In February 2018, Hawaiian was rumored to be canceling its order for six A330-800s and replacing them with 787-9s. It was reported that Boeing priced the aircraft at less than $115 million, and possibly less than $100 million, each; the production cost of a 787-9 is between $80 million and $90 million. Boeing Capital also released Hawaiian from three 767-300ER leases in advance; these aircraft were to be transferred to United Airlines. Initially, Hawaiian refuted it cancelled its A330-800 order, but did not dismiss a new deal with Boeing. However, on March 6, 2018, Hawaiian Airlines confirmed the cancellation of the A330-800 order and the signing of a Letter of Intent with Boeing to purchase ten 787-9 aircraft, with options for an additional ten planes; the deal was finalized at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2018.
During the 1980s, Hawaiian also embarked on the development and construction of Kapalua Airport on west side of Maui. Opened in 1987, the airport was designed with a 3,000-foot runway, which constrained its ability to handle large aircraft. As a result, when the airport first opened, Hawaiian Airlines was the only inter-island carrier with aircraft capable of serving the airport. With its de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 turboprops, Hawaiian had a distinct competitive advantage in the Maui market.
Hawaiian Holdings revealed on July 17, 2012, that it had signed a Letter of Intent to acquire turboprop ATR 42 aircraft with the aim of establishing a subsidiary carrier to serve routes not currently in Hawaiian's neighbor island system. In December 2012 it was announced that Empire Airlines would operate the aircraft on behalf of Hawaiian. A fourth ATR 42 aircraft was acquired in June 2018.
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