Hawaiian Airlines receives first Amazon A330 freighter

Hawaiian Airlines receives first Amazon A330 freighter

August 2, 2023

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Dive Brief:

  • Hawaiian Airlines received delivery of its first Amazon A330-300 freighter, which is named “Momentum,” last month, according to flight tracking software Flightradar24.
  • Operations are expected to begin in October, President and CEO Peter Ingram said during a July 25 earnings call. The aircraft will be used for employee familiarization in the next few months.
  • “This is the first of 10 freighter aircraft we will be inducting over the course of the next 1.5 years, providing us a new and diversified stream of revenue that will begin to ramp more materially in 2024,” the CEO told analysts.

Dive Insight:

The aircraft is the first of 10 A330-300 Amazon freighters that Hawaiian Airlines will be inducting over the next year and a half as the carrier looks to provide “a new and diversified stream of revenue,” the CEO said.

Earlier this year, the carrier also said it was transitioning its A330 maintenance in-house from a third party, which will cut back on costs as Hawaiian Airlines grows its operating fleet. This would reduce “our steady state expenses, giving our team greater control of our day-to-day operation, and allowing us to scale our costs more effectively as we grow the fleet with the Amazon A330 freighters,” Ingram told analysts during an April 25 earnings call.

Although the freighters may be a significant expense for the company now, the carrier has optimistic expectations on revenue growth.

“This year, because our operations for Amazon will be fairly limited, it’s not particularly material to our financial results,” Ingram told analysts. “And so it’s a bit of an expense drag on us in 2023, and we’ll see revenue [increase] more materially as we go into 2024.”

The companies initially announced the partnership in October, where the Hawaii-based carrier will operate and maintain the aircraft on behalf of Amazon. The newer, larger aircraft will enable the e-commerce giant greater transport volume, bolstering its fulfillment network and advancing its air cargo ambitions.

Hawaiian Airlines’ cargo revenues during the second quarter dropped 30% year over year, but were still higher than 2019 levels during the same period, Brent Overbeek, chief revenue officer, said during the call. The quarter prior, cargo revenues were down 25% YoY, but up 16% compared with 2019, according to a Q1 earnings call.

Using belly capacity, Hawaiian Air Cargo offers more than 160 daily interisland cargo flights to and from every major airport in the state of Hawaii, as well as bulk freight and containerized shipping between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland, according to the company’s website. The carrier also offers cargo services on scheduled flights between Asia and the South-Pacific.

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