A Guide to Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A321neo

The Airbus A321neo is a part of the A320 family of Airbus’s narrow-body airliners. These planes have short to medium ranges and commercial passenger twin engines. The neo stands for new, referring to the new engine option the A321neo has over the regular A321s.

With the ever-evolving aviation industry, Airbus decided to revamp their existing A321s and equip them with better engines and other features. These features include airframe improvements and winglets. The new engines were also highly efficient and allowed the aircraft to save up to 15% fuel. 

Airbus sold this aircraft to various airlines, including the Hawaiian airline, which ordered 16 Airbus A321neos with an option to purchase nine more. 

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines logo

Hawaiian Airlines is the largest operator of commercial flights to and from Hawaii. It is also the tenth-largest commercial airline in the United States and is situated in Honolulu, Hawaii. The airline’s central hub is on the island of Oahu, at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. A second hub is located on the island of Maui at the Kahului Airport. The airline also has a crew base in Los Angeles. 

Hawaiian Airlines also handles international flights. Some flights go to and from Asia, New Zealand, Hawaii, American Samoa, French Polynesia, and the United States mainland. 

Hawaiian Airlines is owned by Hawaiian Holdings, Inc., and Peter Ingram is the current CEO and President. This airline is one of the oldest American carriers that has never experienced a hull loss or any fatal accident in its long history. Furthermore, it is also hailed as one of the United States’ best airlines because it has the fewest cancellations and baggage handling issues.  

Hawaiian airline has many aircraft in its fleet, including the Boeing 717-200, the Airbus A330-200, and the A321neo.

The Airbus A321neo joined Hawaiian Airlines’ fleet in January 2013, when they signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus. This contained an order of 16 Airbus A321neo plus up to 9 options. These aircraft operate in a 2-class, 189-seat configuration. 

After the labor agreements related to the operation of the aircraft were finalized with the airline’s pilots and flight attendants union, the order was completed in March 2013. After the order was fulfilled, Hawaiian Airlines were satisfied with their purchase. In December 2016, they announced they would bring two more Airbus A321neo into their fleet, and this addition brought the number of Airbus A321neo in their fleet to 18.

Hawaiian Airlines has named their Airbus A321neo after plants and forests in the Hawaiian Islands. The first inaugural flight of the Airbus A321neo took place on January 8, 2018, which flew from Kahului to Oakland. 

The Airbus A321neo was set to run from Honolulu to Kahului and from Kahului to Honolulu in January 2020. The aircraft used to travel this route four times each week, but since August 2020, it has flown every day. Recently, the Airbus A321neo has also started making inter-island flights from Honolulu to Lihue, Kona, Kahului, and Hilo. Some turn and head back to Honolulu, where they originated, or are used as aircraft positioning flights. 

The Airbus A321neo cabins used a Hawaiian-based design, included a 3-3 configuration in the main cabin, and reserved a 2-2 seating arrangement for the business class. These aircraft also had personal device entertainment which passengers could access via apps. You could also access all available in-flight entertainment in the Airbus A321neo for free. This perk became available in the plane that flew from the mainland to Hawaii in July 2019. 

Hawaiian Airlines also announced that they had made an agreement with Starlink and would provide their passengers with free internet access. This option was available for passengers flying between Hawaii and Asia, the mainland US, and Oceania on the Airbus A321neo and the Airbus A330.

History of the Airbus A321neo

Airbus A320neo Family

The A321neo is a variant of the Airbus A320 family. The A321neo has several advantages over the A321 because it has a better engine, which allows airlines to save over 15% of their fuel spending on these aircraft. This plane can also carry 244 passengers and has a maximum range of 4000 nm or 7400 km for the long-range version, which cannot take more than 206 passengers.

One of Airbus’s first variants of the A320 family was the A321, and it was also known as the Stretched A320, A320-500, and A325. The launch of the A321 came around the same time as when the A320 began its service, in November 1988. Upon launch, the A321 committed 183 aircraft from 10 customers. 

The maiden flight of the Airbus A321 took place on 11 March 1993, when the prototype, under the registration F-WWIA, took flight. The engines used in the first flight were the IAE V2500, while the second prototype was equipped with CFM56 turbofans. The second prototype flew in May 1993. 

Airbus launched its A320neo family in December 2010. The neo in the name stood for New Engine Option. To better the efficiency of their planes, Airbus used Pratt & Whitney PW1000G or CFM International LEAP-1a engines alongside large sharklets. The new engine would give the aircraft a 930 km longer range and 15% better fuel efficiency. 

Following along with the A320neo, Airbus launched their lengthened Airbus A321neo. The prototype for this plane took off on February 9, 2016. After its successful test flight, the aircraft received its certification on December 15, 2016. Following the certification, it entered service through Virgin America in May 2017.

The Built

Airbus A320neo Sharklet

The Airbus A321neo is a lengthened fuselage variant of the Airbus A320 family. This variant has an increased wing loading, structural strengthening in the landing gear and wing, and other modifications allowing it to have a higher Maximum Takeoff Weight. 

The Airbus A321neo weighs more than the CEO variants by around 1.8t because of its new and heavier engines. The associated airframe modification, including wing structure, engine pylons, and oil system, was also adapted, causing an increase in weight. However, even at the same maximum weight, the Airbus A321neo can reach FL310 30-nm 4 minutes earlier than the CEO.

From the inside, Airbus replaced the second door pair in the front of the wing and replaced it with a second pair of overwing exits. This change meant that the capacity of the Airbus A321neo increased by 20 seats, and it could now seat 240 passengers in total. It also increased the fuel efficiency per seat by 6%. Combined with the new engines and the sharklets, the fuel efficiency per seat increased by 20%. 

The new modifications increased the weight of the plane by about 100kgs. The initial Airbus A321neos produced had the same exit door configuration as the Airbus A321ceo. This configuration included four exit door pairs. Airbus then released the ACF, or the Airbus Cabin-Flex layout, which could be selected.

The Airbus A321neo with ACF went into assembly in October 2017 in Hamburg. It started to roll out to customers on January 5, 2018. It was ground-tested in the following weeks before it took to the skies. 

The ACF configuration of the Airbus A321neo has an exit limit of 250 passengers, but the aircraft can only seat 240. However, Airbus can increase the capacity to 244 by adding flight attendant seats outside the lavatories to accommodate more passengers. 



The average cost of the Airbus A321neo is estimated at around 101.5 million dollars.

Passenger Seats

The Airbus A321neo has a maximum of 244 seats for passengers with two seating classes.

Range Nautical Miles

It can travel to about a range of 4,000 nautical miles, which is about 7,400 km per trip.


The length of this model is 44.51 meters.


The length of its wings is 35.80 meters from one wingtip to another.


Its height is 11.76 meters.


The A321neo uses two engines; CFM56 (made by CFM International) and IAE V2500 (made by International Aero Engines).

Maximum Weight Capacity

Its maximum take-off weight is 97 tons.

Fuel Capacity

Its maximum fuel capacity is 32,940 liters or 8,702 gallons.


Lufthansa A320neo FRA Freising

The Airbus A321neo is a popular aircraft, and upon its arrival in the aviation industry in January 2018, it received 1920 orders. Therefore, the demand for the Airbus A321neo was higher than that for the Airbus A321ceo. These aircraft accounted for 32% of all the orders received for the A320neo family. This number surpassed the record of the A321, which had previously accounted for 22% of the sales. 

Around four years after its release, the Airbus A321neo is as popular as ever. In July 2022, it reportedly made up 53% of all A320neo family orders. Upon its release, the Airbus A321neo was priced at $129.5 million.

Despite its popularity and high demand, the Airbus A321neo faced some issues in delivery. Pratt & Whitney, whose engines they were using, met early reliability issues with the PW1100G and fixing these issues greatly affected the deliveries. 

One of their first customers, Hawaiian Airlines, was set to receive two Airbus A321neos in 2017 before the upcoming winter peak season. The delays caused the planes to be delayed till early 2018, which caused a lot of frustrating delays for the airline’s customers. 

The Airbus A321neos were an excellent addition to Hawaiin airlines because they could easily make 3900 to 4300 km trips. They were much more well-suited and efficient when compared to the other competing narrow-body planes. The Airbus A321neos even had a lower per-seat cost than the Airbus A330-200, which could seat 294 passengers.  

Things to Know Before Traveling with Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines A330-200 inside cabin

Booking of Flights

There are several ways to book your flight with the airlines. You can choose different classes. If you like to go for the redemption route, you can transfer the Amex membership reward points to the Hawaiian Miles program.

The one-way, first-class award flight from North America to Hawaii can cost you about 40,000 miles at the saver level, so you can use the welcome bonus that you get from the American Express’s Platinum card to book this flight.


The check-in process is pretty tedious as you have to wait in line for 5 minutes for the pre-checking process and then make your way to the crowded departure gate. When you fly out, the luggage will be checked thoroughly as standard procedure.

Cabin and Seat

The Hawaiian Airlines A321neo has 129 seats in its main cabin and 44 extra comforting seats, and 16-first class recliner seats onboard. The economy cabin of this plane has a 3-3 configuration like the A320 family.

The plane seats are 17.3 inches wide and have 30 inches of pitch, usual for economy class. You’ll have plenty of legroom with the kind of seats that are available on this plane.


The flight doesn’t offer seatback entertainment services, but the passengers can access the different options through the Hawaiian Airlines’ app. In the first-class, you get tablets for watching TV and movies, and there are various packages that you have to pay for, including a $7.99 per film you watch, $7.99 for an “Unlimited TV & More” pack, and $5.99 for a “Keiki Pack” for kids.

Food & Drinks

Hawaiian Airlines offer complimentary meals throughout the flight. Usually, for lunch, they will serve you a barbecue chicken sandwich in economy class. The flight attendants can also give you the Maui onion potato chips. In comparison, first-class passengers have various options to choose from a selected menu.

The flight attendants are friendly and professional and work hard to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. Before an hour from landing, the flight attendants come to the main cabin and offer beverages and snacks.


Hawaiian Airlines is one of the best airlines operating in the US because it offers its customers an excellent flight experience. There are a variety of aircraft in its fleet, including the Airbus A321neos. These planes are a variation of the Airbus A320 family and are much more efficient than their predecessors. 

You get to enjoy a luxurious flying experience with this plane and save money on your ticket owing to the fuel-efficient design of the engines.