Revamp Of Airlines’ Hawaii Fleets Ahead

Updated 5/6/20. As we get back to travel in Hawaii, we are going to see some big changes in the sky. Some of these we may like, and others, well, not so much. Modernization of the airlines will go hand in hand with downsizing, and that’s going to play a big role in Hawaii travel.

As we’ve said before, there will be fewer flights to Hawaii, and perhaps even fewer routes. This is going to be the time that airlines remove from their Hawaii fleets, some of the planes we’ve come to know and love because of their age and for being less fuel efficient. This also will simplify logistics in terms of both maintenance, and crews of the aircraft remaining.

Following is what we know for sure as well as other things we strongly expect to see. It will all get finalized once planes get back in the air.

What’s you’re not going to love is the loss of some legacy planes with two-across seating on both sides of the aircraft. Think Boeing 767. That type of seating will still exist on some planes, but you can definitely expect to see more single aisle aircraft, with the dreaded three across seating in economy.

Alaska Airlines

No changes are expected to Alaska’s fleet. They primarily use Boeing 737-800 for Hawaii flights. They also fly A320 aircraft, which were inherited in their acquisition of Virgin America. The Airbus planes may not endure.

American Airlines

Last week the company announced, “A fond farewell to five fantastic fleets.” They are retiring their 34, 757’s and 17, 767’s among others. This was already in process, but will now be accelerated. With that you’ll only be seeing three fleet variants on Hawaii flights. Those are the Boeing 737, the Airbus A321 and on their longest routes, and Boeing 777 (thanks Dan) and 787.  

Delta Airlines

Delta has not mentioned any changes to their longer range fleets used for Hawaii flights. Last week, however, they announced retirement of other planes. For the time being, they will continue to fly a mix of 737, 757, and 767 aircraft to Hawaii. What is vulnerable for replacement, is its aging Boeing 757 fleet.

Hawaiian Airlines

The company had already modernized and eliminated the last of their venerated Boeing 767 fleet last year. So there will be no upcoming changes to the Hawaiian Airlines lineup. Transpacific will remain on the company’s A321neo narrow-body and A330-200 wide-body fleets. We expect to see the more fuel efficient A321 continue to be the primary vehicle for West Coast routes, especially until traffic returns to more normal levels. When you can, jump onboard the A330 for desirable two across seating on both sides of the plane. It still serves Oahu and Maui.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest has an unique aircraft scenario. The carrier, which flies only Boeing 737, is now planning to defer half of their new 737 MAX deliveries. That variant, of course remains suspended following two fatal crashes a year ago. Instead of some 120 new planes that had been planned, the company may take about 60 of the most fuel-efficient 737 variant. Read our update on Boeing 737 MAX flights to Hawaii

CEO Gary Kelly recently said, “We don’t need the MAX right now.” The airline just received nearly a half billion dollars from Boeing, as compensation for their grounded MAX fleet.

We still expect to see the MAX flying to Hawaii soon.

United Airlines

United is planning to receive 16 Boeing 737 MAX this year, once it is certified to fly again. Twenty-four more of those are due next year. They had previously planned to receive double that number. The company will also take delivery of sixteen Boeing 767’s this year and next. We will see more 737 service to Hawaii coming from United.

We have not seen any updates yet on more change coming to the United fleet that will impact Hawaii flights. They currently fly a mix of 737, 757, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft.

13 thoughts on “Revamp Of Airlines’ Hawaii Fleets Ahead”

  1. American Airlines needs to do a better job of servicing its existing customer base. I purchased tickets 3 months ago for a trip to visit my 90 y/o mother in mid-June (not Hawaii) and just out of curiosity checked online last night. AA had made changes to my flights without notifying me. They changed my return flight to depart at 2:48PM arriving in Dallas at 4:28PM to connect with my next flight which leaves Dallas at 1055AM on the same day and same time zone! I can’t believe their computer didn’t kick that out. Of course, I wasn’t able to get through on the phone, and when I tried to get a refund online, I’m not eligible because my flights weren’t cancelled. Very frustrating.

    1. Aloha! Something similar to Pam’s experience happened to our AA flights that we had rebooked for June. Once we connected with a live customer service agent, she was able to there was no actual flight available and processed a refund. Do hope you are able to solve the issue. We too believe that a lot of problems have happened due computer issues and ever-changing flights.

  2. Thank you for the info. on the airlines; I especially follow Hawaiian Air, and I too LOVVE the two across seating! And will be sorry to see it leave. We were lucky to use it in bulkhead (window & aisle)(with the upgrade cost) last year to Las Vegas from HNL and return, with my emotional support dog (plus she’s hypoallergenic), and we were able to have her out at our feet, or on lap, in the bulkhead with only the two side-by-side seats … I will miss that possibility!!! : (

  3. Safe is nice; safe wont matter if Ige causes state fin’l collapse as appears he is doing

  4. Have you heard anything about what West Jet and Air Canada will be doing? We only have a few choices to fly from Canada.
    Mahalo for any information

  5. I think AA will still fly a 330 PHX-HNL as loads may one day hopefully require it again. Not that AA is anything special these days, but at least the 330 is a widebody.

    1. AA had been flying Boeing 777’s 2x a day to and from DFW and OGG. We are scheduled on a 777 OGG – DFW on 6/5 that currently shows as still scheduled.

      1. Aloha! Thank you for the continuing eyes on the skies. After two cancellations, April & June, we have elected to rebook our flights for next spring. While flights are not yet available for our dates, the 60 days prior are showing about a 30% fare increase. This is for AA PE seats MEM/DFW/HNL. AA had us on a 787 this year for the DFW/HNL leg before the flights were canceled. That looks to be the case for next years schedule as well. Again, mahalo for the updates and happy hear life is slowly making a turn for better days on the islands.

      2. You realize that the 14 day quar antine will more than likely still be in place right?

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top