Hawaiian anticipates 18% capacity growth in 2013

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Hawaiian Airlines anticipates that capacity will grow by 18% in 2013 compared to this year, driven by new international flying.

Scott Topping, chief financial officer of Hawaiian, says that capacity will increase by 25% in the first half and 13% in the second half compared to the corresponding periods in 2012, in an investor day presentation today.

Capacity growth will be driven by new international flying as well as routes launched in 2012 reaching a full year of operations, according to Topping.

Hawaiian will begin flights to Auckland in March, increase frequency to both Brisbane and Sydney in the second quarter, and launch service to Taipei, Taiwan - its first destination in greater China - in July.

Topping said that new markets that interest the airline include Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, as well as Beijing, Boston, Hong Kong, Philadelphia and Shanghai, during a presentation at the Dahlman Rose Global Transportation Conference in September.

However, new service to destinations in greater China will depend on relaxed visa restrictions for travel to the USA, similar to Taiwan's entry into the US visa waiver programme in November.

Hawaiian will take delivery of five Airbus A330-200s in 2013 but these deliveries are to be mostly "offset" by planned aircraft retirements, said Topping during an earnings call in October.

The airline will return three Boeing 767-300ERs to ILFC in 2013, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database. N584HA will be returned in April, N585HA in September and N586HA in August.

Hawaiian's A330s carry 294 passengers and its 767s carry 260 passengers.

Topping also said that there would be little quarter-on-quarter capacity growth in the first and second quarters of 2013 due to only one aircraft delivery in March, and more growth in the second half, during the call.