A321neo delays hit Hawaiian again

Rendering of a Hawaiian Airlines A321neo, courtesy of the company

Hawaiian Airlines is not shy about the value it sees in its new A321neo fleet. The carrier plans significant growth to the mainland. Secondary cities will see new service and seasonal routes will be more flexible than before. Of course, that only works if the company can get the aircraft into its fleet. For the second time in the past year Hawaiian is delaying the launch of A321 service due to delivery delays from Airbus.

Hawaiian will no longer offer a previously announced extra flight between San Francisco and Honolulu as a summer addition to its regular year-round service, and will not operate a flight between Oakland and Kona for the time being. Service between Oakland and Lihu’e, originally scheduled to commence April 11, will be deferred until July 15.

Hawaiian’s new A321neo aircraft are part of the “glider” family that sits at Airbus assembly lines. The engines are supplied by Pratt & Whitney and continue to see reliability issues forcing reengineering and delivery delays to Airbus. This time around it is the knife edge seal in the High Pressure Compressor (HPC) aft hub on the PW1100G-JM engine. This failure forced an emergency Airworthiness Directive from EASA and the FAA, severely limiting operations of some aircraft fitted with the PW1100G engines. For new deliveries the company must again determine a suitable engineering solution and implement the fix. That slows delivery of the engines and ultimately means aircraft not handed over to airlines.

We know how popular our seasonal summer flights have become, and we regret being unable to provide the full scope of services we had hoped to offer out of the Bay Area. In spite of these changes, we continue to be the top carrier among Bay Area travelers visiting our islands and look forward to welcoming our guests onboard this summer. – Brent Overbeek, Hawaiian’s VP for revenue management and network planning.

Other summer seasonal service such as the new Long Beach route remains unaffected so far.

The initial A321neo induction into Hawaiian’s fleet was similarly delayed. Service was planned for late 2017 but slipped into early 2018 when the first A321neo aircraft arrived to the carrier later than planned, also due to P&W engine delays.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. In retrospect, would it have been better to chose a different engine and not have this delay in delivery or are the benefits of this new engine that much better that over the long term it was the right call regardless?

    1. it would cost the airline too much money to restructure the contract to procure a different engine. The frames that were already built were designed with the specific engine in mind. They’re not simply interchangeable (without massive costs incurred)

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