Last month Hawaiian Airlines received a big present for its 81st birthday, welcoming its third new Airbus A330-200 aircraft to the fleet. The brand new 294-seat, wide-body A330 arrived in early November at Honolulu International Airport following a 16-hour, 30-minute nonstop flight that came straight from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France. It covered 6,600 nautical miles with an eight-member crew flew the aircraft.

The new planes are expected to be delivered between 2012 and 2015 and will increase Hawaiian's fleet of A330-200s from 10 to 16, including three which are already in the air. The Aloha State aline is scheduled to receive two A330 planes next year under a previous agreement which will leave the carrier with five A330s by the year's end.

The new aircraft was given the name ‘Iwakeli‘i, which is Hawaiian for the constellation Cassiopeia, which can be viewed in the northern sky and is distinguished by five bright stars forming a ‘W’ shape. Hawaiian is going to name all of their A330s after a star or constellation used by Polynesian voyagers for celestial navigation.

Starting on December 9, ‘Iwakeli‘i is scheduled to take flight. Like Hawaiian’s other two A330s that debuted last June, Makali‘i and Hokule‘a, ‘Iwakeli‘i will be used to operate flights connecting Honolulu with either Los Angeles or Las Vegas. 

As part of the announcement, Hawaiian Airlines is offering a special fare of $333 for bookings between December 7 and 13, 2010 with travel dates of January 10, 2011 and June 9, 2011. Hawaiian offers non-stop transpacific routes from Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, Phoenix, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Portland & Seattle to Honolulu.

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