Hawaiian Airlines has placed a firm order for 16 Airbus A321neos and secured purchase rights on nine more.
The order for the 16 Airbus A321neos finalizes a memorandum of understanding that Hawaiian Airlines reached with Airbus in January for its planned acquisition of up to 25 of the type. Hawaiian has not yet announced its engine selection for the A321neos.
Hawaiian Airlines’ order has resulted from it successfully reaching key labor agreements with its pilot and flight attendant unions on the introduction of new single-aisle aircraft.
The carrier will take delivery of the 16 new Airbus A321neo jets between 2017 and 2020. Hawaiian Airlines has not yet disclosed the potential delivery dates for the additional nine aircraft for which it has secured purchase rights.
Hawaiian Airlines says the order is the latest step in a phased fleet plan designed to supplement its current widebody fleet of 26 aircraft, expand its long-range fleet, and enable it to open new domestic and international non-stop services to Hawaii.
The long-range, single-aisle A321neo will complement Hawaiian’s existing fleet of widebody, twin-aisle aircraft used for long-haul flying between Hawai’i and the U.S. West Coast, according to the airline.
“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,” says Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines.
“The A321neo will be the most fuel-efficient aircraft of its type after its introduction in 2016,” adds Dunkerley. “With its slightly smaller size, we’ll be able to open new markets that are not viable for widebody service, while also being able to augment service on existing routes to the West Coast of North America.”
Airbus and Hawaiian Airlines have not disclosed the terms of the purchase agreements, but the order has a combined list-price value of approximately $2.8 billion if the airline exercises all its purchase rights.
Each of Hawaiian’s Airbus A321neo jets will seat approximately 190 passengers in a two-class configuration (First and Coach) and will have an operating range of 3,650 nautical miles. Hawaiian’s A321s will offer the more comfortable seat widths found in its twin-aisle Airbus A330-200 long-haul aircraft.
Hawaiian expects its A321 fleet expansion is expected to generate roughly 1,000 additional jobs within the company.
“This is a significant investment in the future of both Hawaiian and Hawai’i. 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,” says Dunkerley.
Hawaiian currently operates a fleet of 44 aircraft: 26 widebody, long-haul aircraft (10 294-seat Airbus A330-200s and 16 264-seat Boeing 767-300ER jets), and 18 narrowbody, 123-seat Boeing 717 aircraft for inter-island flights within the island state of Hawai’i.
Hawaiian’s existing aircraft orders include an additional 12 new A330s between 2013 and 2015, and six next-generation, longer-range Airbus A350-800 aircraft starting in 2017. The airline will phase out its Boeing 767 fleet over the next 10 years.