Late today, during communication with Hawaiian Airlines, the company reaffirmed more flights are being temporarily chopped, on a total of three routes thus far. Beat of Hawaii had already seen changes in Google Flights earlier. And we also received a tip for which we are grateful from reader CB.
These additional schedule changes are needed, as we indicated previously, in order for the plane-strapped Hawaii bellwether to address an unexpected engine recall that impacts its mission critical fleet of 5-year-old narrow body Airbus A321neo aircraft.
Today’s changes are the next response to last week’s Pratt & Whitney engine recall. We indicated last week, as was confirmed by the airline, that the extent of required schedule cuts was yet to be fully determined.
Hawaiian Airlines provided Beat of Hawaii the following schedule update:
Hawaiian Airlines is making more network adjustments as a result of Pratt & Whitney’s recent announcement that some Airbus A321neo engines will require additional inspections in coming months.
Hawaiian will pause Lihue-Oakland service from Sept. 6 through Dec. 14.
Also, from Sept. 9 through Jan. 8, Hawaiian will suspend the following flights:
Honolulu to San Jose on Saturdays, and San Jose to Honolulu on Mondays;
and service between Kahului and San Jose on Sundays.
Last week, Hawaiian announced that it would not operate its Kahului-Las Vegas flight from Aug. 5-31 in anticipation of the upcoming Pratt & Whitney engine checks that will require some aircraft to be out of service.
We sincerely apologize to our impacted guests for the inconvenience and are working with them on alternative travel options.
Alex Da Silva, Hawaiian Airlines.
Fast unfolding Hawaiian Airlines A321neo fleet engine recall.
Last week Hawaiian was told at the last minute prior to its earnings call, by engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, that some of their Airbus A321neo engines would need to be taken off the fuselages and returned for inspection and possible repair.
The next day, the airline proactively made schedule announcements for August 5 to 31. Starting this Friday, their otherwise daily Kahului-Las Vegas flight will not operate, with passengers being re-accommodated on Honolulu-Las Vegas flights or being offered alternative solutions. If you have been impacted, please comment to let us know how it was handled.
Hawaiian acknowledged at the time the inconvenience caused to their guests, albeit through through no fault of their own other than having bought the industry-loved aircraft and the Pratt & Whitney engines. They have been actively working with P&W to try to reduce the impact of the engine checks that will occur over the next year.
We said last week that “The extent of the required schedule changes may be more significant than the current announcement suggests. Hawaiian Airlines has not yet determined the number of aircraft that will need to be taken offline for the estimated two-month duration required for the recall work. This work involves the removal, inspection, repair, and reinstallation of the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G jet engines in question. Furthermore, they are uncertain about how many of the 18 planes in their fleet will require this urgent service and where the work will be performed.”
While more is now known, here is what we still hope to learn:
- First, is this the end of flight cuts? We think not. We did ask Hawaiian for a comment regarding whether there would be one set of flight cuts or multiple ones. They have not responded definitively. We do know that P&W said that the services would take place over the next year, whereas Hawaiian’s announcements on the subject to date only go through January.
- We also are waiting to learn about where the engine maintenance work will be done. The heavy maintenance for Hawaiian Airlines is usually conducted in the Philippines by a division of Singapore Airlines. However, it remains uncertain whether the engine shop work will be done there or by Pratt & Whitney.
- How long will each plane be out of service? P&W estimated last week that it could take two months time for each plane that requires service. Hawaiian has not confirmed how that will work for them.
- And lastly, exactly how many planes in the 18-aircraft fleet are subject to the recall?
Southwest airfares on newly impacted route now $45-$162 higher each way.
We previously indicated that these required flight cancellations would have implications for airfare costs on certain routes. And we see that already being the case.
For example, in August, when Hawaiian and Southwest compete on the Oakland to Lihue route, fares are available as low as $169 one way. In September, however, with only Southwest operating, they range from $214 to $331 one way.
As the situation continues to evolve, Beat of Hawaii will offer further updates. Let us know if you have any questions.