Hawaii Flights Hit Two FAA Directives, More Groundings + Fewer Aircraft

Hawaii Flights Hit: Two FAA Directives, More Groundings, Fewer Aircraft

We woke up to a worsening case of airplane engines on the ground, and now two fleets of planes with upcoming FAA airworthiness directives impacting flights to Hawaii. Talk about taking the wind out of your Hawaii travel sails. This also could mean fewer planes available. Yikes.

So Many People Are Flying To Hawaii Sick. Yikes!

Hawaii is easily the most airline travel-reliant state in the country. We have virtually no ability to travel within Hawaii or to and from Hawaii without getting on an airline. For that reason primarily, we can’t help but take more notice than others do when we hear about further problems impacting fleets on airlines flying here.

We’d love to hear how this is for you. For us, we continue flying, perhaps more this year than ever, and there is almost no way to avoid the airliners in question. But these issues continue to nag at us.

United Airlines Hawaii 737 MAX 10

United has more Boeing Max problems impacting Hawaii flights.

United and others say that planes, some of which are for Hawaii routes, won’t be arriving as planned this year. The airline anticipates falling short by more than 100 new aircraft in 2024. Of the 100 planes, 80 are Boeing MAX 10, which are partly to replace decades-old Boeing 757 planes still used to and from Hawaii.

The challenges stem from Boeing’s ongoing 737 MAX series quality struggles, which have brought heightened scrutiny from regulators. As a result, you can expect it to rejig its aircraft plans and future flight schedules, including Hawaii. We anticipate to see other airlines checking in with similar problems.

United Airlines 757 in Hawaii
United Airlines 757 in Hawaii

The 737 MAX 10 is one replacement choice, and the A321neo is the other. Both remain challenged for different reasons.

A321neo engine problems require one year out of service, plaguing airlines, especially Hawaiian.

As we said recently, it has been pointed out that JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines are the two U.S. carriers most exposed to the Pratt & Whitney engine problems on these relatively new planes. United, new to the 321neo, is joining that group.

JetBlue said last week that it expects to have eleven to fifteen of their 321neo planes grounded at any one time throughout 2024. They confirmed what we previously reported: inspecting and repairing each grounded aircraft’s engines will take 360 to 365 days. JetBlue also said it has “reliability challenges” beyond the powdered-metal issues associated with the primary problem. These issues will continue into 2025, and they “don’t necessarily believe that the situation will improve.”

Earlier this week, and likely related, we reported Hawaiian Suspends 151 Flights, Leaving Route To Southwest. We have to anticipate more flight and route changes will be needed at the Hawaii bellwether before the 321neo problems come to an end. We’ll update you as we learn more.

Is Hawaii Ready For JetBlue?

These JetBlue problems are Hawaiian Airlines, too.

Hawaiian has not been forthcoming to the same degree about the extent of the problems and remediation associated with its A321neo fleet, both in terms of engines and other possible issues. Extrapolating from the information JetBlue provided, however, here’s our takeaway. JetBlue has a fleet of 28 of the 321neo planes, of which it anticipates approximately 50% will be out of service this year and perhaps longer.

Hawaiian Airlines A321neo

That means that with Hawaiian’s fleet of 18 A321neo planes, they might, based on JetBlue’s revelation, expect up to 9 to be out of service at the time. The impact on Hawaiian overall is, however, far greater, due to the smaller size of its overall fleet. JetBlue has 292 planes, whereas Hawaiian has 61 in total, of which only 42 are mainland-capable, with the rest solely for interisland.

FAA proposed airworthiness directive: Boeing 787 Dreamliners at American, Hawaiian, and United.

The FAA has announced plans to enforce corrective measures across Boeing 787 Dreamliners (as well as Boeing 737 MAX). This issue on both planes can potentially compromise jet engine anti-ice systems. The FAA doesn’t think it presents an immediate threat to flight safety. However, it has nonetheless issued notices for proposed airworthiness directives to mandate necessary inspection and repairs before a redesign.

The FAA said that the Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner issue has resulted in “that has caused what the FAA calls “relatively minor” aircraft damage at the engine inlets on about 24 planes now in service. Previously it was recommended that address this within 30 months, although that could change.

The MAX’s issue is somewhat different but can potentially lead to the loss of the anti-ice systems on both engines without a warning. The 787 engine anti-ice system issues have already resulted in damage to engines on planes in service. Previously the FAA said this needed to be addressed with three years, but that, again, could change.

Both American Airlines and United Airlines fly Boeing 787 Dreamliners to and from Hawaii. Hawaiian has just taken delivery of its first Dreamliner, with a second scheduled to arrive this spring. Those are due to enter service shortly.

Southwest Airlines Hawaii interisland Boeing 737 MAX 8

Airlines flying MAX aircraft to Hawaii include Alaska, Southwest, and United Airlines.

What’s your take on flights to Hawaii as relates to problems impacting these three fleets?

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9 thoughts on “Hawaii Flights Hit: Two FAA Directives, More Groundings, Fewer Aircraft”

  1. If it’s not one thing it’s another. If it helps any, Hawaiian Airlines is not alone in this aircraft quality and readiness problem. This is quite ridiculous. What’s the point of planning when you can’t rely on the equipment necessary to operate said plan? I wonder what Alaska Airlines (Hawaiian’s new owner) has to say, or are going to do about the situation. So far they’ve been quiet about Hawaiian’s problems.

  2. Boeing got rid of most of there in-house engineers. They farm alot of work out to private engineering firms. That is the major issue!

    Can’t figure out why there isn’t an exchange engine program for 322neo issue! To simple!!

  3. ksn.com/news/local/boeing-in-talks-to-buy-spirit-aerosystems-wall-street-journal-report-says/

    Relevant Jah?

    Best regards

  4. Hawaiian has got to create a solution for scheduling that is respectful of people and their time! This weekend was horrible! People got to OGG for schduled flight to Seattle, scheduled to leave at 3:45, at 3pm informed of 2 hr delay, another delay 2 hrs later with not enough seats. this was Sunday. Some of those folks didn’t make it home until 11:30pm Thursday loosing 4 days of work nd 5 days of school!! Very disrespectful not to speak of the stress and angst this caused! A real turn off on Hawaiian Air!!!

  5. Boeing had better get it’s sh… Uhhhh… Issues together. Who’s going to trust a Boeing aircraft if these problems continue… ? The 787 has had multiple problems for years now. The series is fortunate that the 737MAX series has been bearing the brunt of public and governmental scrutiny…

    Best Regards

  6. I’m curious. Suddenly, we have Boeing and now Airbus with lots of problems and groundings – in part due to the FAA finally waking up. Why haven’t all of these problems come up before? Were they concealed? Is the media on this this like a june bug on a tick? This can’t just be due to sudden quality issues.
    If I were Boeing, I would take the “Max” out of the name. I’ve flown these dozens of times, and will again.
    I did find a wrench under my seat once.

  7. Aloha,
    Let’s be honest. The airlines and aircraft manufacturers are only “getting away with it”. Any reduction in flights should be no sweat for Hawaii though; tourism isn’t wanted anyway.

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