Hawaiian Airlines has targeted 19 cities most in North America and Asia to which it could launch new routes in the coming years, according to a presentation released by the airline on 2 December.

In addition, the carrier has released more details about the cities to which it could deploy its incoming fleet of Airbus A321neos.

Those aircraft, the carrier has said, will help free its A330-200s to launch new routes that are longer than 8h in duration.

The presentation, given to investment analysts by vice-president of revenue management and network planning Brent Overbeek, includes a graphic depicting "potential markets".

Those include major Asian metropolitan areas, including Chinese cities such as Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore are also on the list, as are Nagoya, Japan and Melbourne, Australia.

The graphic also cites ten markets in North America, among them Canadian cities like Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

US cities in Hawaiian's sights include Austin, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, the presentation shows.

The carrier's executives have not announced any specific destinations it may serve, but stress that an ongoing fleet transformation will leave it ready to expand in 2017.

Hawaiian embarked on its long-haul growth plan several years ago, acquiring A330s and deploying them on a number of routes to Asia and Oceania, as well as to major North American destinations.

The carrier has now has 22 A330s, with one more aircraft scheduled to join the fleet next year, according to Flightglobal's Fleets Analyzer database.

But big changes will come in 2017, when it begins taking delivery of new A321neos, aircraft it will use to expand service to the US West Coast, taking pressure off the A330s and a fleet of 767-300ERs that are nearing retirement.

Hawaiian, which has orders to purchase a total of 16 A321neos, has hinted at routes the aircraft may operate, but Overbeek's presentation provides a new level of detail.

He says A321neos will primarily be used to build out the carrier's small hub at Maui.

With its widebodies, Hawaiian currently flies from Maui to five US West Coast cities: Los Angeles, Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco and Seattle.

But A321neos are suited to flying from Maui to five "mid-size markets": Las Vegas, San Diego, Portland, Phoenix and Sacramento, says the presentation.

In addition, the aircraft could be used to fly from the smaller Hawaiian markets of Lihue and Kona to the major US West Coast markets of Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, says Hawaiian.

All those additional Maui flights wound enable Alaska to expand the number of passengers it can connect in Maui to intra-island flights, particularly those to Lihue, Kona and Hilo, the carrier says.

But the move would also see an expansion by Hawaiian firmly into territory held by Seattle-based Alaska Airlines.

That carrier flies its Boeing 737s to Hawaii from a number of West Coast cities, including Seattle, Portland and smaller markets like San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose and Oakland, according to Innovata data.

Still, Hawaiian thinks A321neos will give it an advantage, with chief commercial officer Peter Ingram calling the type the most economical narrowbody aircraft for those routes.

"We think that this airplane will give us an absolute cost advantage over any other airplane that is flying," he says on 2 December.

Source: Cirium Dashboard