We spent a couple of days at Mackay - for work of course! - and managed to fit in some time at Mackay Airport - including some great early freight movements early on Friday 29 July.
As mentioned below, we were very lucky to capture some great photos of Qantas Freight (operating for StarTrack Express) / Express Freighters Australia Boeing B737-376(BDSF) VH-XML as it operated through Mackay Airport on its week-daily freight run up the North Queensland coast. VH-XML had only just emerged from the maintenance hangar in Melbourne last weekend where the new StarTrack titles were applied to the aircraft. VH-XML arrived into Mackay Airport from Brisbane QFA7342 and later departed to Townsville and Cairns. This new freight run commenced in early July.
Also early on Friday 29 July, we were able to capture some photos of Toll Freight (Toll Aviation) ATR 42-300(F) VH-TOX as it passed through Mackay Airport. The week-daily TFX6 flight continues to operate from Brisbane to Mackay and Townsville.
And completing the trio of morning freight arrivals into Mackay Airport on Friday 29 July was Pel-Air SAAB 340A Freighter VH-KDB which touched down from Brisbane and Rockhampton as PFY7416/7418. This service operates on behalf of Qantas Freight.
A couple of other interesting movements at Mackay Airport was by the locally-based Embraer EMB-550 Legacy 500 bizjet N142GZ which flew to Brisbane and back on Friday 29 July.
Mackay Helicopters Bell 222 VH-TOR was noted operating marine pilot transfer flights from Mackay Airport to the Blossom Banks and back.
Mackay Helicopters has also recently bought-out the other local operator Whitsunday Helicopters and are now operating their three Aerospatiale/Eurocopter AS.350 Squirrel helicopters also on marine pilot transfer flights to Blossom Banks like VH-HBZ pictured below on Saturday 30 July.
Aerospatiale AS.350BA VH-HBZ was recently being operated by Stirling Helicopters out at Theodore.
Finally, commercial aircraft that were captured at Mackay Airport and that have interesting stories to tell included QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen VH-LQL - which is pictured arriving from Rockhampton on Friday 29 July as QLK2306 - and has recently had its Taronga Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo livery removed.
Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPR is pictured on Friday 29 July departing Mackay Airport for Sydney as VOZ1474. Reports surfaced late last week that the Mackay to Sydney direct service will be ceased by Virgin from January 2017.
Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-YFR is also pictured departing Mackay Airport also on Friday 29 July but as VOZ616 to Brisbane. VH-YFR wears small commemorative titles celebrating that it is the 100th aircraft operated by Virgin Australia / Virgin Blue Airlines.
Jetstar Airways Airbus A320 VH-XSJ was captured arriving from Brisbane as JST888 also on Friday 29 July.
Early on Saturday 30 July, QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOI was captured departing to Brisbane as QLK2511. VH-QOI has had its 'Tamworth Country Music Festival' colour scheme removed - which is probably a good thing given how faded it was starting to look!
Later on Saturday 30 July, we captured some nice photos as Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPN touched down on Mackay Airport's Runway 14 as VOZ613.
VH-ZPN remained parked at Mackay Airport for the night and departed back to Brisbane around dawn on Sunday 31 July as VOZ600.
One final interesting arrival was by Jetstar Airways Airbus A320 VH-JQL. It is pictured arriving at Mackay Airport from Brisbane on Saturday 30 July as JST888.
Of interest, VH-JQL has recently been in the paint-shop having its old and faded original Jetstar livery removed and the newest livery applied. I think it looks a lot nicer!
I also recently spotted the 'original' Jetstar A320 VH-JQG at Townsville Airport after it too recently received a paint-job into the new Jetstar livery.
A great couple of days in the sugar city!