HAL Pilots Approve Narrowbody Letter of Agreement

Hawaiian Airlines pilots have approved a letter of agreement that will enable the carrier to add a completely new aircraft type to its fleet and become more flexible and competitive in the fast-growing Pacific market.

The new Narrowbody LOA, ratified by an 83-percent margin, will help bring state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient Airbus A321 NEOs to Hawaiian by 2017. The A321s will bridge the gap between HAL’s smaller Boeing B717 airliners and its large Boeing B767 and Airbus A330 widebody aircraft.

“We’re pleased that our pilots see the value in bringing this new aircraft type into our fleet,” said HAL MEC chairman Capt. Rick Horne. “This agreement will create nearly 300 more pilot jobs, allow our current pilots to upgrade faster, and make our airline stronger.”

The LOA sets pay and work rules for the A321 fleet. HAL management has placed a firm order for 16 of the mid-size aircraft, with options for nine more. The A321s will primarily be flown on new routes between the Hawaiian Islands and the West Coast, allowing HAL to provide direct service from smaller West Coast markets and destinations on the “Neighbor Islands,” such as Maui and Kona.

Hawaiian is in the midst of a major program to modernize and expand its fleet. If the company exercises all its options for new A321, A330 and A350 aircraft, it could have as many as 77 jets and more than 1,000 pilots by 2020. Hawaiian Holdings is also in the beginning stages of creating a regional subsidiary that would fly ATR turboprops to smaller destinations within the Islands.