News from bellwether Hawaiian Airlines. The company has announced the addition of Kauai and Big Island flights for 2016. That is a welcome stopgap measure until the arrival of Hawaiian’s new fleet of west coast to Hawaii airplanes. Speaking of which, the first variant of their upcoming Hawaii workhorse, the A321neo, is just entering service in Europe with Lufthansa.
Hawaiian Airlines adds nonstop flights to Kauai and Kona
Hawaiian Airlines is bringing new flights to Hawaii between Kauai and both Oakland and Los Angeles that will take place during the peak travel months starting May 27 and ending on September 5, 2016. The service will start at three times weekly between Oakland and both Kauai and Kona and four times weekly between Los Angeles and Kona. Hawaiian will also increase their regular nonstop service between Los Angeles and Kauai to four-times weekly. Starting mid-June through September 5, service to Kauai from both Oakland and Los Angeles will be daily.
Flights to Kona will use A330 aircraft while flights to Kauai will continue to use B767 aircraft. Hawaiian continues as the only US airline that provides complementary meal service (including wine).
More seats are always welcome since they bring downward pressure on ticket pricing.
First A320neo delivery takes place this month
The upcoming west coast to Hawaii workhorse of Hawaiian Airlines’ fleet will be their the new narrow-body Airbus A321neo. We expect most west coast flights to move from existing A330 and B767 widebody aircraft to these new planes when Hawaiian begins delivery in 2017.
The new planes will allow Hawaiian to offer regular flights to all the islands from many west coast cities. The current planes are too large to economically service many routes. It is estimated for example that the airline will obtain cost savings of 30 to 40% per flight using the new planes. The new planes will permit Hawaiian to compete more effectively with Alaska Airlines smaller 737 fleet on those routes.
What new routes will Hawaiian Airlines add?
We expect to see quite a number of new routes and route changes offered in conjunction with the roll-out of their new and more flexible fleet. Those new routes will include flights to all of the islands from the Pacific Northwest plus western Canada, Bay Area, Southern California, Las Vegas and Phoenix, just for starters. Also possible with the A321neo’s amazing 4,000 NM range are places that never made sense for Hawaiian before, including Denver, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Dallas, Mexico City and more.
Later this month Lufthansa will take delivery of the first variant, the A320neo, while this summer, the first A321neo itself rolled off the assembly line in Hamburg Germany.