Hawaiian Airlines Austin and Orlando services work well
Hawaiian Airlines has been in Austin, Texas for about a month now and Orlando, Florida for over two years. Austin is the only airline point in Texas, while Orlando is the only city served by the airline in Florida. Both cities are part of the carrier’s long-haul expansion into the Americas. According to CEO Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines’ latest long-haul routes are now running very well and are on par with the airline’s services in Boston and New York.
Austin and Orlando behave well
Speaking at the Wolfe Research Global Transportation & Industrials conference, CEO Peter Ingram discussed the two new long-haul services. He said the following about their performance:
“Austin and Orlando are both new and different routes from Ontario and Long Beach, or Maui that we’ve added on the West Coast. [They] are in areas of the country where we are not a known brand where we have not operated a service before. I think we were able to raise awareness fairly quickly. Load factors are now comparable to what we see on our flights to New York and Boston which have been established for some time, which are the benchmarks that we use internally. Prices started a little lower for some of them as some local connections for connecting traffic were quite weak, but as domestic prices firmed up we saw some of that pricing business. We are encouraged. We both moved them for a third trip in the summer. We’ll see how demand progresses through the fall, but it’s been a good reaction so far.
Launching new long-haul routes is not easy. Airlines tend to offer lower introductory prices to draw attention to an itinerary and refuel planes to begin with.
Along with pricing, Hawaiian Airlines is also struggling with connecting routes. While there is demand for non-stop travel between these two cities and Hawaii, there are plenty of options. Passengers can connect at hubs such as Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, etc. This is putting some downward pressure on prices, even though they have started to firm at higher levels, according to Ingram.
Finally launch routes
Hawaiian Airlines had Austin and Orlando on its radar before the crisis hit. The problem was that the airline did not have the plane to serve the points. Asked how the new routes fit into the airline’s network, Mr. Ingram added the following:
“We added new routes to the network, and we did not add any planes to the network during this time. But Austin and Orlando weren’t examples of things we just pulled out of a hat, because it was a pandemic. They were both in the top five in terms of O&D traffic to Hawaii and in the top five of all markets that didn’t have nonstop service and other things that we’ve been looking at for some time.
Hawaiian Airlines operates only one type of wide body: the Airbus A330-200. The airline took its last Airbus A330-200 in 2017. It has 24 of the type in service.
These jets have been used on the airline’s long-haul international and domestic services. Hawaiian is also putting the aircraft into service on shorter routes between the West Coast and Hawaii.
Austin has been a hotbed of new air services for the past several years. The airport serves one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Hawaiian Airlines was just one of a number of airlines expanding their offerings outside of the airport.
How do the Boeing 787s take into account
Hawaiian Airlines sees the Boeing 787 as an engine of growth and replacement. As Mr Ingram said:
“We may or may not have 24 A330s. We will have some rental return opportunities in there. We’ve always said the 787 will be a combination of growth and replacement, and ultimately, it will be our flagship long-haul aircraft. There are some parts of our network we can’t function without the jumbo jets – obviously New York, Boston, Orlando, all international routes – if the jumbo jets add a level of complexity that you don’t see on others. airlines, but it’s something we’ve been dealing with for as long as we fly long haul to the Hawaiian. But we love the 787, it will be a good plane.
The Boeing 787-9 will be able to accommodate more passengers than the Airbus A330-200. So, expect these devices to take the airline’s long-haul flagship routes. Cities like New York and Los Angeles in the United States and places like Tokyo internationally are likely to receive services of the new kind.
The Boeing 787s will allow Hawaiian Airlines to continue flying on all new routes. With Australia and New Zealand unlikely to return until next year and not seriously until perhaps even the second half of 2022, the airline will be in a good position to serve all of its points once the Dreamliners arrive.
For now, the Airbus A330s are doing well on flights to Austin and Orlando. Both routes are working well and it appears the airline is happy with the way these routes have been received.
Have you flown Hawaiian from Austin or Orlando? Do you want to fly Hawaiian Airlines on one of these routes? Let us know in the comments!