Some think that Hawaiian Airlines may need to join a global airline alliance like OneWorld, SkyTeam, or Star Alliance to remain viable in the future. Until now, Hawaiian has only had a very limited relationship with JetBlue and even less so with others. With JetBlue, it is primarily about earning and spending miles between the carriers.
Not being part of a global airline alliance may be one reason that Orlando did not work out for Hawaiian. Without an alliance, there was no easy way to connect with flights from Orlando to other cities in that part of the country. The other issue is that the miles you earn on Hawaiian do not transfer to other carriers. This is a big drawback for frequent fliers who live on the east coast and can’t use points on Hawaiian or have their miles transferred.
When the JetBlue partnership was announced in 2018, it was envisioned as a much deeper relationship. Their announcement was for “an expanded codeshare agreement that allows travelers from dozens of cities, most of them in the eastern U.S., to connect to the Hawaiian Islands easily…”
When checking on the H.A. website now, however, we did find just a few connecting flights on JetBlue when searching their codeshare agreement cities. But mostly, instead of results, we only got this when searching for cities that were to have been code-shared:
“We’re sorry, but no flights are available for this date. Please try a different date and/or route.”
And your comments:
Regular Rich said, “The issue here is the business model. Hawaiian has tried to work with everyone and has not joined an alliance or major carrier JBA. In part to maintain cultural heritage and to maximize revenue. This means that Hawaiians rely on island residents and people close to mainland destinations. Hawaiian has the ambition to fly to London; without a deal, it won’t work financially. Given their London ambitions and desire to fly to the East Coast, an alliance with One World would make sense. It would yield A.A. connections and B.A. connections and does not cannibalize either carrier’s major revenue streams. Hawaiian wants to maintain its independence which JAL has managed in One World.”
Alaska Airlines joined OneWorld earlier this year for similar reasons.
Alaska became the 14th Oneworld member airline earlier this year in an attempt to extend its reach. Speaking on the subject of airline alliances, Alaska said, “This was important pre-Covid — it’s even more important now.”
With the OneWorld partnership, the airline suddenly acquired more than 1,000 destinations. Last month, your editors purchased tickets using their OneWorld relationship for the first time, which extended benefits to us from the Alaska MileagePlan on previously unaligned airlines. That was beneficial in that we received reciprocal benefits to which we would not have otherwise been entitled.
Also, alliances give airlines like Alaska or Hawaiian a leg up on far bigger competitors. So in Alaska’s case, that means Delta in the Pacific Northwest and United in California. Plus, Alaska is leveraging its re-found partner American Airlines, in new services globally.
It isn’t just Alaska. Airline alliance members can cover more ground without planes and pilots via these partnerships. That looks promising during the current airline crisis which is now expected to continue for at least two more years.
OneWorld said about this, “The partnerships formed within our group will be even more critical.”