The Honolulu airline has executed a non-binding letter of intent for the purchase of the Boeing 787-9 aircraft, with the first plane scheduled to arrive in the first quarter of 2021.
General Electric’s GEnx engine will power the 10 aircraft, which will be used for Hawaiian’s long-haul Asia/Pacific and North America routes.
“The Dreamliner combines excellent comfort for our guests with fantastic operational performance and will allow us to continue modernizing our fleet into the next decade,” said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram in a statement. “It has more seating capacity than Hawaiian’s current wide-body fleet, which will allow us to further build upon our successful growth in Asia."
In 2014, Hawaiian ordered and finalized six A330-800neo planes from Airbus. The company chose to instead go with Boeing as the result of a competitive bid process, the airline 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,” Ingram said.
The wide-body aircraft is fuel-efficient, lightweight and passenger friendly because it allows the airline to pressurize cabins at a lower altitude, according to Hawaiian said. Additional features include a quiet cabin, dimmable LED window shades, and larger overhead luggage bins.
Hawaiian expects to finalize binding purchase agreements with Boeing and GE in the second quarter of this year. The company also said it plans to begin negotiating inclusion of the new Boeing aircraft in its contracts with the Air Line Pilots Association and the Association of Flight Attendants, which is required prior to final approval of the purchase by the company’s board of directors.
Hawaiian currently operates a mainline fleet of 54 aircraft: 24 Airbus A330-200, eight Boeing 767 wide-body aircraft, two Airbus A321neo planes and 20 Boeing 717 narrow-body aircraft.
(Katie Murar - Pacific Business News)