As of right now, the last 5 aircraft in the fleet, fleet numbers 5812/13/14/15/16 have been or are in the process of being converted to and certified for etops operation. The remainder of the fleet will be done at a rate of about one a month - they get sent to Boeing at Everett to add the relevent equipment. The etops proving flights carried FAA personnel and check out all sorts of what-ifs....like simulating how to deal with loss of pressurization or the loss of a generator mid-ocean. No, there were no non-revs allowed.
As the remainder of the -300s become certified, you will see additional services to Hawaii being announced. Yes, SFO
is on the cards as is PDX
, and yes I can see a second SEA
eventually too.....I think one or two of these will be announced for December. I haven't heard about LAS
, but that would be possible too. NWA certainly think they have found a niche in the Hawaii market with the -300. Problem is that they only have 16 aircraft and also need them for such markets as MSP
. And yes, non-revving to/from the west coast on the 757-300 will be a real challenge - better have back-up plans as mentioned in the good suggestions mentioned earlier in this thread. At least with OGG
beginning in July versus the original OGG
, there should not be any payload restrictions.
The extra NRT
service - NWA 24/23 will be three days a week with a 747-200 and will be operating from mid July to the end of August. NWA are very good at adding frequencies in markets for short durations to suit market peaks, so this flight will certainly operate again at other times of the year too. The KIX
operation with a DC10 was announced as being seasonal, but it will be year-round. As for NGO
, as the Japanese market rebounds, there have been discussions about this being reinstated with the DC10.