Categorized | Business, Featured

Hawaiian, Airbus sign deal for 16 A321neo aircraft

A rendering by Airbus of the A321neo for Hawaiian Airlines.

A rendering by Airbus of the A321neo for Hawaiian Airlines.

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Having reached key labor agreements with its pilot and flight attendant unions on the introduction of new aircraft, Hawaiian Airlines has announced it has signed a definitive purchase agreement with Airbus to acquire 16 new A321neo aircraft between 2017 and 2020, with rights to purchase an additional nine aircraft.

The transaction, which finalizes the Memorandum of Understanding announced in January, is the latest step in Hawaiian’s phased fleet plan designed to supplement its current wide-body fleet of 26 aircraft, expand its long-range fleet, and enable it to open new domestic and international nonstop services to Hawaii.

The long-range, single-aisle A321neo will complement Hawaiian’s existing fleet of wide-body, twin-aisle aircraft used for long-haul flying between Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast.

“Adding the superior comfort and operating efficiencies of the A321neo will secure Hawaiian’s position as the Hawaii market leader in service quality, cost efficiency and choice of destinations from the U.S. West Coast throughout this decade and beyond,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines.

A rendering by Airbus of the A321neo for Hawaiian Airlines.

A rendering by Airbus of the A321neo for Hawaiian Airlines.

“The A321neo will be the most fuel-efficient aircraft of its type after its introduction in 2016. With its slightly smaller size, we’ll be able to open new markets that are not viable for wide-body service, while also being able to augment service on existing routes to the West Coast of North America,” he said.

“Airbus prides itself on being part of our customers’ growing successes, and this order is the perfect example of how the right plane at the right airline can alter not just a business culture, but a local community,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “The A320neo Family brings a further greening of our product line, and considering the environmental consciousness of the Hawaiian people, this aspect of the aircraft is another driver for eco-friendly, sustainable growth at the airline. It’s also the most comfortable single-aisle flying today.”

Terms of the purchase agreements were not disclosed. The order has a combined list-price value of approximately $2.8 billion if all purchase rights are exercised.

Hawaiian’s A321neo aircraft will seat approximately 190 passengers in a two-class configuration (First and Coach) and have an operating range of 3,650 nautical miles. Hawaiian’s A321s will offer the more comfortable seat widths found in its twin-aisle A330s.
The A321 fleet expansion is expected to generate roughly 1,000 additional jobs at Hawaiian.

“This is a significant investment in the future of both Hawaiian and Hawaii. Our tourism-based economy and local employment will benefit as we continue our strategy of diversifying our business while improving the efficiency of our operation,” Dunkerley said.

Hawaiian currently operates a fleet of 44 aircraft, comprised of 26 wide-body, long-haul aircraft (294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft and 264-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft), and 18 narrow-body 123- seat Boeing 717-200 aircraft for Neighbor Island flights.

Hawaiian’s existing aircraft orders include an additional 12 new A330s between 2013 and 2015, and six next-generation, longer-range A350XWB-800 aircraft starting in 2017.

The existing fleet of 16 Boeing 767s will phase out over the next 10 years.

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