Hawaiian Airlines has moved forward the retirement of its Boeing 767 fleet by about a quarter, following its decision to exit the Beijing market in October.
The Honolulu-based carrier will remove its last 767-300ER early in the first quarter of 2019, chief executive Peter Ingram says on the sidelines of the Airlines for America (A4A) Summit in Washington DC today.
This is about three months earlier than planned, a move that is possible with the aircraft freed up with the end of Beijing service and the continued delivery of new Airbus A321neos, he adds.
Hawaiian operates six 767-300ERs today, down from eight at the end of June, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows. The aircraft are being replaced by Airbus A330-200s already in its fleet and the new A321neos.
The airline will end its three-times weekly service to Beijing from Honolulu on 12 October.
Hawaiian will continue to grow, even with its decision to exit Beijing. It continues to see China as a major market for visitors to Hawaii in the future but the economics for nonstop service are not there yet, says Ingram.
"The China-Hawaii market has not developed as quickly as we thought," he says, adding that it has actually shrunk since Hawaiian added Beijing flights in 2014.
Hawaiian will look elsewhere for its next destination. Ingram confirms that the airline plans to add a new market in the first half of 2019, but declines to provide further details.
The carrier will have an A330 available to for the new market by early next year, he says.
Hawaiian continues to take delivery of A321neos, even as it retires the 767s. It anticipates having 11 by the end of 2018, and taking another six in 2019, says Ingram.
The airline is using the narrowbodies on routes to the US West Coast, including ones previously operated with 767s.