It’s safe to say 2019 was among the most eventful years Hawaiian Airlines has had in nine decades. The yearlong observance of our 90th anniversary – a milestone reserved to only a handful of commercial airlines – was marked by exciting new routes, renovations to our airport lobbies, a fleet expansion, and a host of sustainability and cultural initiatives.
“It has been a remarkable time of high-paced growth and fleet transition while honoring our past and connecting people with aloha,” said Peter Ingram, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, in a year-end letter to employees. “I extend a sincere mahalo for all you have done and continue to do for our company and the communities we serve.”
Please join us in reliving our 90th anniversary and keep reading to learn more about key 2019 accomplishments.
Supporting our Community
We held a plane pull fundraiser at the Castle & Cooke Aviation Hangar for our 90th birthday on Nov. 11. Approximately 2,000 people representing Hawaiian Airlines and corporate teams throughout Honolulu competed in the charity event that raised $33,000 for Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.
Earlier that morning, we surprised guests aboard HA1111, a commemorative flight back in time. The trip replicated our first service from Honolulu to Hilo on the Island of Hawai‘i, with a stop on Maui, and flight attendants wore vintage company uniforms from the 1960s through the ‘90s. Each guest received a birthday card with a gift of 90,000 HawaiianMiles.
An independent ICF analysis, commissioned by Hawaiian, reported that our airline generated the equivalent of $9.3 billion in economic benefit for Hawai‘i and supported more than 60,000 jobs in 2018.
In November, our employees hosted a special welcome at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport for two veterans traveling to Honolulu from Sacramento for the 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor – Col. Clarence Anderson, a World War II pilot and Pearl Harbor survivor, and Lt. Cmdr. Lou Conter, one of three remaining survivors of the USS Arizona. The Hawaiian Airlines Veterans Employee Resource Group, alongside a cohort of active-duty U.S. Navy sailors, gave them an honorable recognition, including a red-carpet walkway, patriotic flags, recognition bell, and a group salute. Additionally, flight HA19 was staffed with an air and army national guard flight crew and captain, and a veteran first officer.
Protecting the Environment
We, along with nine other members of the Hawai’i Green Growth Sustainability Business Forum, invested in a pilot carbon offset project by The Nature Conservancy. The project will result in the management of 8,245 acres on Hawai’i Island, also known as the Kona Hema Forest Preserve, and allow The Nature Conservancy to sell the carbon captured to entities that wish to offset their carbon emissions.
“We hope that this project demonstrates that a carbon offset market can be developed in the islands, which would be a great new industry for Hawai’i that currently keeps our land in agricultural use,” said Ann Botticelli, Hawaiian’s senior vice president of corporate communications and public affairs.
We partnered with local and international organizations to host a series of beach cleanups throughout the Pacific, including Sydney, Australia; Chigasaki, Japan; Auckland, New Zealand; Waimānalo and Kahuku, O‘ahu; and South Point, Island of Hawai‘i. Each gathering exposed volunteers to the realities of plastic pollution and the effects it has on the oceans and the world’s coastal regions. We also deepened our partnership with New Zealand’s Sea Cleaners to create opportunities for Pacific youth to access environmental stewardship exchange programs. The result of our collaboration brought waves of positive impact to coastal communities throughout Hawai‘i and New Zealand.
We became the first U.S. carrier to adopt the Pacelab Flight Profile Optimizer in our cockpit. The technology augments flight plans done hours before departure by informing pilots about real-time aircraft data and meteorological information while recommending optimal altitudes to reduce fuel consumption throughout the flight. Additionally, we teamed up with Carbon Lighthouse to improve energy efficiency at the Hawaiian Airlines Airport Center.
Hawaiian Airlines and Raw Elements USA, our official reef-safe sunscreen partner, came together in the heart of Waikīkī to recognize June 1 as the inaugural World Reef Day and spread global awareness about the health of coral reefs and oceans.
Perpetuating Hawaiian Culture
This year, Hawaiian Airlines proudly became a major sponsor of the 34th annual Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. With he‘e nalu (wave sliding) holding deep roots in Hawai‘i’s history, it was a natural fit and honor for us to sponsor one of the world’s premier surfing events.
This summer, we embarked on a refresh of our lobbies with new, culture-centric designs. Our neighbor island renovation started at Kahului Airport (OGG), the second busiest airport in the state, and concluded with Hilo International Airport (ITO). All of our Hawai‘i lobbies now feature new and faster self-service kiosks to enhance the day-of-travel experience for our guests.
After the launch of our nonstop service to Boston, we transported cultural practitioners from Bishop Museum, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Paepae o He‘eia Fishpond to Massachusetts’ Peabody Essex Museum. There, they conducted a cultural ceremony for one of the last remaining Kū renderings. Kū, a carved statue of the Hawaiian god Kūka‘ilimoku, required a proper moving ceremony before being transported to its new home.
Ingram later reflected on the opportunity, sharing, “As our route map has grown, we have had increasing opportunities to unite precious cultural artifacts with those who care deeply about their preservation. It is an enduring benefit of remaining firmly tethered to this archipelago, and one that I deeply appreciate.”
In celebration of ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language) Month in February, we established an ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i certification program for our employees. The certification, which is still available to our 7,400-plus employees at no cost, is an extension of our commitment to perpetuate Hawai‘i’s culture.
In the same month, we also unveiled a pop-up Hawaiian Culture Resource Center in the heart of our Honolulu headquarters.
Enhancing our Network and Operations
Traveling between Japan and Hawai‘i got even more seamless this November after we began serving Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu. And our footprint on the U.S. East Coast expanded with the launch of our Boston service, bringing New Englanders closer to the Aloha State. The service launched in April, becoming the longest U.S. interstate route.
We retired our Boeing 767-300ER fleet after aircraft N594 completed its final commercial flight from Sacramento to Honolulu. The Boeing 767s flew Hawaiian skies for over 17 years and our fleet, at its peak, consisted of 18 aircraft.
2019 was also the year of the Airbus A321neo, a fuel-efficient aircraft that allowed us to introduce new nonstop service that connects Sacramento and Las Vegas to Maui and expands our service to San Francisco, Los Angeles (seasonal) and Seattle. Our network growth reinforces our commitment to being the leading carrier between Hawai‘i and the U.S. West Coast.
‘Ohana by Hawaiian, operated by Empire Airlines, celebrated five years of service between Honolulu and Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i by gifting 1 million HawaiianMiles to two nonprofit organizations and helping restore the Moloka‘i Land Trust’s Mokio Preserve.
The icing on the cake: we marked 15 straight years as the nation’s leader in on-time performance!
Improving our Products
We released a new line of in-flight amenities and soft goods called ‘Ēkaha. Produced in partnership with Moloka‘i-based brand Kealopiko, the collection pays homage to Hawai‘i’s rich culture and environment.
Our mobile app was completely redesigned with new, modern features that simplify the day-of travel experience.
Guests were introduced to a refreshed menu of island-inspired drinks crafted by On the Rocks Premium Cocktails. We also teamed up with Lion Coffee to bring their distinct, locally roasted brew onboard.