Hawaiian Airlines to speed up expansion - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaiian Airlines to speed up expansion

Airbus A330-200 Airbus A330-200

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Airlines is buying an extra Airbus jet and now gets three of the new aircraft between now and the end of the year.

Three A330-200s will be leased this year with options buy. The airline said Tuesday the jets will be delivered in April, May and November.

A fourth Airbus will be delivered in the second quarter of 2011 and six more Airbus jets have been ordered for delivery in 2012-2014.

These jets are fuel efficient and can travel for long distances, giving Hawaiian such options as flying nonstop to China or the U.S. East Coast.

"Good financial performance has positioned us well to seize the opportunities to grow our business," Hawaiian CEO Mark Dunkerley said in a statement.

Hawaiian is one of several U.S. airlines seeking permission to offer to flights to Tokyo's close-in Haneda airport.

Continental Airlines, in a Tuesday news release promoting its own bid for the limited Haneda flight slots, criticized rival bids by other large airlines but also said Hawaiian had previously won flight slots to Narita airport without fulfilling them.

The Hawaiian Airlines news release hours later could be read as a response, making it explicit that Hawaiian is financially able to fulfill Haneda slots.

The Haneda service depends on completion of a new runway. That's expected in October, and several of the airlines seeking slots have said they'd like to know whether they get chosen or not in time to spend a few months marketing the service and booking tickets. A decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation is expected as soon as June.

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