Will Hawaiian Airlines Be Sold Next | A321neo

Will Hawaiian Airlines Be Acquired Next?

Last month, the frenzy around airline consolidation was rekindled as Spirit Airlines announced a plan to merge with Frontier Airlines. That was leapfrogged this week when relative bemoth JetBlue jumped in to compete for Spirit, sweetening the acquisition pie to the tune of $3.6 billion in cash. The result would be both airlines flying under the JetBlue name, based in New York.

We’ll suggest that this isn’t going to end there, and it could, in fact, come very close to home.

You may recall, in an acquisition related to Hawaii, that it was exactly six years ago this week that Alaska Airlines successfully bid $2.6 billion to acquire Virgin America. That merger reached fruition, albeit challenging to complete, due to federal concerns about lack of competition, and potential fare increases.

Since then, significant airline mergers and acquisitions have largely gone quiet. Until now.

Airline mergers/acquisitions on front burner again, testing the water.

This week’s airline news brings further attention to the question of what might happen next in airline consolidations. Many analysts believe that yesterday’s JetBlue plan is just the beginning of the next round of airline moves, which will likely remain focused on regional and discount carriers. These companies are under competitive pressure from the largest U.S. airlines.

A chess game in the making – is Hawaiian the next move for Jet Blue?

Six years ago, Jet Blue lost the “apparent” fight to acquire Virgin America to Alaska Airlines. Or did it really?

Could their sights have been set for years on buying Hawaiian Airlines? We’ve suggested for a long time that a merger between Hawaiian Airlines and a larger player would, by necessity, occur at some point down the road.

A future consolidation might bring JetBlue, Spirit and Hawaiian together into a larger, more competitive alliance with far greater distribution, capable of better dealing with the likes of American, Delta, Southwest and United Airlines? Those four main players are currently responsible for two-thirds of all U.S. domestic air traffic.

Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue are already code-share partners.

Back in 2018, the two carriers announced “an expanded (26-airport) codeshare agreement that allows travelers… to easily connect to the Hawaiian Islands via Boston’s Logan International Airport.  Boston-area JetBlue customers can now purchase tickets on Hawaiian Airlines’ nonstop flight to Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) with JetBlue’s ‘B6’ code and earn TrueBlue points when they fly. Hawaiian and JetBlue’s guests also will continue to enjoy one-stop check-in and baggage transfers to their final destination, as well as the opportunity to earn and redeem loyalty rewards.”

What’s your take on the next round of airline consolidations?

We look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.

56 thoughts on “Will Hawaiian Airlines Be Acquired Next?”

  1. I would actual love to see All 3 airlines merge, Frontier,Jetblue and Spirit.

    Then allow Alaska, Hawaii and Southwest to merge, keeping the Alaska name.

    With All the shortage of pilot’s, employees and aircraft something has to give and fast.

    This will create a olive branch and Refresh to this ohhh so stale and obsoleted industry.

    I want to see new blood amd forward thinking CEO’s revitalize the airline industry with offerings customers want and ate willing to pay for.

    I’ve worked in the airline industry for over 20 years and there is no time like the present to infuse the industry with rebranding and restructuring for the future.

  2. I think it would make sense for Delta to purchase Hawaiian.
    Delta could use the reach into Asia and the South Pacific.
    Additionally, Delta is the largest operator of the Boeing 717.

    1. Good points all, hopefully it would improve Hawaiian’s recent move to the West Terminal, to sharing Delta Gate’s, as is done with Jet Blue and Hawaiian in many Airport’s. The biggest downside would be Delta’s Program, grabbing Upgrades to the Best First Class experience from the Mainland to Hawaii. Thankfully, my days of using LAX are long gone after 30 years of Weekly travel, as long as Sky Harbor maintains it’s Non-Stops on Hawaiian, we remain happy camper’s, though I’d prefer they be in the Goldwater Terminal 4.

  3. I don’t think Jet Blue or anyone would really want to of acquire Hawaiian. Unless they have clear intentions of wanting to expand to the Asia pacific market internationally to use Hawaii as a hub.

    1. Good point Shawn….any airline buying Hawaiian and then eliminating the Hawaiian identity pretty much throws out what makes Hawaiian the superior airline serving Hawaii. To buy them you would have to pay for the Hawaiian name and then not use it?
      It would be like buying the Royal Hawaiian hotel and then making it a Holiday Inn.

  4. Is there some source here, or mere speculation and conjecture? This seems like the latter. If you have a source for this, please elaborate.

  5. Keep Hawaiian, Hawaiian. I love the Spirit of Aloha that one gets when they fly Hawaiian Airlines. I would not have an issue with say Alaska Air Group acquiring Hawaiian but keep the two brands separate and operate under the same umbrella Corporation. It would really be a shame to see Hawaiian acquired and absorbed into any other company and lose their identity.

  6. I think the solution here is for Hawaiian to look at acquiring one of the mainland puddle jumpers. Fly HNL-LAS, and then connect to a Cessna to Santa Fe, Reno, Salt Lake. Repeat this a few more times around the country and you have a nice network. Add in a base where one of the larger airlines abandoned due to consolidation (CVG, STL, MEM) and you can have a few routes on larger aircraft for getting around the mainland and connect to you puddle jumper from there. (BNA-STL-LAX or (MSY-STL-HNL).

  7. I’m pretty sick of the corporate ‘monopoly mentality’. These companies kill competition, leaving consumers with no choice but to pay whatever the corporation demands, usually getting poorer and poorer services. The corporation then jacks their price to please board members. Consumers just keep losing.

  8. I really hope that Hawaiian Airlines remains just that, Hawaiian Airlines. They are the only airline I’ll fly when I go to Hawaii. Hawaiian is the only airline flying widebody aircraft nonstop from Las Vegas. The flight crew make you feel like you’re in Hawaii from the minute you step onboard.

  9. The first time I did *not* fly Hawaiian Airlines, I was like “Where the heck is my Mai Tai?” 😂
    It is a nice touch…

  10. It sounds like Delta Air Lines has been positioning to do just that.
    They are the best financially. Should be fun.

    1. Any mainland airline buying HA means the end of the only truly “Hawaiian Style” service to the State. Crewing inter island with mainland based crews, cutting back on service because the bean counters don’t have a clue about Hawaii other then just another far off destination, the loss of jobs and staffing by people with no sense of Aloha. As someone else noted, it would be replacing flower Leis with plastic Leis. It would have more ramifications on what makes Hawaii special then many realize.

  11. My son is a pilot on another airline and I could fly free to Hawaii… I love Hawaiian Airlines so much that I purchase my round trip ticket with Hawaiian every year! That says a lot about their service… from ticket purchase to deplaning at my destination.

  12. Sadly a post COVID environment has created a vacuum for qualified pilots. It is now a game of musical chairs for airlines with strong balance sheets to acquire smaller competitors purely for the pilot group! Simply put, it’s a supply and demand issue.

  13. I remember flying Hawaiian for the first time when they initiated flights to the mainland. It was like a breath of fresh air compared to the other carriers. We felt like we were already in Hawaii as soon as we got on the plane. Let’s hope the merger never happens!

  14. Aloha BOH Chris Elliott has some interesting comments. usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2022/04/08/jetblue-spirit-merger-airlines-customer-complaints/9511002002/

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