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Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 Fleet Replacement Update

Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram indicated last week that the company will not be moving away from its 20-plane, 128-seat  Boeing 717 fleet anytime soon. He went on to add that the Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 Fleet may even be retained until late in the decade.

The company continues to work with Boeing in order to extend the life of the now nearly 20 year old fleet. The aircraft are used more by Hawaiian than any other airline inasmuch as each plane makes on average 16 flights per day. Hawaiian is now one of only four carriers worldwide still using the 717, whose production was discontinued nearly 15 years ago.

Most recently, Hawaiian extended their leases on 5 of the 717’s through 2025. The remaining planes are owned by the airline. Peter Ingram said:

There is no plane flying today that is better suited for the unique missions we fly in the Neighbor Island network than the B717…. We are not planning to replace this fleet in the next five years…. We’ll continue to monitor options for the latter part of the decade, but for now, we see no need to deploy our capital to replace these aircraft.” 

The 717 fleet was purchased in the 1990’s and delivery began in 2001. They replaced the DC-9 fleet that was in use since 1979.

Beat of Hawaii opinion: Our research indicates that the 717 fleet is somewhere in the last third of its viable lifespan. At an average age of over 18 years, that would mean the company might extend the fleet’s use until sometime after 2025, as Peter indicated. We don’t think it will go beyond that. The carrier has become quite forward thinking when it comes to fleet improvements. When the replacement happens, the most likely candidate is the Airbus A220. 

6 thoughts on “Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 Fleet Replacement Update”

  1. I was pleased to hear that Mr. Ingram will continue to stay with the B717. I recently read that Delta Airlines was in discussion with Boeing to buy back and or change their lease agreement so that Delta could purchase the 737 Max when it finally becomes available. That being said I would imagine that Boeing will soon have a good covey of reconditioned B717’s, although being old would have much lower fuselage cycle times than their current fleet.
    A couple of years ago during an inspection of Avborne Air in Miami I saw much to my surprise a Hawaiian Air B717 being repainted. Apparently it flew from Hawaii with Transport bladder tanks. Avborne is one of the few facilities that can service the B717 partly due to the very low profile of the plane. Close inspection of the plane with mechanics I observed excellent upkeep & maintenance and more over the mechanics were all in accord that it was a very fine & tough aircraft. One mechanic said Boeing took all the good attributes of the B717 predecessor the DC9 and made a great plane even better.
    It’s like a fine watch that keep running esp. with those bullet proof RR engines.
    Good job Peter staying with this remarkable plane!

  2. I worry about the structural integrity of these old 717’s ! As you may recall the incident when half of the roof collapsed on a Aloha 737 years ago. At 16 flights per day on inter islands!

  3. This is a bad move. The 717 should be retired for environmental reasons. Given the realities of climate change, airlines have an obligation to cut their carbon footprint given their high level of cause o the CO2 issue.

  4. Good news. The 717 is an excellent aircraft for inter island routes with lower cabin size, good short runway performance and a full jet feel. Moving to Regional Jets from Embraer and Airbus would be a disaster.

    1. Cramped? Seriously, what are you talking about? The seats are wider than any Boeing and it’s a 2/3 configuration with the middle seat having a 19″ width. Your post sounds like the normal A vs. B stuff with no factual merit.


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