Hawaiian Airlines has announced that it will expand its inter-island fleet with the addition of four Boeing 717-200 aircraft to better meet the needs of Hawaii’s interisland travelers following the shutdown of Aloha Airlines on April 1.Two of the aircraft are expected to enter service in September, while the remaining two will join the fleet in November and December, respectively. The additions, all being acquired on long-term leases from Boeing Capital Corporation, will increase Hawaiian’s inter-island fleet of Boeing 717-200 aircraft to 15.
Mark Dunkerley, president and chief executive officer, said, “This substantial investment in more inter-island aircraft reaffirms Hawaiian’s long-term commitment to serving the people of Hawaii, and will allow us to increase our flight schedules during periods of the day that our customers prefer to travel.”
Hawaiian currently operates a total of 150 interisland flights daily between the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii.
To meet immediate community needs in the wake of Aloha’s collapse, Hawaiian expanded its interisland flight schedule by flying a long-haul Boeing 767-300 widebody aircraft between Honolulu and Maui as well as by flying an additional 717 usually held in reserve as a ‘spare’ aircraft to cover scheduled flying in the event of a delay. Hawaiian will continue these operations until the additional 717 aircraft arrive to make sure that seats remain available for inter-island travelers.
Hawaiian also began recruiting flight crews and additional ground staff to support its expanded interisland operations immediately after Aloha’s closure. To date, Hawaiian has hired 230 additional employees, a majority of whom are former Aloha employees, and is seeking to fill an additional 160 positions, including pilots, flight attendants, maintenance technicians, contract service and line service positions.
In addition to its fleet of 717s used in Hawaii, Hawaiian also operates a fleet of 18 wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300 aircraft on 16 flights daily to 14 destinations outside Hawaii.