HONOLULU – Nov. 10, 2006 - This Saturday, Hawaiian Airlines will mark its 77th anniversary of service in Hawaii.
On November 11, 1929, Inter-Island Airways (later renamed Hawaiian Airlines) revolutionized transportation and commerce between the islands with the introduction of Hawaii's first scheduled air service.
“Everyone at Hawaiian takes tremendous pride in our company's deep history and the vital role it has played in our islands' economy and way of life,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and CEO. “This legacy inspires us to continue providing the best possible service for the people of Hawaii.”
Seventy-seven years ago, Inter-Island Airways began offering flights between the islands using two Sikorsky S-38 amphibian aircraft. These “flying boats” carried eight passengers and two crewmembers, and had a top cruising speed of 110 MPH. The inaugural flight on November 11 from Honolulu to Hilo, with a stopover on Maui, took more than three hours. The next day, flight service was initiated from Honolulu to Kauai.
In 1930, the new airline carried a total of 10,367 interisland travelers in its first full year of operations – a figure that is now surpassed daily – and another 2,500 sightseers over Honolulu. On October 1, 1941, the company officially changed its name to Hawaiian Airlines.
Hawaiian's history of air service features several significant “firsts” for Hawaii:
- October 8, 1934. The airline introduces airmail service to the islands.
- March 20, 1942. Hawaiian becomes America's first federally certified airline to provide scheduled air freight service.
- April 1, 1966. Hawaiian introduces the first jet aircraft serving interisland travelers.
- March 6, 1979. Hawaiian becomes the nation's first airline to operate a scheduled flight with an all-female flight crew.
- June 12, 1985. Hawaiian becomes the first Hawaii-based airline to offer service to the mainland, introducing nonstop daily flights between Honolulu and Los Angeles.
In contrast to its flying boat roots, Hawaiian today connects Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii's Big Island using 11 state-of-the-art Boeing 717-200 jets that seat 123 passengers, with eight seats in first class and 115 seats in coach.
In addition, Hawaiian has 15 Boeing 767-300 jets in its fleet providing transpacific service to the western U.S., South Pacific, and Australia, with three more jets being added by the end of this year. Each B767 jet seats 260 passengers, with 18 seats in first class and 242 seats in coach.
Hawaiian continues to be an industry leader in quality of service. According to monthly reports issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Hawaiian has led all carriers nationwide in on-time performance for the past 35 consecutive months. Hawaiian has also had the nation's best record for baggage handling the past five months in a row.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian was the nation's number one carrier for on-time service, fewest flight cancellations and best baggage service reliability in 2005, according to reports by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer travel surveys conducted by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and Zagat all rank Hawaiian as the top domestic airline serving Hawaii.
Now in its 77th year of continuous service in Hawaii, Hawaiian is the state's biggest and longest-serving airline, and the second largest provider of passenger air service between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. 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.