Hawaiian Airlines, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:HA) announced on 22nd July that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus Group NV (EPA:AIR) to acquire six new A330-800neo aircraft starting in 2019, with rights to purchase an additional six aircraft. The Company’s CEO Mark Dunkerley explained to CNBC in an interview, how his company tries to capture the fantastic view of Hawaii on board and on the ground and why Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:HA) went for Airbus Group NV (EPA:AIR) and not The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA).
“In our business, it’s terribly important that you stand for something and that you have a proposition to the customer that separates you from everybody else. What we sell is Hawaii as a destination, people have this fantastic view of Hawaii because it’s an appropriately realistic view of Hawaii and we try to capture that in everything we do, on board and on the ground,” Mr. Dunkerley said in the interview.
When asked about the consolidation that has been happening in the airline industry, Mr.Dunkerley is of the view that consolidation has made the large even larger and that has two impacts for Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:HA). One is that it gives his company a niche to exploit and has resulted in Hawaiian Airlines growing profitably, which according to Mr. Dunkerley is very hard to do in the airline industry. The second impact is that while its consolidated competition is focusing on business travelers and having a network that spans the globe, Hawaiian Airlines focuses on ‘selling’ Hawaii.
“Well, first of all both manufacturers make great airplanes and we do operate a fleet of 18 Boeing 717, which is an airplane that we are extremely fond of as well as the 7670 retiring from our fleet, but you know, each airplane is optimized for certain mission and it so happens that the missions that we fly are best suited to the Airbus A330 for the long haul and also for the A321neo, which is a narrow body with some pretty impressive range that will be coming out in a couple of years time,” Mr. Dunkerley said when asked about Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:HA)’s decision to buy from Airbus Group NV (EPA:AIR) instead of The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA).