Hawaiian Airlines reported that pressure from the delta variation of COVID-19 had subsided, improving the carrier’s chances of rebuilding its network.
“We saw a very good recovery from the US domestic market for travel to Hawaii for the first half of this year, and by July we were actually exceeding the capacity we had flown [on US domestic routes to Hawaii] before the pandemic and had seen load factors fully recover,” Hawaiian CEO Peter Ingram said this week at the IATA Annual General Meeting in Boston.
He said that Hawaiian has “had a little setback over the last couple of months as the Delta variant has caused cases to rise and some increase in hospitalizations,” but that “that has starting to stabilize now and we anticipate to see a nice comeback towards the end of the year.”
The airline anticipates an increase in demand in the Pacific foreign markets it serves. COVID-19 immunization rates are increasing in Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, according to Ingram.
Hawaiian added new US mainland markets this year, including Honolulu (HNL) to Austin (AUS) in Texas, Ontario (ONT) in California, and Orlando (MCO) in Florida (MCO). In addition, the airline launched new flights from Maui (OGG) to Long Beach (LGB) in California.
The new routes are off to a good start, according to Ingram, and “they have shown to be good sources of demand, and we’re pleased about the long-term prospects.”