Hawaiian Airlines says farewell to the Boeing 767
N594HA, a 32 year old Boeing 767-300ER, operated the final flight as HA19 from Sacramento to Honolulu. A celebration was held at the arrival gate, where employees and executive members greeted the aircraft and the 268 members onboard. Part of the celebration was a traditional Hawaiian blessing.
Here are some photos posted by Hawaiian Airlines of the celebration:
What made the Boeing 767 special to the airline was its ability to fly a reasonable distance with suitable payloads. The aircraft was used to launch 16 non-stop flights, including flights to major destinations such as Sydney, Brisbane, Osaka, Tokyo and Seoul, all from Honolulu.
Peter Ingram, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, reflected on the departure of the aircraft in the following statement:
“The Boeing 767 was instrumental to our transpacific growth, international expansion and success in introducing millions of guests to this special place we call home. Today’s 767 retirement marks another chapter in our ongoing fleet modernization program as we continue to take more deliveries of Airbus A321neos and prepare to welcome the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in 2021.”
Additionally, Hawaiian media notes that the 767 isn’t the only figure retiring from the airline, stating Captain David Valente, a 767 pilot for almost two decades, is retiring.
Before the 767, Hawaiian operated a fleet of McDonnell Douglas DC-10s, which were all phased out in favor of the 767. The fate of the 767s was decided when the Airbus A330s were welcomed into the fleet and an order for A321neo aircraft was placed. Despite this, Pratt and Whitney engine woes on the A321neo forced the airline to grip onto the 767 for a while longer.
Hawaiian Airlines operated a fleet of 18 Boeing 767s, and despite their departure from the airline, some still live on, with United Airlines purchasing three in 2018, Air Canada Rouge operating four and Azur Air Russia expecting to introduce four during 2019.
The remaining six aircraft have been permanently retired, with one in storage.
Hawaiian released the following poster, outlining some memorable moments for the aircraft:
March of 2018 was a major moment for Hawaiian, with the decision to cancel their order for six Airbus A330-800s and switch to the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The order, which covered 10+10 options, left Boeing grinning as Airbus was left without any operator for the A330-800.
The aircraft will be powered by General Electric GEnx engines, which is a departure from their Rolls-Royce family on their A330s and the previous A330-800 order.
Hawaiian will use the Boeing 787 to further expand their presence across the globe and will ultimately use the aircraft to pickup where the 767 has left and soon, the A330s.
The departure of the Boeing 767 is a sad moment for Hawaiian Airlines and aviation as a whole. The aircraft not only guided the airline down the path of immense growth, it provided aviation enthusiasts with a stunning view when departing or arriving. It’s retirement will not be one that gets shoved in a file cabinet, but rather one that will continue to be remembered and celebrated by the airline, employees, passengers, aviation enthusiasts and Boeing.