LONDON – In the airline’s earnings call, Hawaiian Airlines (HA) has confirmed the deferral of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to September 2022.

Hawaiian Airlines has around 10 of the -9 variant on order, with deliveries due to begin next year initially. With the first aircraft expected in 2022, this means that the delivery timetable extends onto 2026.

Such a confirmation comes following news in July when Hawaiian’s CEO Peter Ingram initiated talks for deferrals due to the continued decline in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also according to Ingram, the talks are still ongoing but HA is adamant that such deliveries will not take place for two years either way.

Photo: Hawaiian Airlines

A Negative Third-Quarter

This news will not come as much of a surprise to those in the industry, especially with the airline posting an adjusted loss of US$172.7m for the quarter. Mr. Ingram went into more detail about such losses, crediting his employees for the hard work they have exerted during this difficult time.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and State of Hawai’i quarantines continued to have a dramatic effect on our business in the third quarter. Despite these monumental challenges, my colleagues throughout the business have done an incredible job adapting to the evolving environment.”

“We have taken action to reduce expenses, preserve cash, bolster our liquidity and care for our guests, positioning us to begin the recovery process in earnest with the introduction of the State of Hawai’i’s pre-travel testing regime in the fourth quarter.”

Photo: Luca Flores

Huge Cuts to the Workforce, Further Restructuring Done

Whilst Ingram thanked his employees for their hard work, the airline also reduced its workforce at the same time. The airline has cut its workforce by 32%, representing around 2,400 people, of which 2,100 stepped down on a voluntary basis. This is also due to the CARES Act Payroll Support Program not being extended.

HA has raised US$114m through the sale and leaseback of two Airbus A321neo aircraft, including another US$262m through the issuance of Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates on two of its A330s and six A321neos as well.

At the moment, the airline has only limited capacity to 70% on its flights, and will remain like that until December 15 this year.

Photo: Luca Flores

Hopeful Fourth-Quarter?

Hawaiian Airlines is hopeful for some level of positivity going into the last quarter of the year, especially with the pre-travel testing program for travellers launched by the State of Hawaii.

Operating costs are expected to remain the same and forecast no decline due to the increased costs implemented due to COVID-19. Overall, it remains clear that HA has taken the steps necessary to not just survive next year, but the end of this year as well.

It will be interesting to see how the airline will continue to weather the storm and whether we will see anymore deferrals on the way anytime soon.

Photo: Luca Flores

Featured Image: Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 787 over Hawaii. Photo Credit: Everett Herald