Delta Air Lines has been buying used MD-90 aircraft, including nine from Japan Airlines announced yesterday. Amongst the MD-90s on their way to Delta are the only two built in China by SAIC. The first of these imports (N965DN, ex B-2103, SN 60002 / LN 4002) made its way to the United States on 20-23 November, flying MFM-SPN-MAJ-HNL-OAK-MZJ, today's Featured Map. The second (B-2100, SN 60001 / LN 4001) was ferried to the US on 25-28 February via the same routing.
Boeing temporarily installed extra fuel tanks in new 717-200 aircraft in order to deliver them to Hawaiian Airlines. The range of the 717-200 is only 1,430 nautical miles, far short of the 2,014 nm distance between the closest major airports in California and Hawaii, hence the need for the ferry tanks.
Mokulele Airlines wet-leased several Embraer E-170 aircraft from Republic Airways. In this case, Republic solved the range issue by ferrying the aircraft via a circuitous IND-GTF-ANC-ADK-MDY-HNL routing.
Delta's Chinese MD-90-30 aircraft likely made the trip without extra fuel tanks even with a relatively direct routing. The longest segment, HNL-OAK, was 2,093 nm, barely over the 2,400 statute mile (2,086 nm) range of the MD-90-30 with a payload of 155 passengers. With no passengers and tailwinds it seems likely that the ferry flight could be made without added fuel tanks.
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