Hawaiian Airlines blamed limitations on the availability of the Airbus A321neo fleet for its increased fuel consumption in Q1 2023.
The airline, based at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) in Hawaii, stated that it had to replace the grounded A321neos with its Airbus A330 aircraft, resulting in a fuel consumption increase of 21.4% compared to Q1 2022. However, the airline carried 2.5 million passengers during the quarter, a 27.7% increase compared to the corresponding period a year ago. As such, Hawaiian Airlines earned $548.5 million in revenue in Q1 2023.
However, following the trend of other US-based airlines, its operating expenses rose as well, largely driven by a 30.9% increase in fuel and related taxes and delivery costs, resulting in a $98.2 million net loss in the first three months of the year.
“A big mahalo to our team who continue to make us a stronger, better airline. The demand for leisure travel remains strong in the domestic markets we serve, and we see similar conditions in most of our international markets,” said Peter Ingram, the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hawaiian Airlines.
In addition to the A321neo supply issues, Hawaiian Airlines also highlighted runway construction at HNL and delays related to Air Traffic Control (ATC) protocols that disrupted the airline’s “on-time performance, impaired its scheduling, and adversely affected its financial results”.
Looking forward, the carrier expects to deploy 10.5% to 13.5% more capacity, measured in Available Seat Miles (ASM), while operating revenues per ASM (RASM) will decrease in the range of 8.5% to 11.5%. Costs per ASM (CASM) should either remain the same or rise by 3% in Q2 2023.
For the year, the airline only provided an increased fuel consumption number and a growing jet fuel price. Previously, the expected fuel consumption rise was from 10.5% to 13.5%, while now it is from 12.5% to 15.5%. In terms of the price of jet fuel, previously, Hawaiian Airlines expected the average price to be $2.92, which was now lowered to $2.70.
In 2022, Hawaiian Airlines earned $2.3 billion of revenue, ending the year with a net loss of $240.1 million.