hawaiian airlines on-time performance slipped

Hawaiian Airlines Slips to 5th After 18-Year On-Time Run

Island-time replaced on-time when it comes to Hawaiian Airlines’ on-time performance. This follows Hawaiian, having been recognized as the most punctual airline in the U.S. for the prior 18 consecutive years. It sadly resurrects the acronym visitors told us about that predated the impressive run of Hawaiian Airlines’ punctuality. That was that HAL stands for Hawaiian Always Late.

Last year, however, was anything but ordinary. First, the unexpectedly fast resurgence of travel caught Hawaiian and the entire industry off-guard. Based on this data, perhaps it was worse here than on the mainland, where the other flight crews are based.

Details from the US DOT were released yesterday for the entire 2022 performance of major airlines, and Delta, not unexpectedly, soared to the #1 spot.  Even then, it wasn’t a stellar job.

On-time performance across all airlines dropped precipitously.

For example, the winner last year, Delta Airlines, was able able to achieve the number 1 spot with just 82.1% of their flights operating on time. By comparison, when Hawaiian Air won that very spot a year earlier, it did so with 90.1% of its flights being on-time. In fact, last year, Delta was the sole airline to achieve an on-time ranking for more than 80% of its flights. It’s worth noting that while many flights were also canceled last year, that is not included in this report.

Performance by most on-time performance of airlines flying to Hawaii:

  1. Delta Air Lines – 82.1%
  2. Alaska Airlines – 79.1%
  3. United Airlines – 78.7%
  4. American Airlines – 77.1%
  5. Hawaiian Airlines – 75.8%
  6. Southwest Airlines – 73.2%

Factors contributing to Hawaiian’s rankings drop.

Before this announcement, we’d contacted Hawaiian Airlines regarding incessant delays that are continuing to this day. Representative Alex DaSilva said then, “Recent delays have resulted from a combination of issues, most notably (as you have previously noted) the fact that runway 8L at our Honolulu hub has been closed for construction since early October. The runway closure has led to longer gate-to-gate times for our neighbor island flights, especially early in the day. These early delays have tended to cascade through the rest of the day. We are working to adjust our schedule going forward to adapt to the impact of the runway closure and are working with our partners at DOT-A and Air Traffic Control on other measures to mitigate the impact to our guests. We take pride in being punctual and we share our guests’ frustration whenever a flight is delayed.”

Hawaiian also mentioned that labor shortages contributed to delays earlier in 2022, after which they “have hired more than 1,350 people .”

Regarding Honolulu runway repair.

Repairing one of the major runways at Honolulu Airport, runway 8L, appears to be a much bigger and longer-duration project than anyone may have realized. When we reached out to the Hawaii Department of Transportation/Airports last week, they said, off the record, that it wasn’t possible to confirm that the work would even be completed in 2023!

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11 thoughts on “Hawaiian Airlines Slips to 5th After 18-Year On-Time Run”

  1. With Runway 8 Left closed due to construction, all jet arrivals are restricted to a single runway (4 Right). All jet departures use the Reef Runway (8 Right). So operations are really restricted right now, and it affects everyone. HAL more so because they have more flights.

    I guarantee you that once 8L re-opens, HAL will be doing their shortcut approach up the Pearl Harbor Channel. This will reduce the taxi times needed to get back to the Terminal 1 gates.

  2. This wouldn’t actually be true. Since Hawaiian Airlines ran 18 years for the most on-time carrier for the United States, (2021 —> 2022: 84.2%) it would’ve dropped their performance rate as if the airline had too much delays. Hawaiian Airlines is still one of the best airlines out there and due to on-time rates and slipped 5th place, the airline would be knocked off their feet and could’ve be one of the worst Airlines for reliability. They still ranked first after all.

  3. Aloha. The Hawaii Department of Transportation runs the airport (and oversees construction projects)! Thats really all that needs to be said! Gross incompetence at every level. Former director of state Highways, Ed Sniffen now oversees the State DOT and is good at Press conferences and interviews and nothing else. Calling his office may help move it along, but not likely. The return on Hawaii tax dollar investment is miserable at best!

  4. If you get out of the Hawaii bubble, look at well run States you’ll notice a trend.

    The State of Florida will have built a second bridge across Tampa Bay before any construction project ( like say a pedestrian overpass in Maui) can get completed out in Hawaii.

    Just imagine how poor the on time performance would have been if Hawaii had mainland weather.

    1. Brad, your pro Florida bash Hawaiian perspective is a symptom of the SWA effect here. One of the factors why SWA’s attitude in the market is not appreciated by so many. We don’t want Hawaii to be like Florida, it’s not a place we aspire to emulate in any way.

  5. The 8L construction affects HAL as a percentage of total flights more than any other airline, unfortunately. This affects all flights into Honolulu, however since HAL has the highest percentage of HNL commercial flights it is affected more than any other carrier in that, and always will be unless it becomes a mainland carrier, however that is not what HAL is, as HI goes, so goes HAL. Temporary, nothing else has changed from the previous 18 years of the best OT rating, although I heard through the grapevine that a certain approach is no longer available to HAL that was quicker into Honolulu bc SWA complained they couldn’t do it so now no one can do it. The real story is- is the runway widening going to be on time?

    1. Judging from the construction projects over the past six decades, don’t count on it. Its all Hawaiian time, which means the unions have jobs and the public can wait. HNL was built with the arrival of the jet age and it will never be completed.

    2. Heard the same thing Jay, the noise abatement approach to 8L may be gone due to SWA’s inability to do it. It’s not a skill thing, they just can’t realistically train all the potential crews to do it. One more example of the problems with having part time inter island crews at SWA. Watch for a dramatic increase in Ewa Beach noise when 8L opens up.

      1. HAL’s ability to use, or not use the noise abatement approach to 8L was Never affected by SWA. It’s nothing and realistically requires no additional “training” over that of a student pilot… Its just used as a quick way to squeeze an extra airplane or two into the lineup if there’s space available. Nothing to do with being based in HNL or SWA not doing it.. Heck, we still don’t allow the National Guard to do it and a ton of those guys at HAL (also former Aloha) are in the Air Guard..

  6. So how does that explain late departure flights out of Maui (OGG)? Specifically, HAL24. Flight aware shows it’s often 3hrs late now.

  7. I noticed that in Febuary, flights from PDX-HNL were seriously delayed several times. One flight was delayed over 24 hours! I was very surprised.

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