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.