Peter Ingram, CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, spoke about a parts problem this week. It surprised us until we remembered Mokulele Airlines went shopping on eBay for theirs. For Hawaiian, this is about supply chain issues related to its fleet of 18 A321neo aircraft maintenance and repairs.
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury recently confirmed their supply chain issues on Airbus planes. The problem at Hawaiian is regarding their A321neo fleet of mainland narrow-body aircraft, of which the company has 18. Airbus now produces those planes in Toulouse, the company’s headquarters, as well as in Hamburg, Mobile, and now in Tianjin, China.
Addressing supply chain issues that impact both new planes and repairs/maintenance of existing A321neo planes, Faury said, “The supply chain remains fragile resulting from the cumulative impact of C the war in Ukraine, energy supply issues, and constrained labour markets… Many parts are arriving late… It will take until mid-2023 or longer to recover significantly… The situation is bad, but it has stopped [getting worse], and I hope we are at a low point.”
Hawaii confirmed that parts issues grounded some of its A321 neo fleet.
Peter Ingram said that parts availability issues resulted in “two of our 18 A321s being grounded for an extended period, awaiting available serviceable engines.”
BOH: No doubt this continues to be a problem for all airlines, and again, the lack of scale at Hawaiian is not in its favor. For example, American Airlines has 15 times more A321 planes in its fleet than Hawaiian.
Mokulele went shopping on eBay for unavailable parts.
Another Hawaii airline seems to have had ongoing problems with supply chain issues in the past few months. Mokulele said this was still a big problem as recently as December.
Mokulele Airlines, owned by Southern Airways, reported being worried about an inability to buy aircraft oil filters. They resorted to looking on eBay, where they were found for $400 each. Mokulele said that obtaining parts from tires to oil is problematic. Southern Airways has a total fleet of 50 aircraft.
When last we reached out to Hawaiian regarding these issues, spokesperson Alex Da Silva, Director of External Communications, said, “Yes, we’ve had supply chain issues – many companies – during the pandemic. We’ve been working with our suppliers to prevent disruptions to our operations.”
That was not the end of the problem with Monday’s announcement of grounding two of their A321neo fleet.