Having reached key labour 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 finalises 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 non-stop 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 Hawai’i and the US 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 US West Coast throughout this decade and beyond,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and chief executive of 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,” Dunkerley added.
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 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,” Dunkerley continued.