Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram is frustrated with the A321neo delays, as the carrier expected nine deliveries in 2018, frontloaded to the beginning of the year such that it expected seven of these deliveries to be available for its summer 2018 peak season.
Although the carrier will ultimately take delivery of the nine new Airbus aircraft in 2018, the remaining seven yet to be delivered are now delayed until later in the year as a result of engine issues. Two A321neos were delivered earlier in 2018, with the remainder now about three months behind schedule on average.
As a result, Hawaiian has built some buffer into its fleet and network plans, and has had to adjust its schedule on shorter notice. Some seasonal flights have been cutback as well, while the start of some new year-round services have been delayed.
The carrier is also incurring maintenance and pilot expenses to return its B767s to service as Hawaiian planned to retire them in 1Q 2018. In total, Hawaiian took a one-time US$35.3 million charge in the 1Q related to the fleet plans. The first was related to the purchase of three B767s, previously on long-term leases. This acquisition and a related agreement to sell these aircraft later in 2018 are an important component of Hawaiian's plan to retire this fleet as it enters 2019. The second charge was related to the cancellation of its A330-800 order.
Moving into 2019, Hawaiian has six A321neos planned for delivery and one for 2020. The 10 B787s recently ordered as set to delivery in 2021, although the schedule has not been finalized yet.
Freighter operations with three ATR72Fs, operated by Empire Airlines, in also expected to launch later in 2018.
Hawaiian Airlines is always looking for opportunities to work more closely with JetBlue, according to CEO Peter Ingram, as they have a "great relationship".
By the end of May 2018, Hawaiian will launch another A321neo route connecting Long Beach with Honolulu. Long Beach is one of JetBlue's major bases outside of New York.
Hawaiian also intends to pursue the next step with Japan Airlines, which is filing for antitrust immunity in 2Q 2018. A comprehensive partnership with Japan Airlines was signed earlier in the 1Q, which included codeshare flights.