Hawaiian CEO: Domestic US Capacity Exceeds Pre-Pandemic Levels

The airline is eyeing a return to the Pacific markets it previously served.

Hawaiian Airlines said pressure from the delta variant of COVID-19 has eased, brightening the carrier's prospects for building back its network. 

“We saw a very good recovery for the first half of this year from the US domestic market for travel to Hawaii, and by July we were actually exceeding the capacity we had flown [on US domestic routes to Hawaii] before the pandemic, and had seen load factors fully recover,” Hawaiian CEO Peter Ingram told the Aviation Week Network this week at the IATA Annual General Meeting in Boston. 

He conceded that Hawaiian had "seen a little setback over the last couple of months as the Delta variant has caused cases to rise and some increase in hospitalizations, but that has begun to stabilize now and we expect to see a good recovery to the end of the year." 

The airline is looking forward to seeing demand improve in the international markets it serves in the Pacific. Ingram noted that COVID-19 vaccination rates are rising in Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.   

This year, Hawaiian added new US mainland markets, including Honolulu (HNL) to Austin (AUS) in Texas, Ontario (ONT) in California and Orlando (MCO). The carrier also introduced new flights from Maui (OGG) to Long Beach (LGB) in California.  

Ingram said the new routes are off to a good start, and “those have proven to be good sources of demand and we’re encouraged about the long-term prospects.” 

Photo credit: Rob Finlayson