Hawaiian has ‘no interest’ in larger A350-900

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Hawaiian Airlines has “no interest” in the converting its Airbus A350-800 order to the larger -900 variant, says director of fleet acquisition Matt Baumgarth.

“We have no interest in upgauging,” he says at the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Americas conference in San Diego.

The A350-800 seats 276 passengers in a standard two-class configuration compared to the -900 with 325 passengers, according to Airbus.

Honolulu-based Hawaiian wants the A350 for longer segments that it cannot serve with its existing fleet of Airbus A330-200s and Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, says Baumgarth. However, these markets have lower demand and require a smaller – rather than larger – long-range aircraft, he says.

The airline has firm orders for six A350-800s with options for six more.

Airbus’ orderbook for the -800 stood at just 46 in February, after lessor ILFC converted its order for 10 to the larger -900 variant.

In addition, operating lessor AWAS told Flightglobal in February that it was considering converting its order for 2 A350-800s to -900s.

Hawaiian is in talks with Airbus regarding the A350-800 but is waiting for additional details on programme before it makes a decision, says Baumgarth.

The carrier has yet to form an opinion on a possible re-engined A330. Economics will determine Hawaiian’s interest, he says. However, any interest would decrease if the so-called A330neo was only of the -300 variant and not the smaller -200.

Hawaiian’s widebody fleet consists of 16 A330-200s and 12 767-300ERs, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows.