DALLAS >> Hawaiian Airlines is raising its fourth-quarter forecast for a key revenue figure, and ordering more planes, as well.
The airline said Monday it expects revenue for every seat flown 1 mile to rise between 3 percent and 6 percent, up from an October forecast of 0.5 percent to 3.5 percent. Bigger U.S. airlines have seen that number decline all year.
Hawaiian depends on visitors from the mainland and overseas, particularly Japan. At an investor conference Monday, executives said leisure trips and spending by foreign visitors to Hawaii are both rising. They said the airline has cut back on discounting as it has grown more familiar to foreign customers.
The airline also announced it will buy one more Airbus A330 jet for long routes and lease two more Airbus A321neos, bringing its orders for the new A321 model to 18 by 2020. Those planes will mostly fly between Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast, and they will help Hawaiian speed up retirement of its less-fuel-efficient Boeing 767 jets, which are about 18 years old on average.
In the first nine months of this year, Hawaiian Holdings Inc.’s net income was up 61 percent over the same period in 2015 largely because of a 25 percent drop in fuel spending.
However, the fuel savings could be over because of the rise in oil prices since earlier this year. Hawaiian’s labor costs are up 11 percent, and the company is still negotiating a new contract with pilots and will start talks soon with flight attendants. Plus, a new maintenance facility will increase costs next year.