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Hawaiian Airlines expanding with long-range, single-aisle aircraft

The carrier could acquire up to 25 A321neo planes with a total list-price value of $2.8 billion

By Dave Segal

LAST UPDATED: 6:40 p.m. HST, Jan 7, 2013

Hawaiian Airlines is expanding its fleet again with up to 25 new long-range, single-aisle aircraft that can reach neighbor island markets not economically viable with the carrier’s wide-body planes.

The state’s largest carrier said today it has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire 16 new A321neo aircraft between 2017 and 2020, with rights to purchase an additional nine aircraft. The expansion is expected to generate roughly 1,000 additional jobs at the airline.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but the aircraft have a total list-price value of about $2.8 billion if all of the purchase rights are exercised.

“With its slightly smaller size we’ll be able to open new markets that are not viable for wide-body service, while also being able to augment service on existing routes to the West Coast,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian.

The long-range, single-aisle aircraft will seat approximately 190 passengers and has a range of 3,650 nautical miles. The acquisition is contingent upon Hawaiian signing new agreements with its pilots and flight attendant unions covering operation of the new aircraft.

 Hawaiian currently operates a fleet of 43 aircraft, comprised of 25 wide-body, long-haul aircraft (294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft and 264-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft), and 18 narrow-body 123- seat Boeing 717-200 aircraft for neighbor island flights.

Hawaiian’s existing orders include an additional 13 new A330s between 2013 and 2015, and six next-generation, longer-range A350XWB-800 aircraft starting in 2017.

The existing fleet of 16 Boeing 767s will phase out over the next 10 years, Hawaiian said.

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