Sunday, 1 June 2014

Boeing 737 VH-VBX out of the shoe box

Another stray pic from the olde shoe box.
The Boeing 737-705 c/n 29092 was rolled out from the Boeing factory at Renton, Washington on the first of April 1999. As line number 260 it was built to an order by  the Australian company Babcock and Brown Management. It first flew under its pending Norwegian registration of LN-TUG on 21-04-1999 and was delivered, and officially registered, to Braathens A.S.A on 07-05-1999.
It was withdrawn and parked up in about mid 2002 until a new lease saw it painted up in full Virgin Blue marks in July of 2003. Its Australian registration of VH-VBX came into force on 23-07-2003 - registered to Babcock and Brown Aircraft Management (BBAM), on lease to Virgin Blue Airlines Pty Ltd and was named "Sultry Sapphire".
 It was flown down to ANZES Christchurch NZ for pre entry into service work and then flown from Christchurch to Brisbane on 22-08-2003 to operate its first Virgin revenue service on the 5th of September. 
It was transferred back to BBAM at end of lease and was back at ANZES Christchurch on 21-10-2004 for end of lease maintenance.
The photo below shows it in its new Chinese livery but still in its VH-VBX registration at Christchurch on 28-11-2004.
Its Australian registration was cancelled on 30-11-2004 as it had been leased to Hainan Airlines with a sub lease to Chang An Airlines on the same date and with the new registration of B-5092.
On December first it ferried out of Christchurch (presumably as B-5092) via Australia to Guanzhou-Xian. Its sub lease was moved to Lucky Airlines about mid 2008..
In March of 2009 BBAM went into voluntary liquidation and the next that I know is that B-5092 was flown to the UK and stored until broken up sometime in 2013.

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