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Hawaiian Airlines is now flying to New York


I’m proud to see that Hawaiian Airlines is now flying to New York, which shows the hard work and¬†confidence of the travelers who book flights to our islands, especially in these very difficult times we all live in. The airline staff should also be proud of themselves; whenever a company expands it takes an extra effort from all involved to make it happen. So give yourselves a pat on the back, you truly deserve it!

Hawaiian Airlines now flying to New York Hawaiian is transforming itself from island-hopper to influential player in U.S. aviation.

“Hawaiian is appearing as a much bigger blip on the radar screen,” says Robert Mann, founder of airline consulting firm R.W. Mann.

Routes to Seoul and Manila from its Honolulu base speak to its international aspirations. Last month, it added its fourth Japanese destination since 2010.

On Tuesday, Hawaiian turns its focus to the USA’s biggest market: New York. With the start of non-stop flights from JFK International to Honolulu through a JetBlue Airways code-share, the airline is entering its first major market on the East Coast.

“This is a major investment for them,” says Mann. “This, I would say, is a much riskier proposition.”

Analysts say if Hawaiian can make New York work, other East Coast destinations, such as Boston, where JetBlue has a strong foothold, could eventually be possible.

Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and chief executive officer, says the airline is “taking the approach of one at a time.” “Our first priority is to make New York a success,” he says.

The airline faces competition in the New York area, notably from United Airlines, which operates a non-stop flight from Newark to Honolulu. It also has to sell Hawaii over other destinations such as Mexico, the Caribbean and parts of Europe that take less time to get to than the 10 hours to Hawaii.

Hawaiian Airlines is now flying to New York

“They are the underdog, make no mistake about it,” says Henry Harteveldt, an airline and travel industry analyst and co-founder of Atmosphere Research Group. “Against the marketing dominance that United and Delta have in New York, Hawaiian will have to work very, very hard to make itself known.”

Dunkerley says the airline has what it takes to compete with such giants.

“We compete with almost every major airline in the United States and foreign airlines, as well, so we have some confidence that we’re up to the fight,” he says.

Since emerging from bankruptcy in 2005, Hawaiian has become reliable and well-managed, says Darryl Jenkins, airline analyst and chairman of the American Aviation Institute.

It was profitable in 2008, 2009 and 2010. It posted a small loss in 2011. But passengers increased to a record 8.7 million. While other airlines have cut the number of seats available, Hawaiian increased seats last year by 20%.

“They’re reasonably consistent,” Jenkins says. “They don’t make a lot of big, big mistakes. And in this business, it’s the big mistakes that kill you.”

Dunkerley says the airline was able to get out of bankruptcy by expanding its routes. In addition to new Pacific routes, it has added service to the West Coast, offering non-stop flights to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities than any other airline.

Analysts say Hawaiian has also benefited from a reputation of providing better in-flight service than the legacy carriers. It offers complimentary hot meals to all economy class customers.

Lately, Hawaiian has faced competition from another niche carrier: Alaska Airlines. Low-cost carrier Allegiant has also recently added more Hawaii routes.

Dunkerley recognizes that Hawaii is attracting other less traditional carriers. But Hawaiian, he says, will always be ahead of them.

Hawaiian Airlines is now flying to New York and I can’t wait until more destinations are added to the flight list. Everyone should experience the Hawaiian Hospitability at least once in their lifetime…

~~Aloha Nui Loa


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