the A300; though there have been several ferry flights that have transited through.

Philippine Airlines and China Airlines had A340-300 service from MNL and TPE (sometimes via NRT) respectively. Philippine Airlines has since converted to the A330-300. China Airlines converted to the A330-300, but has since upgraded to the A350-900.

The A330 series has become quite common at HNL, with Hawaiian Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Korean Air, AirAsia X, China Eastern Airlines, and Air China all serving HNL with the wide-body twin. Qantas Airways and JetStar Airlines had A330 service, but has since converted to Boeing airliners (747-400 and 787-8) for their service to HNL from Australia. Qantas will return to A330-300 service in August.

As far as the A320 series goes, Virgin America was the first to introduce A320ceo ETOPS service between California and HNL in 2015 The airline converted to the A321neo during certain travel periods. Since their merger with Alaska Airlines, service has been converted to the 737NG. Currently, American Airlines uses the A321ceo for its LAX service. Hawaiian Airlines uses the A321neo for  certain routes on their west coast service.

The only A320 series delivery flights to stop through HNL were for Air New Zealand and Freedom Air in mid-2000s. HNL does see ferry flights by Allegiant Air, as they purchase A319s and A320s from Cebu Pacific. Lanmei Airlines has ferried A319s and A320s through from the mainland to Kampuchea. There have also been ACJ flights that have transited through HNL.

All Nippon Airways is the only airline that has scheduled A380 service between NRT and HNL. Prior to ANA's service, there have been several Qantas A380 diversions to HNL for medical and technical reasons.

One of the original CS300 (now, the A220-300) testbeds, C-FFDO, has been here a few times stopping between Canada and Asia. With Airbus taking over the Bombardier CS Series, and renaming it the A220, it has been the subject to the Hawaiian 717-200 replacement speculation.

On the military side, the Royal Canadian Air Force's CC-150 Polaris (A310) transports frequently stop through. The Royal Australian Air Force will transit their KC-330s through Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The Armeé de l'Air will transit A400Ms and A340s through HNL as they go to and from French Polynesia.

Further details on the Airbus celebration in this press release.

24 May 2019

Hawaiian Airlines' N220HA

Hawaiian Airlines has taken delivery of N220HA "Milo" (msn 8872) today. This A321-271N is making its delivery flight from XFW to PAE, via BOS.

ANA's Honu Makes First Revenue Flight

All Nippon Airways' A380 "Lani", JA381A, made its first revenue flight from NRT this morning. Prior to departure, the airline held a pre-boarding ceremony at the gate at NRT. Upon its arrival at HNL, the Blue Honu-liveried Super Jumbo was greeted with a water cannon salute (and left with another salute on the return leg). This was the first of the thrice-weekly flights that ANA will have until July, when the second A380, the green hon, will enter service.

World-renown aviation blogger Sam Chui documented the inbound flight on his YouTube channel.

China Eastern Airlines' B-20AE

China Eastern Airlines is taking delivery of B-20AE (c/n 63093, l/n 7557) today. This 737-89P is making its delivery flight from BFI as CES9002, and will overnight at HNL.

22 May 2019

Japan Airlines' Arashi Special Livery

Japan Airlines has applied decals of the J-pop quintet, Arashi, on JA873J (c/n 34852, l/n 706). This 787-9 Dreamliner also has JAL Hawaii titles over the wing sections. Arashi is in the midst of their 20th anniversary tour, "Arashi Anniversary Tour 5x20", and according to reports, this is also their farewell tour. Today's flight from NRT, JAL782, was JA873J's first flight with the Arashi decals. The return leg to Japan, departed for KIX as JAL791.

On the right side of the 787, are different photos of the quintet, as well as the titles "Arashi Hawaii Jet". This may be a hint that the group may perform in Hawaii on their farewell tour.

JA873J was delivered to Japan Airlines in June 2018, and has been part of the Japan-HNL 787-9 rotation since August 2018. After its return to NRT from HNL on May 10th, it was taken out of service for the decal application process.

Kamaka Air Retires N9796N

Kamaka Air has retired it's Douglas DC-3S, N9796N (c/n 43375). It has been acquired by the Fourrier Foundation Inc [Dallas, TX]. It will be dismantled, and shipped to the mainland for restoration.

15 May 2019


N760AE (c/n 37760, l/n 3545), a 737-86J, is ferrying from DMK [Don Mueang International Airport,  Bangkok, Thailand] to INT [Smith Reynolds International Airport, Winston-Salem, NC], via SPN, JRF, and TUS, by Jet Test as JTN9017.

37760 was originally delivered to Air Berlin in February 2011 as D-ABKQ, under lease from ALC. In November 2015, it was leased to Siam Air as HS-RRR. When Siam Air shut down, it was stored at DMK, and was registered as OE-IFI in February 2017. It was sold to AerSale as N760AE, earlier this month.


N758AE (c/n 37758, l/n 3449), a 737-86J, is ferrying from DMK [Don Mueang International Airport,  Bangkok, Thailand] to INT [Smith Reynolds International Airport, Winston-Salem, NC], via SPN, HNL, and TUS, by Jet Test as JTN9090.

37758 was originally delivered to Air Berlin in October 2010 as D-ABKP, under lease from ALC. In October 2015, it was leased to Siam Air as HS-EEE. When Siam Air shut down, it was stored at DMK, and was registered as OE-IFG in February 2017. It was sold to AerSale as N758AE, earlier this month.

13 May 2019

Southwest Airlines To Serve ITO

Southwest Airlines announced this past weekend that the Dallas-based airline will begin inter-island service to ITO [Hilo, Hawai‘i] from HNL, in the latter part of this year. It's not known if Southwest will serve ITO from any of its California cities.

Further information in this Pacific Business News article.

07 May 2019

Hawaiian Airlines Seeks Re-Launch Service To Fukuoka

Hawaiian Airlines announced today that they are seeking government approval to fly between Honolulu and Fukuoka, Japan, with a proposed start date in November 2019. A330-200 service would be four-times per week. This would be Hawaiian's second venture into Fukuoka, and they had service from April 2012 to February 2014.

At the same time, Delta Air Lines will be ending its HNL-FUK service this month, and the flight numbers will be assigned to Delta's HNL-DTW service that starts in June.

Further information in this Hawaiian Airlines press release.

01 May 2019

DHL's N802DH

Our May edition of "HNL RareBirds Classic" goes back to January 1995, and this DHL Worldwide Express DC-8-73F, N802DH (c/n 46076, l/n 451), seen above on the North Ramp.

46076 was delivered to Air Canada in April 1969 as CF-TIO. In October 1984, it was converted to a DC-8-73F, and registered as C-FTIO. In December 1993, it was sold to MetLife Capital Corporation, and leased to DHL Worldwide Express as N802DH. In August 1998, it was sold to GECC, and the lease was transferred. DHL bought this DC-8 in May 2001. ASTAR Cargo acquired N802DH in June 2003, and operated it for DHL, until August 2011, when it was stored at IGM [Kingman, AZ]. In December 2017, it was bought by Skybus Jet cargo, but remains in storage.

United Airlines' N590HA

United Airlines's N590HA (c/n 33467, l/n 894) is making a stop at HNL from GYR (via LAX) as UAL2714, as it ferries to HKG as UAL2715. This 767-3CBER was formerly with Hawaiian Airlines, and named "Koa‘e‘ula". After its maintenance work in HKG, it will be re-registered as N685UA (f/n 6685).