Asia the focus for Hawaiian Airlines

Asia the focus for Hawaiian Airlines
By admin

Hawaiian Airlines has come a long way since the dark days of 2003 when the carrier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Only two months prior, Mark Dunkerley had taken over as chief executive charged with steering the airline through that turbulent period.

Finally, in June 2005, it emerged from bankruptcy protection, and while it’s hardly been an easy ride since then — for Hawaiian or anyone else in the aviation industry — it has traded its way into a position of growth.

For Dunkerley and Hawaiian, Asia is the overriding long haul focus, Australia included, with Dunkerley describing its strategy as “pretty straightforward”.

“We are an airline that is largely, though not exclusively, focused on selling Hawaii as a destination,” he told Travel Today. “It makes sense for us to look at where visitors to Hawaii are coming from. And it doesn’t take too much clairvoyance to see that with the economic development of Asia, particularly the middle classes, we should expect demand from Asia to grow. We are positioning ourselves to take advantage of that.”

As reported in Friday’s Travel Today, expansion could be on the cards for Australia assuming Hawaiian’s additional frequencies from Sydney and larger aircraft are well received.

But equally, Japan, Hawaii’s largest source market, is a growth target for Hawaiian with its third route, to Fukuoka, set to debut in April.

“We are looking to expand further into Japan,” Dunkerley explained. “We had no routes 18 months ago and now we have two, going on three. It’s a reflection of the success we have enjoyed in Japan that we have been able to build up services so quickly.”

Like Australia, Hawaii has seen numbers from Japan plummet over the past two decades, falling 50% from its high in the 1980s and early 90s. But the “tide has turned”, he said, with a “rediscovery of Japan and its potential.”

South Korea is also a growth market for Hawaiian as, of course, is China, described by Dunkerley as the “imponderable”.

Hawaiian and the US tourism industry in general is facing an impediment in fully exploiting the growth potential from China with visa regulations that are “cumbersome and burdensome” according to Dunkerley.

The convoluted visa process is in start contrast to Australia, he said.

“Whenever I talk about this in the US I always mention Australia as a country that has taken a much more enlightened view and is reaping the rewards because of it,” he said.

Progress is being made, he added, but more needs to be done to ease the process before flights become a realistically commercial prospect.

Email the Travel Weekly team at

Latest News

  • Aviation
  • Destinations

Singapore Airlines to launch flights to Beijing Daxing from November

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced a new daily route between its capital city hub and Beijing’s Daxing International Airport. The flights are set to begin operating from 11 November 2024 assuming there are no complications with regulatory approvals. Located in the south of Beijing, the airport gives customers convenient access to the Beijing, Hebei, and […]

  • News

Touropa adds European river cruises to product offering

Touropa, the flexible coach touring company, have announced an exciting extension of its travel programme to include more than 100 European River Cruise departures. Touropa, a collaboration between Sun Island Tours and Europamundo Vacations, is a global touring provider renowned for its extensive range of flexible and affordable travel options, and this expansion is aimed […]

  • Events

Christmas in July 2024 program

The four-day winter extravaganza unveils its exciting 2024 program as locals and guests get ready for XMAS in July from 27 to 30 June. Park Lanes Lawn will be the heart of the festival, offering a holiday experience with music, gastronomy, artisan crafts. Free Christmas shows, concerts, and more The festival kicks off with the […]

  • Destinations

Victoria’s Rutherglen named Australia’s trendiest location

Melbourne is often dubbed as Australia’s trendiest and coolest city, however, there are plenty of other up-and-coming regions vying for that title, including Victoria’s Rutherglen. B2C Furniture did an analysis of every major Australian city, ranking the number of cafes, markets, vintage shops, theatres, street art murals, and art galleries. They then created a custom […]

  • Health & Wellness
  • News

Two Australian beaches named in the top 10 nudist beaches globally

A recent study identified the best nudist beaches in the world and it was good news for freedom-loving Aussies, with two Australian beaches making it to the top of the list.  Experts from identified the world’s best beaches for nudists by factoring in categories such as safety index, average sunshine hours, summer water temperature, […]

  • Hotels

Opening of Argini Hotel in Syros Greece

Located in cosmopolitan Vaporia in Ermoupolis, Syros, the Argini Hotel has opened its doors at the world’s second most welcoming city for 2024. Built in 1853 to house the family of Gregoris Paikos, a leading figure in the Greek Revolution, Argini Hotel was renovated with ethos, modern artistry, and utter respect to its neoclassical history. […]

  • Attractions
  • First Nations

Australian National Maritime Museum celebrates NAIDOC week

The Australian National Maritime Museum kicks off NAIDOC Week 2024 with a Family Fun Day on Sunday, 7 July, honouring the theme “Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud, and Proud”. NAIDOC Week gives all Australians a chance to celebrate and recognise the history, culture, and achievements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The […]

  • Food & Beverage

Nobu Bangkok the World’s Highest Nobu Restaurant at EA Rooftop at The Empire

Nobu co-founders Hollywood star Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, plus eponymous chef Nobu Matsuhisa have visited EA Rooftop at the Empire ahead of the official launch of the world’s highest Nobu restaurant in the heart of Bangkok. With unparalleled dining experiences with breathtaking panoramic views of the Bangkok skyline and the Chao Phraya River, […]

  • Hotels

Nesuto celebrates five years of success with five five-night stay vouchers competition

Nesuto is offering guests the chance to win one of five five-night stay vouchers that can be used at any Nesuto apartment or apartment hotel across Australia and New Zealand as part of its 5th anniversary celebration. Guests and team members are invited to contribute to a digital time capsule that captures their favourite memories, […]

  • Cruise

Viking Cruises special 8-day cruise rate

Viking cruises is providing a special offer on its 8-day Rhine Getaway itinerary for November 2024 departures with a strictly limited basis. The cruise takes guests out to discover the charm of old-world Europe as they sail through Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland. The itinerary includes visits the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, and medieval towns […]