The first Hawaiian Airlines A321neo was spotted, fully painted at Airbus’ Hamburg facility.
Hawaiian Airlines is growing. And a large part of this growth will be based on the Airline’s new fleet of Airbus A321neos. The first of these aircraft are due to be delivered in late 2017, meaning in the next few months. And it appears that the first of these new aircraft, registration number N202HA, is nearing completion. Recently, XFW-Spotter posted a photo of N202HA outside of Airbus’ Hamburg, Germany facility.
The aircraft is completely painted and features Hawaiian Air’s new livery. However, it’s Pratt & Whitney PW1000Gs do not yet have their nacelles installed.
I’m still on the fence about the new livery. The tail section looks too busy for my liking; I think Hawaiian could have done without the flower motif on the tail. The smaller size of the A321neo compared to the A332s means the elements are all closer together too, which makes the livery look even busier. But I do think it looks worlds better than Island Air’s new livery.
A Game Changer for Hawaiian
The A321neo is a game changer for Hawaiian Airlines. Finally, the Airline will be able to compete out more direct routes, especially to the neighbor islands. This is an area that United, Delta, American, and Alaska already beat them, with narrowbody service between the U.S. West Coast and Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island.
And, as you’ll recall, Hawaiian’s A321s will feature B/E Aerospace first class seats. If they look familiar, it’s because these are the same seats American is now using for their Premium Economy Product. These aircraft will also include an Extra Space cabin, as well as a standard economy cabin. Seats in those cabins will both be fabric upholstered slimline seats with adjustable headrests. For more information on the new A321neo interiors, see my previous post.
First Hawaiian Airlines A321neo Final Thoughts
I may not be a fan of how this aircraft looks in general, but at the end of the day, it’s exciting to finally see one close to being completed. The A321neo has been a long time coming for Hawaiian, and I’m excited to see how they will utilize them. And this aircraft couldn’t be arriving soon enough for them. Rumors, which have been getting consistently stronger, suggests that Southwest will soon enter the Hawaii market using the Boeing 737 MAX. This will have a profound impact on the Hawaii air travel market, and the A321neo should help Hawaiian compete with what will be an entirely new market dynamic.