HONOLULU – Sept. 27, 2010 - As Hawaiian Airlines prepares to launch a new era of service with flights to Asia, the company today announced that Chef Chai Chaowasaree has been appointed as executive chef and will design its inflight meal program for First Class and Coach Class passengers.
Chef Chai will initially design the menus for Hawaiian’s new daily, nonstop flights between Honolulu and Tokyo, Japan, which launches November 17, before designing the menus for all of Hawaiian’s domestic and international flights systemwide in 2011, including the start of service four times weekly to Seoul, South Korea, on January 12.
Blaine Miyasato, Hawaiian’s vice president of product development, commented, “Chef Chai brings a fresh, pan-Asian approach to cuisine that is a reflection of Hawaii’s diverse cultural influences and the perfect complement to Hawaiian’s growing international service. Our customers are going to love the new meals that he has in store for them.”
Based in Honolulu, Chef Chai is a nationally recognized, award-winning chef and owner of two popular Hawaii restaurants, Singha Thai Cuisine in Waikiki and Chai’s Island Bistro at Aloha Tower Marketplace in Honolulu. He uses only fresh ingredients from the Hawaiian Islands and, as a founding member of Hawaii’s Island Chefs, is committed to promoting the agriculture and aquaculture of the islands. Each week, Chef Chai hosts a Hawaii TV cooking show, and last year authoredThe Island Bistro Cookbook, which earned an award of excellence from the Hawaii Book Publisher Association.
“I’m honored to serve as Hawaiian’s executive chef and excited about the challenge of offering customers a new selection of menus that will make the flying experience to and from Hawaii even more enjoyable,” said Chef Chai. “Hawaiian has become established as one of the world’s premier airlines and I’m very proud to now be part of the team that is bringing such high-quality service to its customers.”
Miyasato added that Hawaiian is complementing Chef Chai’s inflight meals with wine pairings selected by Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya. A recognized expert at pairing wines with Pacific Rim cuisine, Furuya became the first person in Hawaii and the tenth person in the United States overall to earn the title of Master Sommelier in 1988.
Chef Chai is taking over as executive chef at Hawaiian from Chef Beverly Gannon, the award winning restaurateur from Maui who has designed meals for Hawaiian since 1999. “Our inflight meals have won awards and helped distinguish Hawaiian from every other airline because of the care and creativity that Bev Gannon brought to the program,” said Miyasato. “We are deeply grateful to her for a decade of pleasing our customers.”
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian is the nation’s highest-ranked carrier for service quality and performance in 2009 in the 20th annual Airline Quality Rating study, having earned that distinction in three of the past four years. Hawaiian has also led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past six years (2004-2009) and has been an industry leader in fewest misplaced bags during that same period (#1 from 2005-2007, #2 in 2008 and 2009) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the top domestic airline offering flights to Hawaii.
Now in its 81st year of continuous service for Hawaii, Hawaiian is the state’s biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service to Hawaii from the state’s primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities (10) than any other airline, as well as service to the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, Tahiti, and, in the coming months, Japan
and South Korea. Hawaiian also provides more than 150 daily jet flights between the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at www.HawaiianAirlines.com.