Interisland Competition Is Heating Up

Interisland Competition Is Heating Up

This is turning out to be quite a good week for Hawaii island hoppers as well as for two Hawaiian islands that have suffered from limited air service in recent years. Three distinct announcements all point to new services and reduced pricing ahead for visitors and Hawaii residents.

First you’ll be surprised to know that there is no new company involved, and that these changes are with our existing airlines.

Island Air expanding

[pullquote]“…We’ll be Hawaii’s fastest growing inter-island carrier.” L. Kaneshiro, Island Air CEO[/pullquote]Island Air plans is rebranding and plans to acquire new planes to replace and double its aging fleet of Dash 8′s. French built ATR-72 and ATR-42 turboprops will now appear for the first time in Hawaii. These are widely used elsewhere in similar operations, such as in neighboring French Polynesia.

The 30 year old Hawaii company plans to begin certification with the 64 passenger ATR-72 next month (August) and will then add the 48 passenger ART-42 starting in 2013.

The company is changing its entire look and feel, which can be seen on their newly launched website.

Hawaiian Air adding turboprop service

Hawaiian Air is on an expansion tear, and that isn’t just true internationally. The company announced this week that they will be acquiring new aircraft in order to bring back service to lesser served airports, likely including Lanai, Molokai and West Maui. No additional information about which planes, routes or a time frame, has been revealed. This brings Hawaiian into more direct competition with Island Air and with Mokulele, both of whom serve smaller Hawaii airports. Hawaiian has the obvious competitive advantage of being able to offer through service from all of its US and international destinations.

Summer/Fall interisland airfare sale continues

Earlier this week we announced an excellent inter-island fare sale with prices starting at $51 plus tax. That sale is still going on at Hawaiian and I now find competitive pricing as well at competitor Go! Airlines.  So check them both out for Hawaii island hopping this summer and early fall 2012.

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  1. mel (2 years ago)

    I wonder what the long term plans are for Hawaiian Air’s turboprop subsidiary? I can’t imagine they making money on this with just HNL / OGG to MKK, LNY and JHM routes only.

    I read somewhere that Hawaiian may use ATR42s on other inter-island air routes. ITO perhaps?

    Could it be that in the long run Hawaiian plans to be just a carrier to overseas destination and designate their subsidiary to be exclusively for neighbor island flights? Will we as Hawaii resident-consumers lose jet service between the islands as Hawaiian downgrades to ATR 42s only? Their 717s are approaching to be more than 10 years old and Boeing has stopped making them years ago. Plus it seems that Hawaiian is abandoning Boeing in favor of European makes of aircraft.

    Of course the possibility of Southwest entering the inter-island market with jet service could keep Hawaiian competitive in that area. And from the looks of it, things seem that in the long run Mesa will probably someday shut down Go!

    Just my speculation on this.

  2. Dodge (3 years ago)

    “ATR-42 turboprops will appear for the first time in Hawaii”: been quite a few years ago, but Mahalo Air used the 42. We flew with them 3 times; the first HNL-OGG…followed a week later by an Island Air to MKK; the ATR was much more refined in comparison to a Dash-8.
    Nice to see Island Air expanding; more frequent/convenient alternatives to Hawaiian Air’, and their silly new luggage forwarding policy, are encouraging and the sight-seeing is better on a lower altutude, wing over fuselage, turboprop.