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(photo Courtesy of Ryan Ozawa http://www.hawaiiweblog.com/)
Hawaiian Airlines today welcomed its fleet of the future to Hawaii – its first new, long-range Airbus A330-200 aircraft that will set the company’s course for growth and expansion.
The wide-body, 294-seat A330 touched down at Honolulu International Airport at 10:49 a.m. Piloted by Captain Robert Mix and Captain Mark Dawson, the 13-member flight crew was greeted by Hawaiian Airlines employees with fresh flower lei, Hawaiian music, and hula.
“The A330 handled beautifully all the way here and it was an honor for me and Captain Dawson to bring Hawaiian’s newest jet home to Hawaii,” said Captain Mix. “I believe our customers are going to be very happy flying in this brand new aircraft.”
Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO who was among a crowd of employees greeting the plane’s arrival, said, “What a special moment for all of us at Hawaiian, to see more than three years’ planning and coordination come to fruition. This first A330 heralds a new era for Hawaiian, one of growth and new services for our customers.”
Hawaiian’s new A330 is scheduled to begin service on Friday, June 4, as Flight #2, departing Honolulu at 1:15 p.m. for Los Angeles.
Hawaiian Airlines took possession of the A330 on April 28 in a Hawaii-themed acceptance ceremony at the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France attended by more than 200 Hawaiian Airlines employees and their guests. The aircraft was flown nonstop from Toulouse to Seattle on April 30 for scheduled modification work before making its flight into Honolulu this morning.
Hawaiian Airlines plans to introduce up to 27 new Airbus aircraft into its fleet by the end of this decade. Hawaiian Airlines is leasing three A330s that are joining the fleet this year, and has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus to acquire seven A330s (starting in 2011) and six A350XWB-800 (Extra Wide-Body) aircraft (starting in 2017), as well as purchase rights for an additional five A330s and six A350s