MIAMI — Hawaiian Airlines has confirmed one of the most striking changes in commercial aviation history, from an order of six Airbus A330-800neo to 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.
The airline announced today that it intends to buy 10 787-9 planes, valued at $2.82 billion at list prices, with options for ten more. This was released through a non-binding letter of intent.
The planes will be powered by General Electric GEnx engines and will feature the airline’s all-new First Class lie-flat seat, as well as an extra-comfort section in the cabin.
Hawaiian Airlines was the launch customer of the Airbus A330-800neo. In October last year, Hawaiian’s former CEO, Mark Dunkerley, admitted that “it is a good time now to be looking at alternatives” to the A330-800neo now that “Hawaiian’s business has evolved.”
At the time, Dunkerley said that both Boeing and Airbus “have terrific products.”
Hawaiian Airlines was also the only customer of the Airbus A350-800. But when the manufacturer canceled the smallest variant of the A350 program, Hawaiian was given the opportunity to get the A330-800neo instead.
Today, however, the airline has married Boeing’s Dreamliner program and canceled its intentions to move forward with the Airbus wide-body.
“The Dreamliner’s operational efficiency and superior guest experience make it the best aircraft for modernizing our fleet in 2021 and beyond,” said Peter Ingram, president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Airlines.
The Honolulu-based airline will take advantage of the Dreamliner’s economics to launch new routes and fly long-haul at an unmatched performance.
“Its expanded seat capacity and extended range will allow us to expand within our current route network and offer new destinations in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Ingram.
The Dreamliners will come in to replace the airline’s aging Boeing 767-300s, which will be phased out under a special agreement with Boeing Capital Corp, who agreed to release Hawaiian from the leasing agreements of three, old Boeing 767-300(ER)s, which the airline seems desperate to get rid of.
According to Boeing, they will work closely with Hawaiian Airlines to finalize the order in the coming days.
“Hawaiian Airlines has been on an impressive growth trajectory as they strategically expanded service to and from Asia and North America,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, Kevin McAllister.
“The Dreamliner’s advanced technology, unmatched fuel efficiency, and passenger-pleasing cabin will optimize Hawaiian’s fleet for the future and provide their customers with a best-in-class experience,” he said.
According to Ingram, the new 787-9s will replace some A330 routes that are underperforming, as well as enhancing capacity, and give Hawaiian optionality to enter markets that they don’t serve today.