HONOLULU – Feb.27, 2007 - Suzanne Chong Kee started at Hawaiian Airlines in 1963 as a flight attendant back when the company only flew interisland and operated DC-3 propeller planes.
Today, she manages the scheduling of Hawaiian's B767-300 wide-body jets for its transpacific service to the West Coast, South Pacific, and Sydney, as well as for charter flights.
Chong Kee is Hawaiian's 2006 Employee of the Year, honored for her skill at keeping Hawaiian on track with its transpacific service, and for the spirit of commitment and enthusiasm she has brought to her career at Hawaiian over the past four decades.
“Suzanne's stalwart dedication to Hawaiian Airlines, both through good times and bad, has been admirable,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and CEO. “She has not only been witness to, but part of the transformation that has elevated Hawaiian from being a carrier connecting the islands to becoming the best airline in the country serving Hawaii.”
Upon receiving the award, Chong Kee commented, “I'm honored to be recognized by my company and fellow workers and feel this is the greatest compliment that anyone could receive.”
After working as a flight attendant, Chong Kee transferred into Hawaiian's reservations department and progressively moved up to earn a greater share of responsibilities for the airline. Currently, she is primarily in charge of assigning Hawaiian's B767-300 fleet to the daily route schedule, working closely with departments overseeing the flight crews, maintenance, catering and stations in the markets served by Hawaiian.
Reflecting on her career, Chong Kee noted with pride of helping Hawaiian to convert from a manual reservation system to computers in the 1970s and assisting with the start of the airline's service to the West Coast in 1985. She added, “The changes and challenges are what I've enjoyed most about working at Hawaiian. There is never a dull moment around here.”
A native of Honolulu, Chong Kee is a 1962 graduate of Sacred Hearts Academy. She and husband Dennis have three children and five grandchildren.
Chong Kee was one of 24 Kupono Award winners that Hawaiian honored in 2006. The Kupono Award recognizes outstanding employees each month who are nominated by their peers, exemplify the spirit of Hawaiian and exceed expectations in their daily responsibilities.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines, holder of a record 36 consecutive months as America's most punctual airline, has consistently led the nation's carriers in on-time schedule performance and fewest misplaced bags in 2005 and 2006 (as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation). Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and Zagat all rank Hawaiian as the top domestic airline serving Hawaii.
Now in its 78th year of continuous service in Hawaii, Hawaiian is the state's biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the second largest provider of passenger air service between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities than any other airline (nine), as well as service to Australia, American Samoa and Tahiti. Hawaiian also provides approximately 100 daily jet flights among the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (AMEX and PCX: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com.