Monday, December 4, 2017

Hawaiian using new Airbus A321neos to expand in San Diego

Hawaiian Airlines will add new non-stop service between San Diego and Kahului on the island of Maui.

Hawaiian will fly the route with its brand new Airbus A321neo narrow-body jets, offering one daily round-trip flight starting May 1. Kahului will be Hawaiian's second route from San Diego. It already flies to its main hub in Honolulu.

Hawaiian also is turning to its new A321neos to help it increase its summertime schedule on two existing routes. Hawaiian’s San Francisco-Honolulu service will get an extra flight from May 25 through July 31 while its service between Oakland and Kona on the “Big Island” of Hawaii will feature an additional flight from May 26 through Sept. 2.

Elsewhere, Hawaiian is adding an extra summertime flight on its Honolulu-Tokyo Narita and (Aug. 1-Sept. 30) and Los Angeles-Kahului (June 1-Aug. 31) routes. Those extra flights will be on Airbus A330 wide-body jets.

“We are delighted to offer travelers more options to visit our islands next summer,” Peter Ingram, Hawaiian’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement.

Ingram is set to take over as the company's CEO in March,when current CEO Mark Dunkerley retires.

Hawaiian took delivery of its initial Airbus A321neo in November, the first of 18 the carrier has on order. Hawaiian's A321neos seat 189 passengers, including 16 in business class seats and 45 in an extra-legroom economy section. The remaining 128 are standard coach-class seats.

The A321neo arrived to Hawaiian amid great fanfare. The A321neo is a next-generation update to Airbus’ popular A320 family of narrow-body jets, with the “neo” stemming from “new engine option.” The updated narrow-body aircraft is more efficient than preceding models, allowing carriers to fly the new version farther distances at normal passenger and cargo levels.

With that, Hawaiian has pledged that the A321neo will help it open new long routes between Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast. Hawaiian also is counting on its new A321s to help it phase out its aging Boeing 767 wide-bodies.

Meanwhile, the introduction of the A321neo into regularly scheduled service for Hawaiian now appears as though it will come nearly a month earlier than expected.

Hawaiian originally said its A321neos would first begin flying paying passengers Jan. 8. That was to come as Hawaiian began to slot the A321neos into service on its existing route between Oakland and Kahului.

Now, FlightGlobal reports Hawaiian plans to begin using the A32neos on Dec. 19, deploying them on existing intra-Hawaii routes. Those routes – Honolulu-Maui, Honolulu-Kona and Honolulu-Lihue (Kauai) – are intended to be “crew familiarization" flights that give workers a chance to learn the new aircraft ahead of a broader roll-out.

(Ben Mutzabaugh - Today in the Sky / USA Today)

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