Last March, as Hawaiian Airlines prepared to add the first of eighteen new Airbus A321neo aircraft to its fleet, the airline unveiled an A321neo Full Flight Simulator (FFS) at its Honolulu-based flight training facility. In 2013, Hawaiian became the first Hawai‘i-based carrier to have an on-site FFS, when it inaugurated its A330 simulator. Hawaiian Airlines pilots had previously used a third-party simulator in Florida.
“We are excited to provide our pilots with convenient access to another state-of-the-art simulator, which will also lead to significant savings,” said Jon Snook, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Hawaiian Airlines. As Hawai‘i’s largest and longest-serving carrier, Hawaiian currently employs more than 600 pilots. With the addition of the A321neo fleet, the airline anticipates hiring nearly 200 more.
Training of pilots and instructors associated with the new, multimillion-dollar A321neo FFS started in April. The new FFS features three-dimensional realistic detailing of different major airport scenes and flight environments that are indistinguishable from the real world.
The long-range, single-aisle A321neos will complement Hawaiian’s fleet of wide-body, twin-aisle A330 aircraft used for flying between Hawai‘i and the U.S. West Coast. Considered the most fuel-efficient aircraft of its type, the A321neo will seat 189 passengers in a two-class configuration (First and Coach) and have an operating range of 3,650 nautical miles. The first of the new aircraft will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017, with first flights scheduled for January 2018. All eighteen aircraft will be in service by 2020.
Hawaiian Airlines is currently airing a special short film, The ‘Ōhi‘a, the Story of Hawai‘i’s Tree, as part of its Hawaiian Skies domestic in-flight programming. Produced in partnership with Kupu (a conservation and youth education organization), the USDA Forest Service and the Hawai‘i Island-based Hālau ‘Ōhi‘a — Hawai‘i Stewardship Training Program, the video highlights the cultural and ecological significance of ‘ōhi‘a. The video also addresses the impact of the fungal disease Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death (ROD). Since it was discovered in 2014, ROD has wiped out ‘ōhi‘a trees across 50,000 acres on Hawai‘i Island.
The short film features scientists, conservationists, kumu hula, dancers and families of Hawai‘i Island’s community, all whom are bound by their aloha for and commitment to ‘ōhi‘a. Five species of ‘ōhi‘a are endemic to Hawai‘i, one of which, Metrosideros polymorpha, is the most abundant native species in Hawai‘i, making up 80 percent of native forests.
“‘Ōhi‘a is as old as the volcanic islands,” said Kekuhi Keali‘ikanaka‘oleohaililani of Hālau ‘Ōhi‘a. “We talk about them as a part of our culture. But what we need to begin talking about is how our lifeway might change if the ‘ōhi‘a were not here.”
From the Archives
Comfortable seating and spacious interiors have always been a priority for Hawaiian Airlines (and its predecessor, Inter-Island Airways). The sixteen-passenger Sikorsky S-43, pictured here, entered service in 1935 with overhead luggage racks and curtained windows, an improvement from the wicker seats and leather ceiling of the earlier S-38s.
During the 1950s our Convair fleet was acclaimed for its spacious interiors. Five of our DC-3s were converted to “Viewmasters” with five-foot wide scenic windows. On the long flights across the Pacific, there was lounge seating in the back of the DC-6s’ cabin for extra legroom.
As cabin configurations moved into the jet-age, Hawaiian Airlines always tried to provide the most comfortable seating. Who could forget the huge first class seats in the DC-10? As we fly into the future, modern materials and innovative engineering will provide even more comfortable seating options.
Airline of the Year
Last March, Incheon International Airport Corporation named Hawaiian Airlines its 2016 Airline of the Year. To be eligible for this award, airlines must have an annual passenger count of at least 50,000 and have earned high marks in twelve categories. This is the second consecutive year that Hawaiian received the Airline of the Year award.
“This year we celebrated our sixth anniversary of Incheon-Honolulu service,” said Soojin Yu, Hawaiian Airlines’ Country Director of South Korea. “I am honored to work alongside employees who strive to maintain our record of on-time performance and operational safety.”
Hawaiian Airlines has maintained a leading on-time performance among all U.S. carriers for the past thirteen years. In January, Hawaiian Airlines was named the world’s most punctual airline by air travel intelligence company OAG.