HONOLULU – November 11, 2010 - Hawaiian Airlines received a big present today for its 81st birthday, welcoming its third new Airbus A330-200 aircraft to the fleet.
The new 294-seat, wide-body A330 touched down at Honolulu International Airport at 4:47 p.m. (HST) following a 16-hour, 30-minute nonstop flight that came straight from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France and covered 6,600 nautical miles. An eight-member crew flew the aircraft.
The new aircraft is named ‘Iwakeli‘i, the Hawaiian name for the constellation Cassiopeia, which can be seen in the northern sky and is distinguished by five bright stars forming a ‘W’ shape. All of Hawaiian’s new A330s are being named for a star or constellation used by Polynesian voyagers for celestial navigation.
‘Iwakeli‘iis scheduled to begin service on December 9. Like Hawaiian’s first two A330s that began operations in June, Makali‘i and Hokule‘a, ‘Iwakeli‘i will be used to operate flights connecting Honolulu with either Los Angeles or Las Vegas.
Hawaiian’s newest aircraft arrived 81 years to the day after the company forever changed the way people traveled between the Hawaiian Islands. On November 11, 1929, Inter-Island Airways (renamed Hawaiian Airlines in 1941) launched Hawaii’s first-ever scheduled interisland air service using two Sikorsky S-38 amphibian propeller planes that carried eight passengers and two crewmembers, and had a top cruising speed of 110 MPH.
The company’s inaugural flight from Honolulu to Hilo, with a stop on Maui, took more than three hours. The first flight to Kauai was made the following day and soon thereafter all the Hawaiian Islands were receiving air service on a regular basis.
Hawaiian plans to introduce up to 27 new Airbus aircraft into its fleet by the end of the decade. Along with the three A330s already in the fleet, Hawaiian has a purchase agreement with Airbus to acquire seven A330s (starting in 2011) and six A350XWB-800 (Extra Wide-Body) aircraft (starting in 2017), along with purchase rights for an additional five A330s and six A350s.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian is the nation’s highest-ranked carrier for service quality and performance in 2009 in the 20th annual Airline Quality Rating study, having earned that distinction in three of the past four years. Hawaiian has also led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past six years (2004-2009) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the top domestic airline offering flights to Hawaii.
Now in its 82nd year of continuous service for Hawaii, Hawaiian is the state’s biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service to Hawaii from the state’s primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities (10) than any other airline, as well as service to the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti, and is launching service to Japan on November 17, and to South Korea in January 2011. Hawaiian also provides more than 150 daily jet flights between the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at www.HawaiianAirlines.com.