Hawaiian Airlines to boost Australia flights in Jetstar battle

Hawaiian Airlines' A330 economy class.
Hawaiian Airlines' A330 economy class. 

Hawaiian Airlines has outlined plans to boost its capacity on Brisbane-Honolulu flights by using larger aircraft from December - the same month Jetstar will break the US carrier's monopoly on the route.

Hawaiian Airlines last month said it was not concerned that Jetstar's entry to the route with two flights in the off season and three during peak periods would threaten the viability of its own four-weekly services .

On Friday, Hawaiian Airlines announced plans to upgauge its flights from a 264-seat Boeing 767 to a 294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft from December.

The A330 will allow travellers to enjoy more legroom and on-demand seatback entertainment and its policy of providing complimentary meals will remain the same.

"Australia has become an important part of our network and over the last decade has become an increasingly important part of the overall tourism base in Hawaii," Hawaiian Airlines chief commercial officer Peter Ingram said of the plans to add larger aircraft.

"There has been particularly strong demand for travel to Honolulu from Brisbane and we are pleased to be adding additional capacity and comfortable new aircraft to the route."

Hawaiian Airlines offers connections to 11 other US destinations from its Honolulu base, an option popular with those wanting a stop in the islands rather than Los Angeles on their way to the mainland.

Hawaiian Airlines transported more than 65,000 passengers between Brisbane and Honolulu in 2013 when it offered three flights a week, but that increased to four from March 31.

The airline said including the planned move to larger aircraft from December 5, more than 6200 additional seats would be added in 2015.

Jetstar will service the route with an A330 initially but eventually it will shift that to a 787-8 as it receives more of those aircraft.

US analysts last month expressed concern that the competition from Jetstar could lead to the Honolulu-Brisbane route becoming unprofitable for Hawaiian Airlines, as occurred recently with its now abandoned Honolulu-Fukuoka route.

But Hawaiian Airlines chief executive Mark Dunkerley said he didn't believe that would occur in this case because Brisbane had been a "robust" market for the airline.

Hawaiian Airlines will celebrate 10 years of service to Australia on its Sydney-Honolulu route on Sunday.

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