HA seeks deep ties with Virgin

HA seeks deep ties with Virgin
By admin


Hawaiian Airlines will work towards cementing a broader relationship with Virgin Australia with codesharing on domestic Australian routes and on its new Brisbane to Honolulu flights the ultimate aim, it has emerged.

The two carriers have an interline arrangement domestically and began codesharing on HA’s daily Sydney to Hawaii services late last year.

But the US carrier is keen to go beyond those agreements and forge a far closer commercial relationship with Virgin, industry commentators believe.

Hawaiian chief executive Mark Dunkerley told Travel Today it enjoyed a “positive” relationship with John Borghetti’s Virgin Australia and admitted the exploration of a “broader and deeper” pact was in its plans.

But he declined to expand on its intentions other than to confirm the “potential” of additional codeshares.

“We are looking forward to deepending that relationship in the months and years ahead,” Dunkerley said.

Meanwhile, Dunkerley rejected fears the softening dollar would impact demand, insisting the exchange rate still represented value for money.

“The Aussie dollar has moved so far since we started flying to Australia in 2004,” he said. “It was between 55 cents and 70 cents back then so it has moved so far from there. It is still a very attractive situation so a a small move back is not a particular cause for concern.”

Dunkerley said Hawaiian was engaging in “good old fashioned marketing activity” in Brisbane ahead of the launch of direct flights later this year by “wearing out some shoe leather”.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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