photo by Ack OokHawaiian Airlines announced yesterday that it was replacing its 18-strong fleet of Boeing 767-300s with 24 new long-range airplanes from Airbus. The order, which is for six A330-200s and six A350 XWB-800s (plus six options on each kind), is worth approximately $4.4 billion at list prices and will "enable [the airline] to open new routes to more distant markets on a nonstop basis from Hawaii," said a company press release. The first A350s will be delievered in 2017 (that's a ten year wait!), but Hawaiian will only have to wait five years for the first A330.
Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian CEO and president, said that "we are building flexibility into the plan with some aircraft purchased, some to be leased and having options for others, which will allow us to scale the fleet according to our needs and opportunities over the next two decades". He also said that agreements with Airbus allow the company to lease additional A330s starting in 2009, which will allow Hawaiian to expand and to replace the Boeing 767s with leases that are due to expire in the next few years.