‘2021 is going to be a year of rebound’, Hawaiian Airlines looks to expand amid pandemic losses

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaiian Airlines released its financial report on Tuesday, Jan. 26. It noted that new things are coming for the Airlines while the company admittedly reported a big drop in revenue during 2020.

Download the KHON2 app for iOS or Android to stay informed of Hawaii’s breaking news

“2020 has been the probably the most challenging of any of our 90 plus years here at Hawaiian Airlines,” said Brent Overbeek, Hawaiian Airlines Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Revenue Management.

Hawaiian Airlines said, its total revenue was down 79% on a 72% drop in capacity when compared to the same quarter last year. In the last three months of 2020, the airline reported a net loss of $162 million.

That has not stopped Hawaiian from seeking out new ventures, however. Hawaiian Airlines will be launching new routes to Austin, Texas, Orlando, Florida, and Ontario, California, in a few months.

Overbeek admits it will be a challenge but they hope it will be the first step toward recovery.

“Frankly, in a year, where we have had so much kind of down news and so many challenges put in front of us in the airline industry, there’s nothing quite as exciting as starting up some new routes. And so the, the jolt of momentum and adrenaline from the announcement was very palpable within the company,” said Overbeek.

It is not only new routes that are ahead, but new airplanes as well. Hawaiian Airlines ordered 787 Dreamliners before the pandemic, which according to Boeing has more seats and is more fuel-efficient. These will not launch until 2023, however.

“There are a lot of costs with the first airplane of a fleet type so that is something that, you know, we wanted to give ourselves a little bit more time from the pandemic and be able to plan for that and build up a critical mass of those airplanes,” said Overbeek.  

Hawaiian Airlines cut its workforce by about 2,400 workers in October, 2020. While many of them chose to go on a voluntary furlough, about 300 were involuntarily furloughed.

Overbeek said, they are now working to bring back as many workers as they can.

“2021 is gonna’ be a year of rebound,” said Overbeek.

“We are optimistic, I think, as cases abate on the mainland and, and they’re able to get the disease more under control, combined with the rollout of more vaccines,” Overbeek said. “Ultimately it’s going to lead to people being more confident to travel and we know there’s a lot of interest in in traveling to Hawaii.”

Correction: A previous version of the story had an incorrect route. Hawaiian Airlines will be launching a new route to Ontario, California . The story has been corrected.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More Hawaii News

More Local News

Trending Stories