By Dominic Gates / The Seattle Times
SEATTLE — The Boeing Co. booked a significant sales win for Dreamliner jets Tuesday as Hawaiian Airlines defected from Airbus to order 10 787-9 aircraft.
The order is worth $2.8 billion at list prices, though based on market-pricing data from airplane valuation firm Avitas, the real value after standard discounts is about $1.5 billion.
What’s more significant than the price is that Boeing beat out the new Airbus A330neo in the competition for Hawaiian, which operates a long-haul fleet mostly made up of the original A330s.
The smallest A330neo, the A330-800, overlaps with the market for Boeing’s proposed next all-new jet, the New Mid-market Airplane (NMA) that’s been informally dubbed the 797.
Hawaiian’s defection leaves the A330-800 with zero orders.
In 2014, Hawaiian ordered six A330-800s, which feature the latest fuel-efficient engines.
However, no other airline ordered that plane, which made lessors reluctant to finance it. So Hawaiian decided to cancel that order and re-open the competition — this time choosing between the larger A330-900neo and the Boeing 787-9.
Industry analyst Scott Hamilton of Leeham.net, who broke news of Boeing’s expected win last month, said Boeing offered aggressive pricing to beat Airbus because it aims “to kill the A330neo program in advance of the potential launch of the Boeing 797.”
Hawaiian currently operates a mainline fleet of 54 aircraft: 24 Airbus A330-200 and 8 Boeing 767 wide-body aircraft, and 2 Airbus A321neo and 20 Boeing 717 narrow-body aircraft.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Kevin McAllister noted Hawaiian’s growth trajectory as it has expanded service between Asia and North America.
“We are thrilled they’ve chosen to reach their next horizon with the 787 Dreamliner,” McAllister said.
Another current sales competition for big widebody jets, at American Airlines, features a similar battle between the A330-900neo and the 787-9.
American has an order for 22 Airbus A350s on its books but has said it may cancel that in favor of one of the other two models. It will choose this year between the Airbus and Boeing options, a key decision for the future of the A330neo.