Changes underway at Hawaiian, of interest to our fellow Hawaii airline buffs. First, the carrier will cannibalize one of its Boeing 717 planes, ingeniously making use of the aging interisland fleet as a source for spare parts. Word too that Hawaiian may be delaying the delivery of its coveted new flagship fleet. That according to CEO Peter Ingram.
717 Interisland plane parted-out: creative in-house parts depot
Hawaiian announce that it will “part-out” one of its older Boeing 717 interisland aircraft. That will help “bring meaningful maintenance cost savings over the next several years and cash savings in the immediate term.” The fleet is approaching 20 years in age, with high use cycles, and will be subject to replacement consideration within a few years. See our recent Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 Fleet Replacement Update.
Changing Hawaiian Airlines long-range fleet planning
About five years ago, Hawaiian announced plans to order a fleet of six Airbus A350-800 aircraft. Subsequently, Airbus discontinued that variant of the A350, and Hawaiian’s order was moved to the A330-800. That plane had few other orders and Hawaiian didn’t want to potentially be one of its only customers.
Enters the Dreamliner
The company then agreed to purchase up to 20 of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, which were to become the Hawaiian Airlines flagship. The delivery of the aircraft was set to begin in early 2021. The 787-9 is capable of flying up to 7,635 nautical miles, with London sitting just 6,289 nautical miles from us here in Hawaii. We love Dreamliner for its spacious feel, larger electronic control windows, lower altitude pressurization, and overall comfort. Our absolute favorite plane, by the way, is the likely soon to be obsolete Airbus A380.
At the time of the Dreamliner deal, CEO Peter Ingram said, “We were in the enviable position of choosing between two outstanding models for our flagship aircraft of the future and I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of adding the Dreamliner to Hawaiian’s fleet.”
A321neo and A330 fleets remain
The Dreamliner order was unrelated to the airline’s new narrow-body Airbus A321neo Hawaiian Airlines fleet, nor did it impact their A330-200 wide-body aircraft. Those planes will continue to serve as Hawaiian’s primary, long-range aircraft for use to all major destinations including Asia, Australia, and the highest density mainland cities.