Hawaiian Airlines Will Operate A330s For Amazon

Hawaiian Airlines Will Operate A330s For Amazon

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Hawaiian Airlines is pursuing a new revenue stream, as the airline will operate freighter jets on behalf of Amazon.

Hawaiian will operate Amazon freighter jets

Starting in the fall of 2023, Hawaiian Airlines will operate a fleet of 10 Airbus A330-300 freighter aircraft on behalf of Amazon.

With this new partnership, Hawaiian Airlines will maintain and fly Amazon’s Airbus A330s under the carrier’s own FAA air carrier certificate, in order to move cargo between airports near Amazon’s operations facilities. All 10 aircraft will enter service in 2023 and 2024, and there’s the chance for this partnership to be expanded further over time.

To be clear, Hawaiian Airlines isn’t using its own A330s for this. Rather Amazon Air has signed an agreement to lease 10 A330-300P2Fs from aircraft leasing company Altavair. These are all passenger-to-freighter conversions, meaning that these A330s used to fly as passenger jets, but will soon be carrying cargo.

In preparation for this new service, Hawaiian Airlines will be establishing pilot bases in the continental United States, will be growing existing maintenance bases, and will expand the hiring of pilots, mechanics, dispatchers, supply chain employees, and others, who will make this operation run.

Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram had the following to say about this development:

“We are excited to help serve Amazon customers by providing additional air cargo capacity and logistics support. This recognizes our experience in providing safe and reliable operations, our incredible front-line team, and our shared focus on the customer. This relationship provides a catalyst to grow our business and the unique opportunity to diversify our revenue sources while capitalizing on our established strengths.”

What’s perhaps most interesting about this partnership is that Hawaiian Airlines has issued Amazon warrants to acquire up to 15% of its common shares. These warrants are exercisable over the next nine years. As you’d expect, Hawaiian Airlines’ stock has shot up today thanks to this news.

Hawaiian Airlines already operates A330s

Background on how Amazon Air operates

Amazon is the largest online retailer in the United States, so it goes without saying that the company has a lot of packages to ship. To do so as efficiently as possible, Amazon has been significantly growing its Amazon Air division (you might see these planes at airports, as they say “Prime Air” on them).

Initially Amazon Air totally outsourced this operation, which is to say that Amazon wet leased aircraft from other airlines to operate these flights. Going forward, Amazon’s plan is to directly own or lease Amazon Air planes.

However, the company is still working with other operators to provide crew, maintenance, insurance, etc. After all, this is an area where airlines have quite a bit of expertise, and it’s not necessarily in Amazon’s interest to try to do all of this on its own.

These planes being delivered in 2023 will be Amazon Air’s first Airbus A330s. My guess is that Amazon got a great deal on these planes. The partnership with Hawaiian Airlines makes sense, given that the airline already flies A330s, and I’m guessing the two companies could come to a fair agreement.

Amazon Air’s fleet currently consists of nearly 100 planes, including ATR 72s, Boeing 737s, and Boeing 767s. Among US passenger airlines, Amazon Air already works with Silver Airways and Sun Country. Amazon Air also partners with some cargo airlines, including Atlas Air and Cargojet.

Amazon Air also operates Boeing 737s

Bottom line

Hawaiian Airlines and Amazon are launching a partnership. Hawaiian Airlines will be operating 10 Airbus A330 freighters on behalf of Amazon. Amazon acquired the jets directly, but Hawaiian Airlines will provide the crews, maintenance, etc.

This is a win-win — Amazon partners with a company that has expertise with the aircraft type, while Hawaiian Airlines can diversify its revenue streams, all while getting an investment from Amazon.

What do you make of the new Hawaiian Airlines and Amazon partnership?

Conversations (22)
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  1. Euro Aviation Guest

    We can wonder if these A330 P2F's will carry around a jack for the front landing gear leveling the aircraft for loading/unloading. Recall new-build A330-200F's level the fuselage by incorporating a lowered nose gear (note bulge under the cockpit). Some say leveling is unnecessary due to the use of powered floor handler. Who knows.

  2. Travelman5 Guest

    What an interesting comment. It really should not matter that Hawaiian already flies A 330’s. Thus will be a separate operating division. New pilots to fly the Prime jets. It not like they’re mixing boxes and live people on the same aircraft. Sure, Hawaiian has cargo holds in the bell yes of their passenger planes, but they’re not flying them into cargo hubs to offload the freight, then head to a passenger airport to off...

    What an interesting comment. It really should not matter that Hawaiian already flies A 330’s. Thus will be a separate operating division. New pilots to fly the Prime jets. It not like they’re mixing boxes and live people on the same aircraft. Sure, Hawaiian has cargo holds in the bell yes of their passenger planes, but they’re not flying them into cargo hubs to offload the freight, then head to a passenger airport to off load and reload passengers. It will be a separate operating unit. Does Amazon have a freight base currently in HA?

  3. Marty Guest

    Amazon is building a mega operations center in Honolulu. So yes this partneship makes sense.

  4. Hank Tarn Guest

    When did Hawaiian become so anti American? I thought they were getting rid of the a330s for new Dreamliners.

    Stop using Airbus until the Europeans order more Boeing. It is that simple.

    1. The nice Paul Guest

      Bizarre comment from someone from a country that claims to believe in free trade. Surely it’s up to the customer to decide which company offers the best product for them?

      Anyway, I’m currently in the US having flown here on one of BA’s Boeings, having just booked a KLM long-haul trip which is also exclusively on Boeings.

      Perhaps I should be boycotting those airlines until they replace those damn furrin’ planes with patriotic Airbus products?

    2. YYC-ZRH New Member

      I never understood these comments. Blind loyalty to a company allows that company to become complacent since it knows it can rely on ridiculous reasons such as patriotism to keep sales going. Complacency can create environments that allow the MAX 8 disasters to happen. Competition is good and when there are only 2 major players, it's even more important to keep that competition going. Market competition is also very American, so you would think you...

      I never understood these comments. Blind loyalty to a company allows that company to become complacent since it knows it can rely on ridiculous reasons such as patriotism to keep sales going. Complacency can create environments that allow the MAX 8 disasters to happen. Competition is good and when there are only 2 major players, it's even more important to keep that competition going. Market competition is also very American, so you would think you be in support of that.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      Competition is good and when there are only 2 major players?
      Good for the suppliers, bad for consumers.

      Having only 2 major players is the reason 737MAX 320neo exists and not a whole new design.

      Market competition is nothing American. It's all about being too big to fail, and letting it grow that big.
      The competition is so good, Americans can soon only buy from either Amazon or Walmart.

    4. Jm Guest

      Ummm... Amazon owns the aircraft. Your beef is with Mr. Bezos.

  5. RCB Guest

    I accidentally read that as "Amazon Fighter Jets" and thought that was a significant escalation in Amazon's big to take over the world :)

    1. RF Diamond

      Bezos turned Dr. Evil.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      That was 20 years ago.

    3. Steerage Guest

      Perfect plot for a James Bond movie.....world domination of e-commerce via Amazon Basics.
      Bond's mission is to stop the proliferation of paper shredders delivered to Mar-a-Lago!!!

  6. Dave Guest

    Might we have Hawaiian pilots based in Cincinnati? Strange times continue...

    1. JH Guest

      Yes.

      Or Lakeland.

      Or Ontario.

  7. Never In Doubt Guest

    “ Amazon is the largest retailer in the United States”

    They’re the largest *online* retailer.

    Walmart had ~2x their retail sales in 2021.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Wrong.

      “Amazon IS the largest retailer in the United States”
      Amazon had ~4x their market cap.

      Sales doesn't equate to Largest.

      We can argue all day long on the world's largest airline and will never come to a single answer.
      Therefore the same could be said that “Walmart is the largest retailer in the United States” as much as Amazon.

      @OMAAT shouldn't cave in this easy.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Ummm, no.

      Words have meaning, and in the overwhelming majority of comparative references to a "retailer," they're specifically being compared in the context of their SALES revenue.

      If not, the corporate entity that holds them (which may or may not be the same as the retail unit) is what's compared, in matters of market cap.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      Ummm, your 'no' just followed by 'If not,' which implies 'yes'.

      There isn't one and only one way of measurement.

    4. John Guest

      @Eskimoo

      You've just been 'pegged' in the xxx by @ConcordeBoy with lethal logic. Now stop squirming and take it, son.

    5. John Guest

      @ConcordeBoy

      I may be a hard critic, but I'll give you full credit for your cogent stance.

    6. Eskimo Guest

      LOL, my number one fan isn't even trying anymore.
      I guess the fun time is over.

    7. Travelman5 Guest

      I thought the article clarified Amazon as the largest on line retailer.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

The nice Paul Guest

Bizarre comment from someone from a country that claims to believe in free trade. Surely it’s up to the customer to decide which company offers the best product for them? Anyway, I’m currently in the US having flown here on one of BA’s Boeings, having just booked a KLM long-haul trip which is also exclusively on Boeings. Perhaps I should be boycotting those airlines until they replace those damn furrin’ planes with patriotic Airbus products?

1
Dave Guest

Might we have Hawaiian pilots based in Cincinnati? Strange times continue...

1
Never In Doubt Guest

“ Amazon is the largest retailer in the United States” They’re the largest *online* retailer. Walmart had ~2x their retail sales in 2021.

1
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