The 737 May Seem Roomy When These New Planes Fly to Hawaii

On the coconut wireless this week is talk that a new plane will fly to Hawaii in the near future. You may not yet know of the Airbus A220, but you’ll be hearing more soon enough. This is a plane designed for thin (low density) routes, and could include flights from Long Beach, Orange County and Ontario, just for example. That’s a good thing, and could offer a lot of convenience that might outweigh any potential discomfort. You can be certain that Hawaiian Airlines is looking at these for their future too.

On Monday, the aircraft, with Pratt and Whitney PW1500G turbofan engines, was cleared by the FAA for ETOPS 180. That means it can fly to Hawaii, since ETOPS 180 approval is required for flights to and from the US Mainland.

The single aisle, 140-160 passenger jet, entered service two years ago as the Bombardier C-Series. They have now become part of Airbus and with it came rebranding, as part of a focus on yet smaller (ouch!) narrow-body planes.

Eric Schultz, Airbus chief commercial officer, said: “We trust that this segment could total as many as 7,200 aircraft over the next 20 years–that’s an exciting prospect.”

Comparing Capacity on Airbus A321/Boeing 737 Max 8/Airbus A220.

When viewed against other current/next generation single aisle aircraft, here’s how things size up:

→ Airbus A220 (Delta, JetBlue thus far) seats up to 160 passengers.
→ Airbus A321 (Hawaiian, Alaska, American) seats up to 192 passengers.
→ Boeing 737 Max8 (Alaska, Southwest) seats up to 210 passengers.

Range of A220 Aircraft.

The aircraft is capable of flights up to 7 hours. But how will we feel when spending so many hours in such a small plane?

Comfort onboard A220.

In the end legroom and seat pitch will be up to the airlines. In terms of seat width, we are thus far hearing about an 18″ standard, which, if true, means about an inch more than most other planes. Others offer as little as 17″. We won’t hold our breath in terms of comfort just yet. And we are still not entirely comfortable, physically, flying long distances on single aisle aircraft from any airline or manufacturer. That is unless it is in first class. 😉

A220 orders are coming in.

There are currently 38 A220’s flying globally, with another 424 or more on order. Hawaii wannabee JetBlue just placed a firm order for 60 of these planes with an option for 60 more, with delivery set to begin in 2020. Another airline startup currently named Moxy also just placed a huge order for the new planes. It is owned by JetBlue founder David Neeleman. Previously, Delta ordered 75 of the new planes. The reality is that with so many airlines jumping on the A220 bandwagon, this smallest of long range planes is going to be seen very frequently in Hawaii.

11 thoughts on “The 737 May Seem Roomy When These New Planes Fly to Hawaii”

  1. Many of you do not know that the A220 is actually roomier per person than 737’s and A320’s. The total number of seats on a plane does not determine the comfort. Most airlines have put in 10 across on their 777’s (which is a huge airplane) and most people feel it is inhumane on long flights.
    The A220 is 5 across (3 on one side 2 on the other side).Fewer middle seats. The overhead compartments are in line with newer 737’s. So these are NOT like the older regional jets.
    Many customers that have flown them actually prefer them. Also quicker on and off.

  2. So very excited to see Ontario mentioned. Millions of people out here that now have to drive 2 to 2 1/2 hours or more to get to LAX. I’d fly in a Piper Cub to Hawaii to avoid that drive. Thank you for giving us hope!

    1. Hi John.

      Yes we used to fly into Ontario from Honolulu, so we can appreciate the benefits!


  3. Two things…while I have not flown on the A220-300, I have flown the Bombardier CS 100, now known as the A220-100, a smaller version, and it is surprisingly bright, comfortable and quiet, not like Regional jets in the past. I know there are no such plans currently, but I hope Hawaiian Airlines will consider replacing its aging 717’s with the A220, a much nicer flying experience. I also doubt the A220 will be used for much mainland traffic to Hawaii, unless from tertiary markets. More exciting is the news that Hawaiian confirmed its order for 10 787-9’s with the option of 10 more. That is great news. Hoping they open more long-haul direct service to destinations like Melbourne, Hong Kong and/or Bangkok, and especially to Europe.

  4. it is a smaller jet but it seats 5 across per row instead of 6. It has been getting rave reviews from the European airlines that fly it.

  5. “… single isle aircraft …”

    So, like from Kona to Hilo?

    (Sorry, I couldn’t resist)

  6. Having flown on the 737 MAX 8 I can honestly tell you that is a very, very roomy beautiful aircraft.
    We fly a lot mostly on good ole SOUTHWEST AIRLINES… AN THEN THE OTHERS. WE GO WERE THE VALUE AND COMFORT AND SERVICE IS GREAT….. SOUTHWEST REALIZES THAT “WE ARE THEIR REASON FOR BEING”, and treat us rightly so. They are very professional, and thei service proves it.

    In any case we’ve been on those skinny knee jobs, had my shares of being squeezed (almost) to death, yes even on Southwest , but things to change over time..

    Customer service, comfortable spacey seats and affordability are the keys..

    In the end it comes down to money for most people including us.

    BUT I’ve got sat one more that 738. MAX 8’s are really a really nice aircraft. I was born iand raised in the USAF, 22 years and served in the uscg.. I have jp4 in my veins…

  7. More regional Jets. Smaller, appalling Carry On limits, nomheadrom to walk upright and much worse in bad weather. Would not fly Go because they went for cheap Regional Jets. A321’s are really too small,for Hawaii Mainland flights in my book. Boeing 777 200 service from DFW is awesome, liked the 747’s from Delta to Atlanta and I am looking forward to the new Dreamliner 787’s on the AA flights from ORD during the holidays.r

    1. You have no idea what you are talking about. The A220 and A321 are nothing like small regional jets (e.g. CRJ100/200).

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