Saturday, June 22, 2019

Second Qantas / QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXK in New 'Silver-Roo' Colours Finally Visits CQ at Hamilton Island Airport

On Friday 21 June, QantasLink (Cobham Aviation-operated) Boeing B717-200 VH-NXK made its first visit into Central Queensland since it was re-painted into the new Qantas / QantasLink 'Silver-Roo' colour scheme.

VH-NXK at Canberra soon after emerging from the Paint Shop

It called in to Hamilton Island Airport while operating the QJE1572/1573 service from and back to Sydney.

Of interest, today, on Saturday 22 June, it also called into Mackay Airport while operating the QJE1768/1769 service from and back to Brisbane.  It appears that VH-NXK then ventured to Western Australia.

VH-NXK emerged from the Flying Colours paint-shop at Townsville Airport at the start of June and is the second 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-NXK has now been named 'Eucla National Park'.

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

VH-NXM at Adelaide Airport in 2013  (File photo)

Of interest, VH-NXK has had an interesting history to the present day.  The Boeing B717-231 (c/n 55092-5077) was originally ordered new in 2001 by Trans World Airlines (TWA) in the USA and entered the US Aircraft Register as N2452A in August 2001.  It was transferred to American Airlines when the airlines merged in December 2001 but was withdrawn from use and stored at Victorville, California in April 2002.

After being returned to Pembroke 717 Leasing, the B717 was soon cancelled from the US Aircraft Register and entered the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-VQF being leased to Qantas for operation by QantasLink but with Impulse Airlines as the registered operator.  VH-VQF eventually arrived into Australia at Newcastle (Williamtown) in May 2002.

VH-VQF was leased to Jetstar Airways as the registered operator in December 2003 and operated for the Qantas low-cost carrier until January 2006.

In February 2006, it was re-registered VH-YQF and was withdrawn from use and stored at Brisbane until November 2006, when it ferried to Newcastle.

After National Jet Systems (now Cobham Aviation Services) was awarded the contract to operate services for QantasLink, the B717 was re-registered VH-NXK in March 2007 and soon after, it ferried to Perth to commence operations in Western Australia.

VH-NXK departs Rockhampton Airport in 2015  (File photo)

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

Photos taken by Rowan McKeever and Tony Haynes  ©

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