January 07, 2013
Credit: Image: Hawaiian
Hawaiian Airlines intends to use a new fleet of Airbus A321NEOs to open new routes to the Western U.S., as well as augmenting existing markets.
The carrier has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus covering an order of 16 A321NEOs, with purchase rights for another nine. They would be slated for delivery between 2017 and 2020. The aircraft would be purchased rather than leased.
The airline is not naming any specific city pairs the A321s would be used for, an airline spokesman tells AviationWeek. However, on the list would be new nonstop routes from existing Western U.S. markets to Hawaiian destinations other than Honolulu. Maui and Kona would be examples of Hawaiian destinations that would be considered – Hawaiian already has direct West Coast routes from Kahului airport on Maui, but not from Kona.
Hawaiian would also consider using the aircraft to augment existing high-demand routes. New Western U.S. destinations would also be possible, where demand may not be high enough for its Airbus A330-200s or Boeing 767-300ERs.
The carrier has no plans to use the A321s on international flights, or on interisland routes, the spokesman says. In terms of overall capacity, the A321s will be for expansion rather than replacement.
Several other U.S. carriers already fly narrow body aircraft from Hawaii to the U.S. West Coast.