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Thu, Jun 05, 2008

Hawaiian Plans To Expand Interisland Fleet

Will Add Two More B717s; Now Operating 763 Between Honolulu And Maui

Here's something we haven't heard much of lately... an airline actually adding capacity. Hawaiian Airlines announced this week it plans to expand its interisland fleet with the addition of four Boeing 717-200 aircraft, to better meet the needs of Hawaii's interisland travelers in the wake of the shutdown of Aloha Airlines on April 1.

Two of the aircraft are expected to enter service in September, while the remaining two will join the fleet in November and December. The additions, all acquired on long-term leases from Boeing Capital Corporation, will increase Hawaiian's interisland fleet of Boeing 717-200 aircraft to 15.

"This substantial investment in more interisland aircraft reaffirms Hawaiian's long-term commitment to serving the people of Hawaii, and will allow us to increase our flight schedules during periods of the day that our customers prefer to travel," said Mark Dunkerley, president and chief executive officer.

Hawaiian currently operates a total of 150 interisland flights daily between the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii. To meet immediate community needs in the wake of Aloha's collapse, Hawaiian expanded its interisland flight schedule by flying a long-haul Boeing 767-300 widebody aircraft between Honolulu and Maui as well as by flying an additional 717 usually held in reserve as a 'spare' aircraft to cover scheduled flying in the event of a delay.

Hawaiian will continue these operations until the additional 717 aircraft arrive to make sure that seats remain available for interisland travelers.

"We're delighted to be able to support the expansion of Hawaiian's 717 fleet as the airline responds to the community's air travel needs," said Jordan Weltman, vice president, Americas region, Boeing Capital Corporation.

Hawaiian also began recruiting flight crews and additional ground staff to support its expanded interisland operations immediately after Aloha's closure. To date, Hawaiian has hired 230 additional employees, a majority of whom are former Aloha employees, and is seeking to fill an additional 160 positions, including pilots, flight attendants, maintenance technicians, contract service and line service positions.

"The performance of Hawaiian's employees during our rapid expansion over the past two months has been nothing short of phenomenal, and a true inspiration to me," Dunkerley said. "We all know how important air transportation is to Hawaii, and their dedication to our community has really shone through these past several weeks. I want to publicly thank them for their remarkable efforts and let everyone know that we have wasted no time in recruiting more people to support our larger operation."

In addition to its fleet of 717s used in Hawaii, Hawaiian also operates a fleet of 18 wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300 aircraft on 16 flights daily to 14 destinations outside Hawaii.

FMI: www.hawaiianairlines.com

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