There’s a rumor swirling around aviation news sites: Hawaiian Airlines cancels A330neo order.
On a couple of occasions now, Hawaiian Air’s CEO, Mark Dunkerley, has stated that now is the time for the Airline to look at its aircraft orders. At the end of 2017, Hawaiian began accepting deliveries of their much anticipated Airbus A321neos. And despite some issues with one of them, the aircraft has been a game changer for the Airline. However, Hawaiian’s wish to order next-gen, wide-body aircraft hasn’t been going well so far. At first, the Airline committed to the Airbus A350XWB-800. But, the variant sold poorly, and Airbus ultimately abandoned it. Following this program termination, Hawaiian changed its order from the A350 to the A330-800neo. However, since placing its order, all other airlines have canceled their orders for the type. And as a result of that, Hawaiian’s order six aircraft is the sole remaining A330-800 order.
This leaves Hawaiian in an awkward position. Being the only purchaser of the type means that there could potentially be little to no resale market for the aircraft. This makes financing or leasing much more difficult to obtain for the type. It also means that, should the program not survive, Hawaiian could be stuck with a very small sub-fleet of aircraft with no way to do top off orders. Further, spares for the type could become exceedingly expensive or become unavailable altogether. However, the A330neo provides commonality with Hawaiian’s current wide-body fleet, which would simplify training and fleet planning.
Looking at both aircraft, though, the 787 may serve Hawaiian’s future missions better. While both the A330-800neo and 787-9 have a maximum capacity of 406 passengers, the 787 can fly 135 miles further. And while that difference in distance may not seem like much, it could be make or break for potential non-stop flights to Europe. This is especially true since the A330-800neo’s actual range is not known yet.
As for the rumor itself, Leeham News, a site dedicated to reporting on the aviation industry, posted an article yesterday saying that Hawaiian had canceled its A330neo order and replaced it with the Boeing 787-9. No source is given, but the outlet reports that an announcement could come as early as the end of this week. Further, according to Leeham, Boeing Capital agreed to release Hawaiian from leases for three Boeing 767-300ERs much earlier than anticipated. And while this isn’t related to a new aircraft purchase deal in any way, but could have helped sway Hawaiian’s decision.
Hawaiian Airlines Cancels A330neo Order, Final Thoughts
I have no problem with Hawaiian’s current fleet of A330s. They’re quiet, comfortable aircraft, though Hawaiian could do a better job maintaining them. But more on that in my next flight review. However, I was never a fan of the way the A330 looks, and I have a bias towards Boeing aircraft. And since the 787 is such a groundbreaking and gorgeous aircraft, it’s something I’d love to see more of them around Hawaii. Hell, I’d love to fly one, one day too, though none operate on routes I need to fly. So the prospect of Hawaiian purchasing this aircraft is of great interest to me, as the likelihood of me flying one greatly increases. Further, I just think Pualani would look great on a 787.