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717atOGG
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Hawaii Aviation Thread

Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:51 pm

It's been a long time since we've had a Hawaii Aviation Thread so here's a new one!
A320/321, A332, 712, 73G/8/9ER, 744, 752/3, E145, E175, CR9
 
Bluewave 707
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:11 pm

there's always hnlrarebirds.com. that's the most current Hawaiʻi-related aviation news site.
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26point2
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:53 am

Is there a plan to upgrade the "cute" but wildly outdated KOA terminal? I like Kona and I like hanging around airports as much the next enthusiast but Kona airport is literally the only airport where I try to minimise the hanging around time. Crap place to eat/drink and wait. Yes, it's fun that there is still the nostalgic air stairs (no jetways) and the planes pull up to a literal gate but the facility needs an overhaul. All waiting is outdoors and much of it in the hot Kona sun. Nice that they have a new ATC tower and fire house though. I enjoy Kona and go several times a year (for work) but as a worldwide resort destination the airport terminal does not cut it. Cute but not adequate in my opinion.

Speaking of Kona....what about the Queen K Highway? Traffic between the airport and Honokohau harbor Is bad and getting worse. Perhaps that's a discussion for a different site.

[Edited 2015-09-24 18:04:03]
 
717atOGG
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:58 am

Well just how bad is the terminal at KOA? I've never been to KOA but I think OGG's terminal needs an upgrade and the runway needs to be extended. If the runway is extended I think OGG could see JFK or PEK or NRT.
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717atOGG
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:01 am

Also does anyone have pictures of KOA's terminal?
A320/321, A332, 712, 73G/8/9ER, 744, 752/3, E145, E175, CR9
 
26point2
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:18 am

Quoting 717atOGG (Reply 3):

KOA works but is outdated and inefficient. It's very Hawaiian in that regard. The pace is slow but eventually the job gets done. When JAL had 747 service to KOA I remember hearing it was the last airport in the world with wide body service that did not sport jetways. All pax used stairs. I cannot confirm this but it sounds reasonable. Fun place for a spotter though as you wait outside at ground level and the planes come and go a stones throw away. I am not a spotter however.....just a dude who wants to go places.
 
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malaysia
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:24 am

If you want a similiar terminal set up like KOA, USM would fit the bill at a smaller scale.

I have been to both airports. The worst time to be at KOA is during a rain storm.
There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
 
BeachBoy
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:35 am

Here is an update on the modernization of the major airports in Hawaii:

http://www.hawaiitourismauthority.or...s%20Airports_R%20Higashi%20Rev.pdf

It also includes nice renderings of what the completed projects will look like. To summarize the major projects:

HNL
1. New mauka concourse.
2. Renaming of interisland terminal to "Terminal 1" and overseas terminal to "Terminal 2" and the concourses A-F. Also includes renumbering of gates.
3. New pedestrian bridges connecting "Terminal 2" to overseas parking garage.
4. New consolidated rental car facility.

OGG
1. Completed new airport access road.
2. New consolidated rental car facility.
3. Lengthening and resurfacing of runway 2-20.

ITO
1. New cargo building

KOA
1. Reconfiguring terminal for a central security checkpoint.
2. New permanent international arrivals building

LIH
1. Expanding check-in area.
2. Enclosing open walkways to enlarge holding rooms.

[Edited 2015-09-25 02:06:20]
 
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Fly-K
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:01 pm

Just been to KOA last month (for the first time) and absolutely loved it. The moment you step off the plane it feels like being on vacation.
Having said that, I arrived on a HA 717 from HNL (and departed on Ohana ATR to OGG), so the stairs and open gates were more than adequate and actually a welcome change over sterile concourses. Maybe it's different when arriving/departing on a widebody and longer flight. But for my part, I hope they won't change much, it's unique (in line iwth USM) in being a "tropical island boutique airport".
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
dlflynhayn
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:57 pm

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 2):
Traffic between the airport and Honokohau harbor Is bad and getting worse

Really i don't think so,it was worse years ago when there was more construction IMHO there is a lot more roads also to access the road above Costco so you don't have to take Queen K..Its not like Oahu on the westside coming into town in the morning now thats traffic.

Quoting malaysia (Reply 6):
The worst time to be at KOA is during a rain storm.

Besides a few tropical storms,Hurricanes Kona hardly rains at all especially down at the airport,Even if Hilo is storming Kona can be blue skys,thanks to Mauna Kea,Mauna Loa and Hualalai mountains storms rarely make it to KOA...
 
diverted
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:09 pm

Don't have a lot to add, but recently Ohana (operated by Empire AIrlines) has taken delivery of at least two ATR72 freighters, N807HC and N810HC ex C-GRMZ and C-GLHR with 7F.
http://worldairlinenews.com/2015/07/...under-the-ohana-by-hawaiian-brand/
 
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malaysia
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:53 pm

Quoting dlflynhayn (Reply 9):
Besides a few tropical storms,Hurricanes Kona hardly rains at all especially down at the airport,Even if Hilo is storming Kona can be blue skys,thanks to Mauna Kea,Mauna Loa and Hualalai mountains storms rarely make it to KOA...

Well last time I was there, I was luckily on the plane already before it rained and the rest of the pax still boarding got soaked.
There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
 
QANTAS747-438
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:46 am

http://hnlrarebirds.blogspot.com/201...virgin-america-proving-flight.html

Looks like VX has begun proving flights to Hawaii.
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
 
717atOGG
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 1:03 am

Has Island Air taken delivery of their Q400's yet?
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HNLPointShoot
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:07 am

Quoting 717atOGG (Reply 13):
Has Island Air taken delivery of their Q400's yet?

According to this Star-Advertiser article from March of this year, no. The first, N360WP (MSN 4481) has been sitting in storage since December 2014 according to airfleets.net. The second was supposed to have been delivered last month, and is probably also in storage right now.

WP management is trying to figure out how the company can make a profit on interisland flights (the airline has been losing money for *years* at this point), and they haven't decided if the Q400 will fit into their plans.
 
covert
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:28 am

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 5):
When JAL had 747 service to KOA I remember hearing it was the last airport in the world with wide body service that did not sport jetways.

Not at all. Many airports on the African continent, for instance get so few aircraft movements a day that the one widebody is usually a AF, SN, KL or BA widebody and the pax have to board using stairs. Even big hub-type airports such as DXB and BKK use remote stands with airstairs during peak periods when all gates are in use.

But I agree, KOA needs a bit of work. Actually, all HI pax terminals could use a makeover, IMO. HNL in particular as an AOE (airport of entry) could use a refresher. I was flying in from NRT recently and noticed how old and run down looking everything was. For a state that relies so much on tourism, one must ask themself is this the image that you want tourists to see when they first arrive to the place that you advertise as paradise?
none
 
717atOGG
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:34 am

Quoting HNLPointShoot (Reply 14):

Well why have they cut down service from HNL, LIH, MKK, LNY, OGG, KOA, and ITO to HNL, LNY, and OGG? If they kept them all they could have a better profit.
A320/321, A332, 712, 73G/8/9ER, 744, 752/3, E145, E175, CR9
 
azjubilee
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:27 am

Quoting BeachBoy (Reply 7):

Nice to finally see an update to the plan. What's not mentioned for HNL however, is the work being done on the Ewa concourse. It looks like they've blocked off the outdoor walkway to the gates from gate 26 to about 28. I thought I read somewhere that the exterior walkway was going to be enclosed and more concessions and waiting areas created.

I think numbering the gates is silly and a waste of time and $$$ Especially adding those C and E gates. How about the focus on getting badly needed projects done on time and within budget, then maintaining those facilities to higher standards. The delays on the modernization projects are inexcusable and a disservice to the operators at the airport, most especially Hawaiian and therefore ultimately the guests.
 
ANA787
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:54 am

Looks like Delta is starting HNL-PDX on December 19th.
 
HAL
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:27 am

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 5):
When JAL had 747 service to KOA I remember hearing it was the last airport in the world with wide body service that did not sport jetways
Quoting covert (Reply 15):
Many airports on the African continent, for instance get so few aircraft movements a day that the one widebody is usually a AF, SN, KL or BA widebody and the pax have to board using stairs.

Adding to that list are two other HA destinations - PPG and PPT. While HA may be the only widebody serving American Samoa, when we arrive in Tahiti the ramp can be full of widebodies, all of which are using stairs.

HAL
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malaysia
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:01 am

American Samoa is trying get another airline to fly PPG-HNL lately.
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717atOGG
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:46 pm

Quoting malaysia (Reply 20):

Maybe DL could do it.

Quoting ANA787 (Reply 18):

What plane are they flying on it? I would guess a 752.
A320/321, A332, 712, 73G/8/9ER, 744, 752/3, E145, E175, CR9
 
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jsnww81
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:40 pm

Quoting BeachBoy (Reply 7):
HNL
1. New mauka concourse.
2. Renaming of interisland terminal to "Terminal 1" and overseas terminal to "Terminal 2" and the concourses A-F. Also includes renumbering of gates.
3. New pedestrian bridges connecting "Terminal 2" to overseas parking garage.
4. New consolidated rental car facility.

Sad to see the "interisland" and "overseas" monikers go away, as those names have been around for decades. It makes sense, given that the interisland terminal now handles overseas flights. But hearing the words "interisland terminal" always took me back to the days of the old one-story building with lava-rock walls and ceilings so low you could jump up and touch them. 
Quoting BeachBoy (Reply 7):
OGG
1. Completed new airport access road.
2. New consolidated rental car facility.
3. Lengthening and resurfacing of runway 2-20.

Have they told anyone else on Maui about plans to lengthen the runway? Always seems to go over so well when they've announced it in the past.

The OGG terminal could really use some love. I still think of it as "new" but the last time I flew through there (in 2014) it was looking really worn-out and dated. And for the love of God, why did they repaint the roof on half of the complex but not the other?

Quoting BeachBoy (Reply 7):
LIH
1. Expanding check-in area.
2. Enclosing open walkways to enlarge holding rooms.

Good to hear. LIH has been a remarkably flexible terminal building over the last 30-odd years but, like OGG, it's starting to show some serious wear.
 
dfwjim1
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:00 pm

A little off topic but when air stairs are used how do airlines deplane those who are physically handicapped to the point
where they need a wheel chair?
 
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malaysia
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:30 pm

Quoting 717atOGG (Reply 21):
Maybe DL could do it.

The articles from Samoa I see are that DL was not interested, it is only AS and UA at the moment that might throw a 738 from Honolulu to Pago Pago in a year or so
There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
 
717atOGG
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:42 pm

Why would AS do it? They don't have a hub on either end and a 738 wouldn't be much competition to HA's 763.
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azjubilee
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:50 am

Quoting malaysia (Reply 20):
American Samoa is trying get another airline to fly PPG-HNL lately.

Haha, fat chance. Lots of hot air from the Governor, but HAL matches capacity to demand and charging what the market will bare.
 
superjeff
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:18 am

Quoting dfwjim1 (Reply 23):
A little off topic but when air stairs are used how do airlines deplane those who are physically handicapped to the point
where they need a wheel chair?

Either by carrying down the passenger down the stairs in an aisle chair, or by using a truck like a catering truck to raise the passenger to the door for boarding or to bring him/her/them down when disembarking.
 
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Ytraveller
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:23 am

Sad to see VX etc starting A320 flights to Hawaii. Hawaii used to be *the* 757 destination, all my flights to Hawaii have been on 757s (except a few HA A332 flights).....

[Edited 2015-09-26 19:24:15]
 
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ua2162
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:30 am

Quoting dfwjim1 (Reply 23):

We have a ramp that leads to the door.

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 2):

Renovations are already starting. Now when they'll be done is a totally different story.

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 2):

Work on the road actually began last week. It'll be four lanes all the way into town. Definitely time.
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:53 am

Quoting 717atOGG (Reply 25):
Why would AS do it? They don't have a hub on either end and a 738 wouldn't be much competition to HA's 763

Funny, AS seems to compete just fine on quite a few routes that they share with HA 763s.
 
717atOGG
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:14 pm

But those routes are more logical, like SEA-HNL or SJC-HNL. Flying to PPG would make a lot less sense unless they make HNL a focus city.
A320/321, A332, 712, 73G/8/9ER, 744, 752/3, E145, E175, CR9
 
717atOGG
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:05 pm

Does HA have a replacement for the 712's set up yet? They're getting a little old. And a new cabin doesn't change the fact that the oldest plane was made in 1998.
A320/321, A332, 712, 73G/8/9ER, 744, 752/3, E145, E175, CR9
 
azjubilee
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:15 pm

Quoting 717atOGG (Reply 32):

No, they're only halfway through their useful life. They have of time left in them and are certainly not old. Years do not define the age of an airplane, cycles do. It has been said many times by the airline that there is not a viable replacement aircraft on the market at the moment.
 
717atOGG
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:47 pm

Quoting azjubilee (Reply 33):

Couldn't the CRJ-900 do it with increased frequency on the routes? And even though age doesn't matter, it wouldn't make sense to keep the 717's until they're about 30. The DC-9-50's were younger than that when they were retired.
A320/321, A332, 712, 73G/8/9ER, 744, 752/3, E145, E175, CR9
 
covert
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:33 am

Well at least Asia Pacific finally moved their 757 away from taxiway F over to the south ramp next to their 727s. I wonder when they are actually planning on flying it?
none
 
covert
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:38 am

Quoting 717atOGG (Reply 34):
Couldn't the CRJ-900 do it

Short answer, no. Pilot scope and contract negotiations.
none
 
azjubilee
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:48 am

Quoting 717atOGG (Reply 34):
Couldn't the CRJ-900 do it with increased frequency on the routes? And even though age doesn't matter, it wouldn't make sense to keep the 717's until they're about 30. The DC-9-50's were younger than that when they were retired.

I'm not following the logic of flying smaller planes at an even greater frequency than HA currently has. Not to mention the costs associated with operating a plane with less seats and the total lack of space. HA is bursting at the seams as it is. HA needs more 717s today, how in the world could they go in the other direction?

As long as there is parts and product support by Boeing, flying the planes beyond 20 years is absolutely a reality. When they reach their cycle limits, they'll have to be retired. The DC9s were retired in favor of the 717 because they were a logical and viable replacement. As said before, at the moment there is no viable replacement in HA's eyes, so they have to be committed to the 717 until such time a replacement makes sense.
 
azjubilee
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:49 am

Quoting covert (Reply 35):
Well at least Asia Pacific finally moved their 757 away from taxiway F over to the south ramp next to their 727s. I wonder when they are actually planning on flying it?

I know right? That thing was a permanent fixture it even had its own NOTAM!
 
BeachBoy
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:04 am

Quoting jsnww81 (Reply 22):
Have they told anyone else on Maui about plans to lengthen the runway? Always seems to go over so well when they've announced it in the past.

The lengthening of the runway is only for an additional 1600 ft to allow for the reconstruction of runway 2-20 without disrupting US mainland flights. Supposedly this plan has the support of the community.

http://mauinow.com/2012/01/24/video-...ahului-runway-rehab-options-aired/
 
covert
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:33 am

http://australianaviation.com.au/201...oves-to-all-787-8-long-haul-fleet/
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/VHEBE

Jetstar operated its very last A330 service ever on Thursday. It just happened to be the HNL-BNE return flight. They are 100% 787 now.
none
 
ha763
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:24 am

Quoting jsnww81 (Reply 22):
The OGG terminal could really use some love. I still think of it as "new" but the last time I flew through there (in 2014) it was looking really worn-out and dated. And for the love of God, why did they repaint the roof on half of the complex but not the other?

The roof is in the process of being replaced. They are now working on Phase 2, which is the other half.
 
MavyWavyATR
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:55 am

Quoting diverted (Reply 10):

Does anybody have any pictures of these birds in the 'Ohana paint?

Quoting 717atOGG (Reply 34):

According to various sources, regional jets don't make the cut for HA. The replacement aircraft they're trying to hunt for will have to be mainline in order to accommodate surfboards and other bulk goods.

Also, on the short Inter Island routes, the 717 currently has the lowest cost in terms of seat miles and downgrading to a CRJ-900 would just send the CASM through the roof.

One last thing, by the time the HA 717's hit 30 years, they'll be out of commission due to cycles.

Quoting 717atOGG (Reply 32):
Quoting azjubilee (Reply 33):
It has been said many times by the airline that there is not a viable replacement aircraft on the market at the moment.

There's two aircraft I personally believe that can handle the task; either the CS100 or the current model of the E190.
 
Passedv1
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:05 am

What does a consolidated rental car facility have to do with having to fix runway 2?
 
dfwjim1
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:09 pm

Quoting MavyWavyATR (Reply 42):

Curious as to why the 737 line and/or smaller Airbus aircraft would not be considered a good replacement for the 717s?
 
commavia
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:17 pm

Not sure if this has already been discussed elsewhere, but I saw recently that AA is going up to 4x daily (so 28x weekly) LAX-OGG next summer - which I believe is the highest frequency AA has ever had in this market, and would also (at least based on presently-published schedules) mark the first time ever that AA has matched United in frequency on this route.
 
MavyWavyATR
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:40 pm

Quoting dfwjim1 (Reply 44):

The reason why is because those aircraft are not optimized for the type of work the 717's currently perform. At HA, the 717 flies up to 16 cycles per day with little rest time in between; a special quality that cannot be matched by current Boeing & Airbus narrowbodies. Also, the 717's powerplant, which is the BR715, is one of the only high bypass turbofans out there that can handle this type of flying without overheating.

Regarding 737's on Inter Island, the only model that's suitable for this task would be the older -200. The late AQ used them for a long time; all the way until their unfortunate demise. They (AQ) tried rotating the -700 variant on Inter Island flights after coming back from the mainland, however; the CFM's were shot after only a couple of hops.

In the end, when HA has to pull the trigger on a 717 replacement; they have to choose an airplane that meets these important qualities. Again, the ones that come close to matching the performance of the 717 would be either the CS100 or the current generation E190.
 
Passedv1
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:07 am

Quoting MavyWavyATR (Reply 46):
Regarding 737's on Inter Island, the only model that's suitable for this task would be the older -200. The late AQ used them for a long time; all the way until their unfortunate demise. They (AQ) tried rotating the -700 variant on Inter Island flights after coming back from the mainland, however; the CFM's were shot after only a couple of hops.

I agree with the sentiment with most of your post, however, this has been the lore for a long time which I think is overstated at best, possibly even flat out wrong.

AQ dabbled in the NG's and the 400's inter-island at various times but I don't think ever did it consistently enough to develop the know-how and procedures to operate the airplanes in the inter-island environment well. AS used 200's then 400's and now NG's in a similar if not harsher environment in Alaska and the airplanes are performing just fine. It did take a little tweaking of procedures operationally (you are right, you can't just taxi up to the gate and shut down every-time, you gotta give the engines there 3 minutes to cool down), but that is relatively minor compared to the near doubling of seating capacity HA would gain if they went to something like a 737-800 or more likely an A320...

...oh wait, they have a bunch coming...

oh wait, they got it into their pilot contract to allow the NEO pilots to fly inter-island pairings.

When they get the NEO's, I think they will be flown inter-island more and more...and when the 717 come up for retirement maybe some new A319's or some additional 320's will do the trick.
 
ha763
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:10 am

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 47):
AQ dabbled in the NG's and the 400's inter-island at various times but I don't think ever did it consistently enough to develop the know-how and procedures to operate the airplanes in the inter-island environment well.

Aloha had 737-300s and 737-400s flying interisland from 1988 through 1996. More than enough time to discover that the CFM engines didn't have the reliability for the interisland schedule. They also knew this when they got the 737-700s and limited their time on interisland flying.

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 47):
AS used 200's then 400's and now NG's in a similar if not harsher environment in Alaska and the airplanes are performing just fine.

It's difficult to compare Alaska to Hawaii since I don't think the frequency of service on Alaska's extremely short routes is or was anything like we have in the interisland market. Plus, those short flights on Alaska are coupled with longer flights.

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 47):
When they get the NEO's, I think they will be flown inter-island more and more...and when the 717 come up for retirement maybe some new A319's or some additional 320's will do the trick.

I doubt it. Hawaiian will want to keep the MTOW for the interisland fleet down because landing fees are based on MTOW. This was one of the reasons they went with the 717. It was lighter than the 737NG and A32X. I see the C-series or E2 being the front runners when the time comes.
 
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RE: Hawaii Aviation Thread

Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:59 pm

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 28):
Sad to see VX etc starting A320 flights to Hawaii. Hawaii used to be *the* 757 destination, all my flights to Hawaii have been on 757s (except a few HA A332 flights).....

There are already a bunch of 73NGs, so I don't think the 320 should be too saddening.

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 2):
Crap place to eat/drink and wait. Yes, it's fun that there is still the nostalgic air stairs (no jetways) and the planes pull up to a literal gate but the facility needs an overhaul. All waiting is outdoors and much of it in the hot Kona sun.

I'd take all of that over the experience at many mainland airports any day. Yes, you're outdoors, but you also don't have to wait in line for security for 20 minutes and then walk 3/4 of a mile to an overcrowded gate area while dodging harried and frantic business types talking on the phone while walking aimlessly and dragging a rolling bag with an 11-foot handle behind them. A little more shade would be nice, of course, but that could be as simple as some umbrellas in the central courtyard areas and the gate waiting areas.

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