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Retiring Delta Air Lines Captain Charters Entire Airbus A330neo To Fly Family To Hawaii

by Staff

Summary

  • A Delta Airlines pilot retires after 30 years, chartering his own A330neo to Hawaii for his friends and family to enjoy.
  • Retirement flights are traditionally marked with water salutes, speeches, or wing waves.



On February 28, a Delta Air Lines captain, Cpt Rosenkranz, retired after working for the carrier since 1991.

Any pilot retiring gets to celebrate and bring their family along. This captain took this to the next level and chartered an A330neo for his family and friends to enjoy. As shared by @airlinevideos on X, formerly Twitter, the aircraft itself was a pretty special choice.

The A330neo used for the flight was N411DX, a two-year-old A330-900 delivered new to Delta. This aircraft is unique as it wears the “Team USA” livery and was chartered by the United States Olympic team during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.


According to the aviation blog Paddle Your Own Kanoo, the pilot also invited other pilots along on the flight, particularly those who had retired during the pandemic and thus couldn’t organize their own retirement flights.

According to Flightradar24, N411DX flew from Los Angeles (LAX) to Kailua-Kona (KOA) as DL8871. That’s not a regular Delta flight, or a regular flight number, but one reserved for special flights such as this charter operation.

The aircraft took off from LAX on February 27 at just after 11:00. The five-and-a-bit-hour trip to Kona saw it arriving at around 14:30, but it wasn’t to stop on the paradise island for long. The next day, it departed Kona at 09:00, arriving back at LAX at around 15:30.



Delta’s charter operations

Delta does allow the chartering of its aircraft for private flights; indeed, it has a raft of aircraft available to charter, from the 109-passenger Airbus A220-100 up to the behemoth Boeing 767-400ER. But the A330-900 trumps even that, with a passenger capacity of 281, compared to the -400ERs 238.

The flight must have been a spacious and comfortable affair, given that only around 100 people were thought to be onboard. Delta doesn’t publish its prices for chartering aircraft, but a flight using the A330neo wouldn’t come cheap… perhaps Captain Rosenkranz got a ‘staff discount,’ and he certainly saved on the cost of hiring flight crew!

Related

5 US Airlines That Let You Charter Their Aircraft For Private Flights

A look at five major US airlines that organize private charters.


Retirement flights: a cause for celebration

Chartering a long-haul widebody aircraft is not exactly a common way to celebrate the end of a piloting career. Still, the industry does have a tradition of marking those special occasions for pilots. The most typical way to mark the occasion is water salutes. These are also sometimes used when an airline retires an aircraft type and when a new route is inaugurated.

This is what it looks like from the cockpit; it is an emotional moment for the pilot, his family, and his friends.

Other creative ways of marking the occasion are wing waves, such as the one performed recently by a retiring pilot by waving the wings side to side upon departure – a way of bidding farewell and thanking the staff on the ground. They are often performed on delivery flights.


Retirement flights allow pilots to look back at their careers and celebrate with loved ones. Whether with water salutes or by letting the captain rent out the jet, airlines are accommodating in allowing their dedicated flight crews to celebrate in their favorite way.

Have you witnessed a retirement flight, or have you been on one? How was it? Let us know in the comments below.

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