31 December 2023

Air Premia Launches ICN-HNL Service Today

South Korean hybrid carrier, Air Premia, commenced it's four-times-weekly service today from ICN as APZ5151. HL8517 (c/n 63314, l/n 664), a 787-9, made the inaugural flight, and will return to ICN as APZ5152 this afternoon. This scheduled charter service is scheduled up to 04 March 2024. It's not known if Air Premia will continue after the scheduled end date.

25 December 2023

Mele Kalikimaka!

The HNL RareBirds™ team wishes you all a very Merry Christmas! 

23 December 2023

N53725 Accident On Maui

N53725 (msn 17274808), a Cessna 172P owned by Armin Engert of Kahului, went down shortly after take off this morning. All three aboard survived the crash near Kanaha Pond. Federal investigators will now work to determine the cause of the accident.

Further information in this Hawai‘i News Now report.

18 December 2023

Hawai‘i Bowl Team Charters

The 2023 edition of the Easypost Hawai‘i Bowl features the matchup of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, from the Sun Belt Conference (Conway, South Carolina) and the San José State Spartans, from the Mountain West Conference (San José, California). Both teams are arriving today via Omni Air International from their respective cities.

The game is scheduled for Saturday, 23 Dec 2023, 17:30HAST, at the Clarence TC Ching Field, on the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus. Both teams will return following the bowl game, with both aircraft will stay to the teams home.

Chanticleers Charter Flight:
Omni Air International 777-2U8ER N819AX (c/n 33681, l/n 479), from MYR to HNL as OAE1639.

Spartans Charter Flight:
Omni Air International 767-36NER N468AX (c/n 30115, l/n 863), from SJC to HNL as OAE1644.

23 Dec 2023 UPDATE
The Chanticleers held off a late Spartans rally to take the Easypost Hawai‘i Bowl trophy with a 24-14 win.

The return flights are OAE1651: HNL-MYR; and OAE1650: HNL-SJC.

17 December 2023

QantasLink's VH-X4A

QantasLink operator National Jet Systems, is taking delivery of their first A220-300 (BD-500-1A11), VH-X4A "Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa" (msn 55253). This special livery A220 is painted in a green Aborigine theme. It's making its delivery flight from YMX to SYD, via YVR, HNL, and NAN as QFA6075. VH-X4A is the first of 29 A220-300s for National Jet Systems.

The A220 series still carries the Bombardier model numbers in its classification. The A220-100 is labeled as (BD-500-1A10, formerly the CS100), with the Type Code of BCS1; and the A220-300 as (BD-500-1A11, formerly the CS300), with the Type Code of BCS3.

Hawaiian Airlines To Keep The 717s

According to an article published today on SimpleFlying.com, Alaska Airlines intends to keep the Hawaiian Airlines 717-200 fleet going for at least the next five years, before considering a replacement. Hawaiian has 19 in service, along with another four recently purchased from Boeing Capital, and in storage at VCV.

14 December 2023

Big Island Jet Center Opens At KOA

KOA has a new fixed base operator on its south ramp. The Big Island Jet Center opened for business today. They will join Atlantic Aviation and Signature Flight Support on KOA's South Ramp.


Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM) is ferrying N336CM (c/n 25170, l/n 564) from CAN to GUS [Peru, IN], via GUM, and HNL. This 737-31BERF just completed freighter conversion, is due to be leased to My Freighter (Uzbekistan). It's still wearing its Condor retro livery, and will be re-painted at GUS.

25170's History:
May 1994: Delivered to China Southern Airlines as B-2566, under lease from ILFC.
Dec 1998: Leased to Eurofly as EI-CRF.
Dec 2001: Leased to Alitalia, named "Umberto Nobile".
Aug 2012: Leased to Condor as D-ABUM "Achim", and painted in a retro livery.
Oct 2022: Withdrawn from service, and stored at HHN for three months, then to GYR.
Jun 2023: Acquired by CAM, as N336CM.
Jly 2023: Ferried to CAN for freighter conversion.

Bonza's C-FLHI

Bonza Airline is wet-leasing a second Flair Airlines 737-8. C-FLHI (c/n 61804, l/n 7683, f/n 903) is ferrying from YYC to OOL, via HNL and NAN, as FLE903. It will make a brief fuel-stop at HNL.

C-FLHI's History:
Jun 2021: Delivered to Flair Airlines, under lease from BOC Aviation.
Dec 2023: Subleased to Bonza Airline.

12 December 2023

US Marshals Service's N311MS

N311MS (c/n 30670, l/n 1481), a 737-8Q8, owned by the US Marshals Service (US Department of Justice), is making a stop at HNL from OKC, via VCV, as DOJ96. It's doing a federal inmate transfer flight.

30670's History:
Apr 2004: Delivered to Miami Air International as N739MA (f/n 739), under lease from ILFC.
Jly 2007: Subleased to Martinair for two months.
Apr 2008: Subleased to Transavia Holland for four months.
Jun 2010: Subleased to Arkefly for three months, named "Ely" after return to Miami Air.
Jun 2011: Subleased to Arkefly for two months.
Jun 2012: Subleased to Arkefly for two months.
May 2014: Sold to AerCap, and the lease transferred.
Jun 2018: Operated for Transavia for four months.
Mar 2020: Withdrawn from service, and stored at MIA.
May 2020: Ferried to GYR for storage.
Sep 2020: Registered as N737AS, and painted in a special AerAware livery, for AerSale's AerAware Enhanced Flight Vision System flight test program.
Jan 2022: Leased to the US Marshals Service.
Apr 2022: Acquired by the Department of Justice, and re-registered as N311MS.

13 Dec 2023 UPDATE
N311MS returned to OKC, via VCV, as DOJ98.

11 December 2023

REX Airlines’ VH-8ZL

REX Airlines is taking delivery of VH-8ZL (c/n 39604, l/n 4160). This 737-8EH, leased from DAE Capital, is making its delivery flight from GYR to BNE, via OGG and NAN. It will overnight at OGG tonight.

39604’s History:
Aug 2012: Delivered to GOL Airlines as PR-GUQ, under lease from AWAS.
Aug 2017: Sold to DAE Capital, and the lease transferred.
___ 2018: Repainted in the current livery.
Jan 2023: Withdrawn from service, and stored at GRU.
Sep 2023: Ferried to GYR for storage.

07 December 2023

737MAXs Hinted As Hawaiian Airlines' 717-200 Replacement

During the acquisition presentation between Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, it was noted on page 18, that the Alaska 737s, would be the prime candidate to replace the Hawaiian Airlines 717-200 fleet when that time comes. Alaska has several 737-8s have on order with Boeing, with a total of 85 MAX series on order.

Further analysis in this CH-Aviation report. The yet-to-be-certified 737-7 was also mentioned as a possible replacement, though the -7 has not been mentioned in Alaska's and Boeing's order book.

This past August, Hawaiian Airlines, prior to the acquisition, noted four types that were candidates to replace the 717-200 fleet. We did a comparison and analysis of the four types to see which would be the best fit. With the acquisition by Alaska Airlines, it seems like a moot point.

The two big questions for the 737MAX are, will any of these candidates be able to handle the rigorous schedule that the 717-200s currently maintain, and will Hawaiian have to make adjustments to work with the LEAP-1B cool down times? And with the multitude of inter-island flights, will they be able to accommodate available belly space that Hawaiian uses for a lot of their inter-island cargo operations? 

717-200: RR BR715 | 128 seats | 1,430nm range | 935 cu ft cargo
737-7: CFM LEAP-1B | 138-153 seats | 3,800nm range | 1,139 cu ft cargo
737-8: CFM LEAP-1B | 178 seats | 3,400nm range | 1,540 cu ft cargo

Engines: Both 737MAX variants use the CFM LEAP-1B series.

Seats: Both 737MAX variants offer more seating. At 138 seats, the 737-7 adds 10 more seats, especially with Hawaiian's two-class layout. With the 737-8's 178 seats, it could also allow inter-island flight schedules to be consolidated.

Range: Both 737MAX variants offer ETOPS capability to west coast destinations they choose to fly from any of the islands.

Cargo Volume: Both 737MAX variants offer more cargo belly space.

The 737-7 comes closest to the 717-200, but it's has not been decided by Alaska to add this variant to their order.

Local travel news outlet, Beat of Hawaii, published an article regarding the acquisition and future fleet moves, but it's speculative.

06 December 2023


Nomadic Aviation is ferrying N194AA (c/n 32388, l/n 983) from XMN to GYR, via GUM and JRF, as OMD311. This white-tail 757-223F, owned by AerSale, completed freighter conversion, and being readied for its next lessee. N194AA stopped through JRF in March 2023 en route to freighter conversion.

04 December 2023

N691YW Crashes In Kapolei

N691YW (msn 40.690), a Diamond Aircraft DA-40, owned by George's Aviation, crashed in an empty lot in Kapolei. Both aboard survived, but a 77-year-old was injured, and required hospitalization. The aircraft departed HNL at 12:34L for JRF.

Further details in this Hawai‘i News Now report. N691YW's flight track via Flight Aware flight history.

03 December 2023

Southern Airways Express Ferries Its 3 P2012s To HNL

Southern Airways is having its three Tecnam P2012 Travelers from GUM, where that had been in storage since the shutdown of the Marianas Southern Air venture in April 2023. N401CJ (msn 049/US), N503SA (msn 041/US), and N504SA (msn 048/US) all departed GUM for MAJ on 21 Nov 2023.

 N401CJ and N504SA are making their flights from MAJ today, while N503SA remains at MAJ.

These P2012s will be integrated into the Southern / Mokulele operations here is Hawai‘i, as some of the Mokulele C208Bs are due for maintenance.

07 Dec 2023 UPDATE
N503SA is making its ferry flight today. All 3 P2012s will be parked on the Magnum Helicopters ramp.

Alaska Airlines To Acquire Hawaiian Airlines

Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines announced this morning that the former will acquire the latter for $1.9B USD. Part of the agreement is that both airlines will operate as separate entities. It will be similar to how IAG operates British Airways and Iberia, or the AirFrance / KLM conglomerate, or locally, the the Southern Airways / Mokulele operation. Of all the Hawai‘i - west coast routes that the two airlines, there are only 12 that need to be consolidated. The acquisition will need approval by federal agencies.

Further information in this Alaska Airlines press release, this Hawaiian Airlines press release, and the acquisition website Local Care, Global Reach.

02 December 2023


N889CL "The Pride of America" (c/n 42510, l/n 4499), a 737-8LZ BBJ2 owned by Pasaca Capital, is making a brief fuel stop at HNL this morning. It's arriving from GUM, and will continue onto BUR. The flight originated in WUH.

42510's History:
Jun 2013: Delivered to Boeing Business Jets as N713JM.
Feb 2019: Acquired by TVPX Trust Services.
Jly 2022: Acquired by Pasaca Capital.
Dec 2022: Re-registered as N889CL.

01 December 2023

QantasLink's VH-NXH

Southern Cross International is ferrying VH-NXH "Grampians National Park" (c/n 55055, l/n 5014) from CBR to VCV, with stops at APW and ITO. This 717-2K9 flying as SXI3280, except for the APW-ITO segment, which is being flown as QFA6070.

55055's History:
Dec 1999: Delivered to Bavarian International Aircraft Leasing (BIAL) as N9201S.
Apr 2000: Leased to Impulse Airlines as VH-IMD.
May 2001: Operated for QantasLink by Impulse Airlines.
May 2004: Leased to Jetstar Airways.
Dec 2005: Leased to National Jet Systems, and operated for QantasLink.
Jan 2006: Re-registered as VH-NXH.
Jun 2011: Sold to ANZ Banking Group, and the lease transferred.
Dec 2015: Purchased by National Jet Systems.


NOAA's Gulfstream IV, N49RF "Gonzo" (msn 1246), is making its winter season flight training at HNL. It's scheduled to be based here for a couple of weeks.

19 Dec 2023 UPDATE
NOAA49 departed for PSP this morning, then will continue onto SAV tomorrow.

Malaysia Airlines' 9M-MVD

Malaysia Airlines is taking delivery of their second 737-8, 9M-MVD (c/n 66354, l/n 8745) today. It's flying from BFI to KUL, via HNL and GUM, as MAS5401, and will overnight here tonight.

Air Kiribati's N904RT

Air Kiribati is taking delivery of N904RT (msn 718). This DHC-6-300 Twin Otter is flying from F70 [French Valley Airport, Temecula, CA] to TRW [Bonriki International Airport, Tarawa, Kiribati], via SMX and HNL. It will be re-registered as T3-AKC.

BR Captured got photos of N904RT at TRW, when it arrived.

718's History
Nov 1980: Delivered to ACES Colombia as HK-2548.
Mar 2002: Sold to Aerolinea de Antioquia - ADA.
Apr 2014: Withdrawn from service, and stored at EOH.
Oct 2017: Purchased by Ikhana Group [Murietta, CA] as N904RT.
Nov 2023: Purchased by TVPX Aircraft Solutions as a trustee for Air Kiribati.