Hawaiian Airlines Cancels Many Flights As A321 Problems Deepen

Airbus A321 Revolutionized Hawaiian Airlines | 10-Years-Old Today

Today is the 10th anniversary of the first flight of a unique airliner, the Airbus A321neo. It’s the plane that airlines love and passengers tolerate, largely for convenience.

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Like it or not, the Airbus A321neo revolutionized flying for Hawaiian Airlines.

Since its introduction, the A321 flights have grown to represent the majority of Hawaiian Airlines’ mainland routes. Just five years ago, in early 2018, Hawaiian began using their new Airbus A321neo fleet. This changed the company’s competitive environment and allowed them to fly on new and more routes with ultra-fuel efficiency. Beat of Hawaii flew on the inaugural Hawaiian Airlines A321 flight and did a trip report. The company now has a fleet of 18 of these 189-passenger planes. There are a6 business class seats (not lie-flat), which the airline refers to as First Class, 44 Extra Comfort (extra legroom) seats, and 129 economy seats. See the A321 seat map.

Hawaiian Airlines A321neo business/first class
Hawaiian Airlines A321neo business/first class

Whether we like these modern, somewhat cramped feeling, single-aisle planes or not, this has come to be what we can generally expect from all airlines on flights to Hawaii, especially from the west coast.

Widebody’s primarily intended for long-haul growth.

Hawaii’s past CEO, Mark Dunkerley, commented, “The new (A321) aircraft will free more wide-body (A330 and B787) aircraft for further long-haul expansion.”

Since the A321 fleet entered service, the A330 Airbus fleet has been focused on 1) international routes (which are still slowly returning), 2) long-haul routes (Boston, New York, Austin), and 3) high-density mainland routes (those listed above).

The A321neo is very popular with airlines, being considered a near-perfect solution, including for most western US to Hawaii flights. It is also used by American Airlines on Hawaii flights. Delta also uses these planes for some Hawaii flights.

Why A321 has been revolutionary for Hawaiian Airlines.

The A321 transformed Hawaiian Airlines. For the first time, they could compete on important but lower-traffic routes from the West Coast to Hawaii. That includes many flights to the Big Island and Kauai that were not previously feasible using larger planes. With the A321neo, flights from cities not currently served by the airline, including, for example, Salt Lake City and Denver, remain possible.

Flying to Honolulu/Maui and changing planes doesn’t work.

There was a time when it was customary to fly to Honolulu first and later to Maui, which remain the two primary destinations in Hawaii. Then, another interisland flight was required for passengers heading to other Hawaii destinations. That connection typically adds another 3 hours to the transit time, which on a typical week-long Hawaii vacation, makes no sense whatsoever. Alaska Airlines, in particular, made great inroads into Hawaii during those years before the bellwether acquired its narrow-body A321neo fleet.

With the narrow-body fleet, Hawaiian competes directly with five other airlines that offer narrow-body flights direct to all of the islands. This includes Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, and United.

These are the only domestic Hawaiian Air routes with widebody service.

Hawaiian Airlines widebody A330

You’ll still find the Airbus A330 widebody on the following routes. Anywhere else, you’ll be flying on the Airbus A321neo.

  • Austin to Honolulu.
  • Boston to Honolulu.
  • Las Vegas to Honolulu.
  • Los Angeles to Honolulu and Maui.
  • New York to Honolulu.
  • Phoenix to Honolulu and Maui.
  • Portland to Honolulu.
  • Seattle to Honolulu and Maui.

Hawaiian Airlines A321neo Entertainment

More about Hawaiian Airlines A321neo.

There is still no WiFi on Hawaiian at this time, although the installation of new free WiFi is said to be happening this year. We hope to see that soon. Also, seat-back entertainment is replaced by streaming entertainment which uses passengers’ own devices. The plane is as much as 40% quieter than other planes. We, however, haven’t found that to be the case.

Airbus A321neo 10th anniversary.

Today marks the day in 2013 when the first Airbus A321 prototype lifted off at the company’s Hamburg plant. It was announced in 2010. Ten years after that test flight, it is the workhorse at Hawaiian Airlines, while American Airlines is the largest operator of the plane. The aircraft is a variant of the A320 family, and the neo stands for “new engine option.” Since then, two other versions include the LR and the XLR, which will also revolutionize Hawaii travel soon.

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5 thoughts on “Airbus A321 Revolutionized Hawaiian Airlines | 10-Years-Old Today”

  1. Just flew the A321neo from Long Beach to Kahului and will fly it back from Honolulu. Had same itinerary in November 2022.
    Really happy with LB airport, so nice and old school and easy. Love walking out on the tarmac to board the plane.
    Do miss the wide body A330 but don’t miss the new LAX Hawaiian terminal that LAX forced HA to move to. No one likes it. I’ve asked the flight crews and they all said they avoid LAX if possible.
    The A321neo we Love, it seems bigger than 737’s maybe it’s our imagination.
    Safe travels everyone, Hawaii is more gorgeous than ever !!

  2. It should be noted that San Diego to Honolulu is still listed as being served by the A330.

    On my last trip to Hawaii I flew on an A321 and was not really impressed.

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