Airline News: Hawaiian pilots approve new jet terms

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Airlines pilots have ratified basic terms for flying a new model jetliner that Hawaiian plans to use to serve smaller West Coast markets, setting the stage for another phase of the airline's aggressive years-long expansion.

Pilots get different pay for flying different aircraft, and settling details is a necessary precursor to any fleet expansion that brings in new model jets. Hawaiian has ordered 16 new Airbus A321neo jets between 2017 and 2020 with an option to order nine more.

Pilots approved a memorandum of understanding agreed to by negotiators on Jan. 7. Details are facedown so far, but Hawaiian says they are contingent on operational agreements by pilots and flight attendants.

The A321neo is a narrow-body, single-aisle aircraft that can serve markets that don't have the volume for profitable service by larger planes. Hawaiian currently flies twin-aisle A330 jets and Boeing B767 jets to the West Coast. Both are wide-body aircraft. On the LAX-HNL corridor, where Hawaiian flies only Airbuses, the airline has the newest fleet of any carrier on the route.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, however, the aircraft have a total list-price value of approximately $2.8 billion if all of the purchase rights are exercised.

"Everyone at Hawaiian wants us to keep our position as the market leader in service quality, cost efficiency and choice of destinations and ordering the A321neo will secure this legacy on routes between the U.S. West Coast and Hawai'i beyond the middle of this decade," said CEO Mark Dunkerley in a statement.

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