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Thursday, March 2, 2000

Hawaiian finalizes
deal to purchase
13 new jets

Star-Bulletin staff


Hawaiian Air Hawaiian Airlines Inc. said today it has confirmed its deal to buy 13 new Boeing 717-200 jets to replace its entire fleet of 15 DC-9s in its interisland service.

Hawaiian said it has signed a definitive agreement with Boeing Co. to buy the new planes for a total of $430 million.

The airline expects to take delivery of the first of the twin-jet aircraft in February, with the others following throughout 2001.

The airline said delivery will not be affected by the ongoing Boeing labor strife since the strike by engineers and technical workers affects only the Seattle plant, while the 717s are built in Southern California.

Hawaiian also secured the right to buy another seven more 717s.

The 717s will be configured to carry 115 passengers in the economy section and eight in first class, a total of 123. That is a smaller capacity than the DC-9s, which seat 133, but the 717s have a faster turnaround time and will carry more passengers through the day, according to the airline.

Announcing the purchase plan in September, Paul J. Casey, the airline's president and CEO, said the 717s will have wider aisles and larger overhead storage bins than the DC-9s. They are generally more efficient to operate, he said, and the new fleet will save Hawaiian about $200 million in cash operating expenses in a 10-year period. Hawaiian also has a fleet of 13 widebody DC-10 jets in its mainland-Hawaii and Hawaii-South Pacific services.

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