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PICTURE: Hawaiian's first A321 arrives in Honolulu home

Hawaiian Airlines first Airbus A321neo has arrived at the company's Honolulu hub, a milestone coming about seven weeks before Hawaiian's planned launch of A321neo revenue flights.

The company on 16 November held a "blessing ceremony" for the aircraft, which it has named "Maile" after the Hawaiian vine used to make leis.

Hawaiian's first A321: on the ground on Honolulu

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Hawaiian took delivery of the A321neo (registration N202HA) in Hamburg on 27 October, and had said the aircraft would make stops in New York and the US West Coast before arriving in Honolulu.

In recent weeks workers fitted the aircraft with additional satellite communications equipment, and the company used the aircraft to help train ground handlers, Hawaiian says.

The airline's schedule calls for Hawaiian to begin passenger flights with A321neos on 8 January 2018 between Maui and Oakland.

Then on 18 January 2018 Hawaiian will use the type to launch a new route between Maui and Portland, it says.

Hawaiian will next deploy A321neos on its Lihue-Oakland route starting 11 April 2018, and place the type on the Kona-Los Angeles route sometime next summer, Hawaiian says.

“As we welcome our A321neo fleet, some of our widebody aircraft serving the US West Coast will be deployed for further long-haul expansion," says chief executive Mark Dunkerley in the release.

Hawaiian has orders for another 17 A321neos, the company says. Most of those aircraft will be delivered by the middle of 2020, according to Flight Fleets Analyzer.

Hawaiian has outfitted its A321neos with 189 seats, including 16 first class seats, 45 premium economy seats and 128 coach seats, the airline says.

Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofans power the aircraft, Fleets Analyzer shows.

The aircraft arrived the same day Hawaiian announced Dunkerley will retire on 1 March 2018. Chief commercial officer Peter Ingram will succeed Dunkerley, Hawaiian says.

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