Out of the gate, 2023 proved to be another dynamic year for Hawaiian Airlines with advancements and milestones across our entire operation. Through it all, our employees remained focused on caring for our guests and representing our island home and legacy brand the best way they know – with authentic hospitality and aloha.
Please join us in looking back at a few of the biggest 2023 highlights at Hawaiian Airlines.
Combining with Alaska Airlines
In December, we shared a joint announcement detailing our acquisition by Alaska Airlines. President and CEO Peter Ingram said in the press release, “Since 1929, Hawaiian Airlines has been an integral part of life in Hawai‘i, and together with Alaska Airlines we will be able to deliver more for our guests, employees and the communities that we serve.”
The latest details on the deal can be found at localcareglobalreach.com.
Caring for Maui
In the first 72 hours after the West Maui wildfires, we prioritized the evacuation of displaced residents and visitors, transported first responders, operated hundreds of flights and carried more than 17,000 people out of Kahului Airport. During that first week, we also flew more than 54,000 pounds of essential supplies into Kahului (OGG), including life-saving blood, medical supplies, communications equipment, animal kennels and more.
As part of our second phase of support for Maui, we established our Mālama Maui Desk alongside several significant volunteer and financial commitments toward emergency response and recovery efforts. In the 2.5 months that the platform was open, our teams assisted over 230 individuals and organizations with urgent, high-impact requests for travel, cargo shipping, baggage waivers, volunteers, sponsorships and more. The Desk also facilitated the shipping of an additional 19,000 pounds of donations.
Those planning to visit the Valley Isle in the fire's aftermath have since been encouraged to travel pono (responsibly) during their stay, thanks in part to our Maui-focused Travel Pono video series. The spotlights are hosted by our Maui-based employees who talk story with businesses and residents and share what it means to visit the island today and how to have a great experience while positively impacting the community.
Our support for Maui communities and businesses has never wavered since the disaster, and we continue to invest in community-based events, programs and organizations sustaining the path toward recovery. Visit our Mālama Maui page to learn how you can support the essential work of organizations on the ground.
Preparing for the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Want to be among the first to travel to Hawaiʻi on our Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner? In September we launched ticket sales for flights on our new flagship aircraft. The first aircraft in our new fleet will enter service and fly between Honolulu (HNL) and San Francisco in April and between HNL and Los Angeles and Phoenix in May.
The 300-seat aircraft features a nature-inspired cabin design and our newest premium product, the Leihōkū Suites (garland of stars): 34 suites that envelop guests in a tranquil space with lie-flat seating set in a 1-2-1 configuration with doors, offering privacy or a shared experience with combinable double suites. In developing our Leihōkū Suites, we became the first airline to partner with Adient Aerospace – a joint venture between the Boeing Company and Adient, a world leader in automotive seats.
Expanding Our Network
In May, we rejoined two Pacific Island neighbors when we inaugurated weekly nonstop service between HNL and the Cook Islands. We also resumed two Japan routes: Fukuoka and HNL in April and Haneda and Kona, Hawaiʻi Island (KOA) in October.
In December, we announced we would begin new service between HNL and Salt Lake City, Utah and Sacramento and Līhuʻe (LIH) and KOA in May.
We Do It Island Style
Our new local commercial debuted at the beginning of the year throughout the state and on our digital channels. The spot features 22 Hawaiian Airlines employees and their extended ‘ohana going about their day in and out of work – all while humming and singing along to John Cruz’s iconic song, “Island Style.”
We rolled out ten locally produced boarding videos throughout the year, featuring a refreshed lineup of Hawaiʻi musicians. The videos were filmed throughout the state and feature music legends and the up-and-coming talents who have flourished under their mentorship.
We encouraged our followers and guests to stay active throughout November with our virtual Holoholo Challenge. This year celebrated Kauaʻi and included two new routes that “traversed” the Garden Isle. At the end of the 30-day challenge, 5,369 participants logged 256,813 miles and raised nearly $25,000 for the National Tropical Botanical Garden’s McBryde Garden, a 259-acre conservation and research area in South Kauaʻi.
Bringing Local Businesses into Our Cabins
In 2023, we added more local businesses to our in-flight experience. In November, we debuted new amenity kits and soft goods designed by Hawaiʻi lifestyle brand Noho Home by Jalene Kanani Bell. The product line evokes a sense of place with its Hawaiian culture-inspired patterns and uses responsibly sourced materials. Our Noho Home amenities are now available on long-haul international flights and between Hawai‘i and New York, Boston and Austin.
In December, we added two new Kō Hana Rum craft cocktails to our North America main cabin menus, including a tangy Pineapple Daiquiri and a reimagined Mai Tai. Both beverages are rich with fresh ingredients and Hawaiian Agricole rum farmed in the heart of Oʻahu.
We are also proud to continue serving as the exclusive airline partner of Mana Up, which we have done since 2017. Through our partnership, we continue working alongside the small Hawai‘i business incubator to elevate and spotlight local products.
Continued Investments in Sustainability
In March, we shared more details on our plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, including commitments to significant progress in the 2030s – outlined in a decarbonization roadmap. The plan relies on several key drivers, including the development and use of sustainable aviation fuel, fleet modernization and technology, operational best practices to improve fuel efficiency, and advocacy for air traffic control system improvements.
Our 2022 decarbonization efforts were also tracked alongside other environmental, social and governance initiatives in our 2023 Corporate Kuleana (Responsibility) Report.
Being the state’s flagship carrier also means caring for its people, resources and places. Thanks to a study commissioned early last year, we know our business stimulated $10.2 billion in economic activity in Hawai‘i – about 11% of the state’s gross domestic product – and was directly or indirectly responsible for 53,500 jobs statewide in 2022* despite enduring challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. This new report, titled “No Kākou a Pau” (interconnectedness), encapsulated one idea: when Hawaiian Airlines performs at its best, the people of Hawaiʻi stand to benefit the most.
Caring for Our Home
We continue to support our nonprofit partners with financial, flight, cargo and volunteer support. For example, the Polynesian Voyaging Society approached us earlier this year to support its “Moananuiākea: A Voyage for Earth”. We didn’t hesitate and signed on as the official airline sponsor, donating 34 million air miles for crew travel and committing to transporting cargo associated with the voyage around the Pacific. We were proud to be named the voyage’s Moa’e Kū sponsor – a nod to the predictable, steady and reliable wind that navigators depend on.
Also, last month, Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi opened its new Hoʻolauana Wash Pack Station, which was funded by a $109,500 grant from the Hawaiian Airlines Foundation. The facility will advance community food production and help Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi and its partner farms process their crops for the market.
Developing the Future Workforce
In January, we partnered with Embry‑Riddle Aeronautical University for its Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) SkillBridge program to provide servicemen and women opportunities to bridge the transition into the civilian aviation and aerospace sector.
In May, Honolulu Community College (HonCC) graduated the latest cohort of students in its Aeronautics Maintenance Technology (AERO) program, a partnership HonCC and Hawaiian established in 2022 to graduate more local students as highly skilled aviation maintenance technicians. In total, 18 AERO students received a certificate of completion and six continued their apprenticeship at Hawaiian Airlines.
We gifted the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) $100,000 in scholarship funds to support students pursuing degrees in information technology, computer science, cybersecurity and related studies at any of its three four-year universities throughout the state.
In Arizona, we awarded the first of eight grants from our New Horizons Scholarship Fund to two Native Hawaiian undergraduates enrolled in Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business's Information Systems program. Both students received $10,000 in tuition assistance to support their paths toward information technology careers.