Sunday, May 12, 2019

First Qantas / QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXD in New 'Silver-Roo' Colours Finally Visits CQ at Mackay Airport

Rather topical after we posted about the various colour schemes on these aircraft on our Facebook page last week, but late on Saturday 11 May, QantasLink (Cobham Aviation-operated) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXD finally made its first visit into Central Queensland since it was re-painted into the new Qantas / QantasLink 'Silver-Roo' colour scheme.

File photo

It had called in on the late afternoon QJE1768/1769 service to Mackay Airport from and back to Brisbane.

VH-NXD emerged from the Flying Colours paint-shop at Townsville Airport in early February and is the first of the fleet of Cobham Aviation-operated Boeing B717-200 regional jets to wear the new and updated Qantas livery and kangaroo logo, which was introduced to coincide with the introduction the Boeing B787 Dreamliner into service with the airline in 2017.

It also appears that the previously un-named VH-NXD has now been named 'Berowra Valley National Park'.

The majority of the QantasLink B717-200 fleet wear the 2007 'New Roo' style livery, while three - VH-NXK (pictured below), VH-NXL and VH-NXM - still wear their original 1984-style livery.

File photo

Of interest, VH-NXD has had an interesting history to the present day.  The Boeing B717-23S (c/n 55062-5031) was originally ordered and registered as VH-AFR in August 2000 and operated for Impulse Airlines until 2001.  At that time, Impulse entered into an agreement to operate services for Qantas as QantasLink in May 2001 and VH-AFR was soon transferred to QantasLink but continued to be operated by Impulse Airlines.

Later in 2001, VH-AFR was re-painted into QantasLink livery and in November 2001, the aircraft was re-registered as VH-VQD.

In 2004 VH-VQD was leased to Jetstar Airways and operated with the low-cost carrier until September 2005.

At that time, National Jet Systems was awarded the contract to operate services for Qantas as QantasLink and soon after, VH-VQD was again re-painted into QantasLink livery.  In October 2005, the B717-200 was re-registered as VH-NXD.

VH-NXD arrives into Gladstone Airport in 2007 'New Roo' colours (File photo)

In March 2009, National Jet Systems was re-branded as Cobham Aviation Services Australia and VH-NXD continues to operate services for QantasLink by Cobham Aviation.  This contract will reportedly run until 2026.

Photos taken by Lloyd Fox and Anthony Schulz  ©️

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