Hawaiian buys two turboprops

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Hawaiian Airlines has signed agreements to buy  two turboprop aircraft from an unnamed supplier as part of its plan to launch a new regional subsidiary in Hawaii.

Scott Topping, chief financial officer and treasurer of Hawaiian, says that it will buy between three and five aircraft under its current plan but that it could acquire up to seven turboprops in the future, at the 2012 Dahlman Rose Global Transportation Conference in New York today.

The Honolulu-based airline is understood to have bought ATR-42 aircraft, based on various sources at lessors.

Topping did not comment on the type of aircraft.

Peter Ingram, chief commercial officer of Hawaiian, said that the turboprops would have 50 seats or less, in July.

Hawaiian plans to use the turboprops to serve airports that cannot handle its Boeing 717-200s, for example West Maui or Lana'i. The majority of these flights would be to and from Honolulu but the aircraft could also be used on off-peak flights between the state's other large cities - Hilo, Kahului (Maui), Kona and Lihue.

The airline would compete with Island Air and Mokulele Airlines on regional routes.

Note: An earlier version of this article said that Hawaiian had leased the turboprops.