Hawaiian to select A321neo engine in Q2

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Hawaiian Airlines says it expects to decide in the second quarter of 2013 which engines will power the Airbus A321neos it has on order.

The Honolulu-based airline finalised an agreement with Airbus late last week to purchase 16 of the jets with deliveries between 2017 and 2020, and an option to purchase an additional nine. The deal is worth $2.8 billion at list prices.

The A321neo is offered with a choice of either the CFM International Leap-1A engine, which will use advanced materials like ceramic matrix composites, or the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G engine, which has a reduction gear that improves the efficiency of the inlet fan.

Hawaiian has said the jet will carry 190 passengers in a two-class configuration and, according to Airbus, will have a "design range" of 3,650nm (6,760km).

Wagner declined to name the cities the airline plans to serve with the aircraft, but says the aircraft will likely fly between Hawaiian cities other than Honolulu and US west coast cities that are already served by the airline.

Hawaiian chief executive Mark Dunkerley told Flightglobal in January that the new routes could connect the US mainland to island markets like Hilo, Kona and Lihue.

Hawaiian already flies from Honolulu to the California cities of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento, as well as to Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. The airline also flies from Kahului on the island of Maui to Seattle, San Jose and Oakland.

Those routes, which are between roughly 2,100nm and 2,300nm, are served by Hawaiian's Boeing 767 or Airbus A330 aircraft.

Hawaiian did not say if the carrier will fly the A321neos further east, to cities like Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona, which are roughly 2,400nm and 2,500nm from Honolulu, respectively.

Those cities might be at the "outer limits" of the A321neo's range, Hawiian says says.

Hawaiian currently serves Las Vegas and Phoenix from Honolulu using widebodies.