HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Airlines has signed a definitive agreement with Airbus to acquire 16 to 25 new A321neo jets, with the first deliveries in 2017.
The airline signed a memo of understanding to this effect in January and said Monday it signed the contract itself after securing labor agreements covering the new model plane.
The 2017-2020 delivery window shows that the company is committed to continuing its rapid expansion, which has created hundreds of jobs in Hawaii.
The A321neo is a narrow-body, single-aisle jet, and Hawaiian intends to use it for smaller routes to the U.S. mainland.
"With its slightly smaller size, we'll be able to open new markets that are not viable for wide-body service," CEO Mark Dunkerley said in a statement.
In other airline news:
- Island Air says it will stop flying to Kapalua at the end of May, after retiring its last two Dash-8 turboprops in favor of larger ones that are too big to land at the West Maui airport. Island Air will fly to Kahului airport instead.
- The International Air Transport Association has raised its 2013 profit outlook, and now says its member airlines expect to collectively make a $10.6 billion profit this year, despite costs rising to $649 billion.
- The FAA tower closure list spared Hawaii, after regulators apparently bought Sen. Mazie Hirono's argument that the Coast Guard makes too much use of Kalaeloa airport to close its tower operation.