Coronavirus Update: Our team is here to help our clients and readers navigate these difficult times. Visit our Resources page now »

Skip to Main Content

About Hawaiian Holdings Inc

Hawaiian Holdings' main subsidiary, Hawaiian Airlines, transports passengers and cargo between Honolulu and about a dozen major cities in the western US. The carrier also serves the six main Hawaiian Islands and destinations in the South Pacific such as American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Tahiti. It operates a fleet of about 65 aircraft (most are Boeing 717s for flights between the Hawaiian Islands and Airbus A330-200s for transpacific flights). In addition to its scheduled passenger and cargo operations, Hawaiian Airlines provides charter services. Domestic operations account for roughly 75% of total revenue.


Hawaiian Airlines operates different categories of scheduled operations. The Neighbor Island routes consist of scheduled air transportation of passengers and cargo among the Hawaiian Islands; the North America routes represent flights between the Hawaiian Islands and certain cities in the US; and the Domestic routes are these two categories combined. The International routes are flights between the Hawaiian Island and the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. The company also operates various charter flights.

The company's fleet consists of 20 Boeing 717-200 aircraft for its Neighbor Island routes, roughly 25 Airbus A330-200 aircraft, and eleven Airbus A321-200 aircraft for its North America, International, and charter routes. It also owns four ATR42 aircraft for its "Ohana by Hawaiian" Neighbor Island service and three ATR71 aircraft for its Neighbor Island cargo operations. 

Geographic Reach

Hawaiian Holdings' flight operations are based in Honolulu, Hawaii. The company offers scheduled flights among the Hawaiian Islands; between Hawaii and about a dozen cities in the US (Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose, CA; Las Vegas, NE; Phoenix, AZ; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; and New York, NY); and throughout Asia and the South Pacific. Domestic operations account roughly 75% of total revenue.

Sales and Marketing

Hawaiian Airlines uses various distribution channels including its website for North America and regional island routes, and travel agencies and wholesale distributors for international flights. Additionally, it offers its HawaiianMiles frequent flyer program that allows passengers to earn mileage credits by flying with Hawaiian Airlines and through its partner carriers. The company has marketing alliances with other airlines including Air China, American Airlines, China Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Korean Air, Philippine Airlines, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Australia, and most recently, Japan Airlines.

The airline has been increasing advertising expenses over the last few years with expenditures of about $20 million in 2018.

Financial Performance

Hawaiian Airlines has enjoyed unprecedented growth recently, with revenues peaking at a record-setting $2.8 billion in 2018. Growth is being driven primarily by increased passenger counts and capacity growth in both domestic and international flights. Recent upgrades in the company's first class cabin and extra comfort seating products on the company's A330 aircraft are driving improvements in profitability and revenue growth.

Net income, however, has been up and down with a 30% drop to $233.2 million in 2018 (profits were $330.6 million in 2017 and $224.1 million in 2016). Higher operating expenses were the primary factor affecting the dip in profits in 2018.

Cash at the end of fiscal 2018 was $268.6 million, an increase of $76.6 million from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $508.5 million to the coffers, while investing activities used $316.5 million, mainly for additions to property and equipment (aircraft and other equipment). Financing activities used another $115.4 million for loan payments, dividends to stockholders, and the company's stock repurchase program.


While other major airlines are adding capacity and growing its hubs across the US, Hawaiian Airlines is focused on its small niche business of travel to and from the Hawaiian Islands. The company has been upgrading its cabin amenities and investing in technologies to enhance guest experience while also improving efficiency.

New revenue-generating initiatives, such as its no-frills Main Cabin basic fare, facility improvements at airports, and self-service capabilities aim to increase labor productivity while providing a better experience for customers. In 2019, the company opened a new technology center in Phoenix where developers will create more self-service functions and a customer app to facilitate the check-in process. The center will also add layers of security and redundancy for its technology systems based in Honolulu.

In 2019, Hawaiian Airlines flew its final flight on a Boeing 767 aircraft. The company has transitioned to the more fuel-efficient Airbus A321neo aircraft and will continue to add to its A321neo fleet going forward.

To capitalize on the success of its co-branded credit card, the company has recently extended its partnership with Barclays and Bank of Hawai'i and MasterCard in connection with the airline's loyalty program. It also has a new partnership with Japan Airlines for codesharing and frequent flyer cooperation. 

Company Background

In 1929 former Navy pilot Stanley Kennedy, general manager of the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company, persuaded the Inter-Island board to fund a passenger line linking Honolulu (Oahu) with the other Hawaiian Islands. The new airline, which started out with amphibian aircraft, began inter-island airmail service in 1934.

The company became Hawaiian Airlines in 1941. TWA bought control in 1944 but sold out four years later, after the new Trans-Pacific Airlines (later Aloha Airlines) ended Hawaiian's 17-year monopoly in Hawaii in 1946. The two competed intensely for the same routes. Investor John Magoon bought control of Hawaiian in 1964. The rival airlines agreed to merge in 1970, but negotiations failed a year later.

Airline deregulation in 1978 gave Hawaiian access to new markets. It adopted the name HAL in 1982 and by 1985 had added service to the US West Coast.

Hawaiian Holdings Inc

Honolulu, HI 96819-1804
Phone: 1 (808) 835-3700

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: HA
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
President and CEO: Mark B. Dunkerley
Chairman: Lawrence S. Hershfield
EVP and COO: Jonathan D. Snook
Employees (This Location): 39
Employees (All Locations): 7,244

Major Office Locations

Honolulu, HI

Other Locations

Los Angeles, CA
Honolulu, HI
Kahului, HI
Portland, OR
Minato-Ku, Japan