Hawaiian Air: The Focus Is Asia

There’s too much heat in the Hawaii domestic route kitchen right now, and it’s about to get much worse. As a result, Hawaiian is shifting its attention.

Hawaiian’s new route from Honolulu to Haneda (Tokyo) will commence service next month.  That will be followed early next year with service to Seoul.

Hawaii is a premier destination for people living in Asia…, so we feel ourselves very well positioned to take advantage of that. — Mark Dunkerley, CEO.

Just how successful will Asia be for Hawaiian?

That remains to be seen. Hawaiian will for the first time compete, not with ho-hum US carriers, but with national-flag carrying Asian airlines, renowned for service, and likely preferred by their denizens.

The first battle will be with a rapidly changing Japan Airlines. JAL plans to re-fashion itself, post-bankruptcy, after Qantas-owned Jetstar, in a model that will likely be both highly sophisticated and competitive.

The stock market isn’t necessarily seeing Hawaiian Air the same way that they see themselves.  In spite of the carrier industry index being up about 40% in the last year, Hawaiian’s stock has gone the other direction, down over 30%, now at about $6/share.


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