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Hawaiian takes delivery of first Airbus A330

Hawaiian Airlines President Mark Dunkerley thanks Airbus for the A330-200 aircraft behind him in Toulouse, France. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7)


Hawaiian Airlines has begun its long-range fleet renewal and expansion program by taking delivery of the first of up to 27 new, wide-body Airbus aircraft that will be integrated into its fleet over the next decade.

Hawaiian took possession of the 294-seat Airbus A330-200 in a formal acceptance ceremony at the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France.

Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO, said, “(This) ceremony marks an important moment in the history of Hawaiian Airlines as we pursue our plans for growth and expansion. These new Airbus aircraft will allow us to operate more efficiently and over greater distances, while also setting a new standard for passenger comfort and convenience.”

“Hawaiian has a great reputation for service among its customers and our industry overall – and bringing Airbus wide-bodies into its fleet will serve to enhance that status,” said John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer – customers. “We welcome the opportunity to be an instrumental part of the airline’s mission to better both economics and passenger appeal.”

In keeping with Hawaiian Airlines’ heritage, the ceremony showcased Hawaii’s culture and traditions, with the performing of Hawaiian music and hula, the presentation of a special Hawaiian oli (chant) written for the occasion, and a traditional Hawaiian blessing.

Attendees included a group of more than 200 Hawaiian Airlines employees and their guests who made the trip of 7,760 miles from Honolulu to Toulouse to witness this momentous event for the company.

The new A330 is scheduled to arrive at Honolulu International Airport on the morning of May 3, after which the aircraft and its flight crews will undergo the preparations needed to start service on the Honolulu-Los Angeles route in early June.

Hawaiian plans to have up to 27 new Airbus aircraft as part of its fleet by the end of this decade. Hawaiian is leasing three A330s that are joining the fleet this year, and has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus to acquire seven A330s (starting in 2011) and six A350XWB-800 (Extra Wide-Body) aircraft (starting in 2017), as well as purchase rights for an additional five A330s and six A350s.

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