The other day, Business Insider published an interesting article in which Hawaiian talks about the A33neo cancellation.
Earlier this month Hawaiian Airlines stunned the world when the Airline canceled its A330neo order. Even more shocking, in place of the Airbus, Hawaiian chose the Boeing 787. The Dreamliner represents the first Boeing aircraft order since the Airline ordered the Boeing 717, having primarily been an Airbus customer since then. In fact, today Hawaiian operates around two dozen Airbus A330-200s and began accepting deliveries of the Airbus A321neo late last year. Hawaiian does have a handful of Boeing 767s in its fleet, but those aircraft are on their way out. So winning this order from Hawaiian was a significant win for Boeing. But how did this situation come up in the first place?
When rumors first began to swirl of the A330neo cancellation, many speculated that it was because of the types sluggish sales. Heck, Hawaiian was, and is still, the only airline to order the A330neo-800 variant. And while that may not seem like a big deal, being the only operator of an aircraft can be problematic. For one, financing can be difficult to obtain or more expensive thanks to the absence of a resale market for the asset. It also means top-up orders may not be possible if the variant doesn’t survive. Further, if the -800 line were to close, spares could become very scarce. All of this would make acquiring such an aircraft a huge risk and, perhaps, even uneconomical.
What Hawaiian Says
In his interview with Business Insider, Peter Ingram gave very similar reasons for changing Hawaiian’s order. Per the article, Ingram states “…it doesn’t make sense to remain committed to an airplane that had the risk of not being sufficiently accepted in the marketplace in the future.”
And thanks to this lack of interest, Hawaiian staged a competition between the A330neo-900 and the Boeing 787-9. Both are of similar size, though the 787 boasts a much longer range and slightly higher capacity. It’s largely suspected that Boeing gave Hawaiian a substantial discount too, though Ingram doesn’t touch on pricing. In fact, he doesn’t go into details about the decision at all.
Hawaiian Talks About the A330neo Cancellation, Final Thoughts
Though we now have confirmation on why Hawaiian canceled its A330neo order, a lot of questions remain. Questions like why the 787? And why the GEnx engines when Hawaiian primarily operates Rolls-Royce? We may never get answers to those questions, but that’s ok. I’m just glad Hawaiian saw the writing on the wall and made the right move. And I’m even more excited that they ordered the 787, rather than the A330neo-900. But, the deal isn’t done yet. Hawaiian still needs approval from its unions before it can seal the deal. And then, that’s where the fun really begins. If all goes as planned, I can’t wait to see what routes they put the 787 on and what interiors they give her. Though, I suspect the current lie-flat seats will be fitted to the Dreamliners.