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YMHB Spotting 2021 Week 2

Settling into the new normal at HBA

Despite the absence of any particularly unusual arrivals this week, I still managed to photograph five aircraft I haven’t had the opportunity to before, as well as finally getting to see a QantasFreight departure!

Formerly Virgin Samoa’s sole aircraft, from March 2015, to the end of the airline in November 2017, 9 year old VH-YID made a fairly late touchdown. In combination with that, the reduced thrust due to the hot temperatures, caused them to miss both taxiways, before turning round a few hundred meters from the end of the runway and taxiing back.

As the third last Saab 340 off the production line, VH-VEF is one of the youngest around, and joined the FlyCorporate fleet in August 2018. After spending much of its life flying with Mesaba Airlines on behalf of Northwest and later Delta, it then spent a year flying for the US government in Kenya, and at the time of writing is just over 22 years old.

The Jetstar group has a habit of shuffling aircraft between airlines, and VH-XSJ is no different, having been delivered to Jetstar Asia of Singapore in February 2013, it was then transferred to the parent airline, Jetstar Australia in March 2014. Its usually quite easy to tell which aircraft were transferred to the Aussie operations, as they generally have out of sequence registrations, many starting with X??, rather than the normal V?? for Jetstar aircraft.

Until early February, Cathay should be operating thrice weekly Boeing 777s into Hobart, and last Wednesday’s flight was finally a third different aircraft, B-KQR, that has been operating for Cathay for almost six and a half years now. On a side note, I just found out tonight’s flight will be operated by -KPY, so expect pictures in next week’s spotting update.

VH-YQV was the sole YQ? series 717 that had managed to evade my lens, until Wednesday! QantasLink have 717s of a variety of ages, but YQV is their second newest, and is the fourth last aircraft off the DC9/MD80/B717 production line. Relative to some of QLink’s other 717s -YQV has had a fairly simple history, only operated by two airlines previously; Midwest Airlines and MexicanaClick.

VH-XMR, along with QFreight’s other 737-300SF’s was originally delivered to Australian Airlines (the successor to TAA) in June 1987, and since then has operated at VH-TAY for Qantas, ZK-JNA for Qantas’ Kiwi arm Jetconnect, VH-XMR for Qantas before being converted to a freighter for Qantas’ original freight arm, Australian Air Express, that then became Express Freighters Australia, and finally started operating on behalf of QantasFreight in May 2013. I hope you’ve enjoyed this spotting update, don’t forget to check back on Wednesday for my final trip report for the foreseeable future.

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