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Act Now to Support Hawaiian Airlines


April 11, 2017

 Aloha kakou,

All of us who work at Hawaiian are aware of the tortuous pace of the HNL modernization plan.  More than 13 years after the plan was approved we are still awaiting completion of the first enabling project, which is our new cargo and maintenance hangar.

If you’ve been following the news, you know there is a solution on the horizon.  The state Legislature, at the request of the state Department of Transportation, is considering establishing an Airport Corporation.  SB658 has received hearings in the Senate and the House and is now headed for the joint House-Senate Conference Committee. This link will take you to the Legislature’s website, the latest version of the bill (SB 658 HD2) and all the testimony to date: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=658&year=2017

The column to the right contains links to two articles about the Airport Corporation and an editorial (in favor) published in the Star-Advertiser. 

The Airline Committee of Hawai’i (including Hawaiian Airlines), the Airline Concessionaires Committee and several others are supporting an Airport Corporation, which would establish an independent board to oversee airport operations. The bill offers three significant improvements:  

  • It will remove airport operations from the purview of the state Department of Transportation.  The legislation as introduced would ensure that progress on large, forward-looking improvement projects will never be halted by a change in state Administration.
  • It will allow the Corporation to expend and allocate funds within a project that has already received Legislative approval without having to await a new legislative session. 
  • It will allow the Corporation to implement a more efficient procurement process that is better suited for airport projects. 

Many outside of the industry do not know that airport operations are not funded by taxpayers.  All airport operations – down to the salaries of DOT-A personnel, are funded by the user fees and lease rents paid by airlines and airport vendors.

The lawmakers below have been champions of change and we invite you to send them a quick and simple email thanking them for their support of an Airport Corporation.

Senators who have voted to advance the Airport Corporation bill




Sen. Ron Kouchi

Kaua’i, Ni’ihau


Sen. Lorraine Inouye

Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona


Sen. Donovan DelaCruz

Mililani Mauka, Waipi’o Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, Poamoho


Sen. Kalani English

Hana, East and Upcountry Maui; Lana’i; Kaho’olawe.


Sen. Maile Shimabukuro

Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko ‘Olina, Nanakuli, Ma’ili, Wai’anae, Makaha, Makua


Sen. Jill Tokuda

Kane’ohe, Kane’ohe MCAB, Kailua, He’eia, Ahuimanu


Sen. Brickwood Galuteria

Waikiki, Ala Moana, Kaka’ako, McCully, Mo’ili’ili


Sen. Kai Kahele



Sen. Gil Riviere

Kane’ohe, Ka’a’awa, Hau’ula, La’ie, Kahuku, Waialua, Hale’iwa, Wahiawa, Schofield Barracks, Kunia


Sen. Glenn Wakai

Kalihi, Mapunapuna, Airport, Salt Lake, Aliamanu, Foster Village, Hickam, Pearl Harbor


Representatives who have voted to advance the Airport Corporation bill




House Speaker Joe Souki

Kahakuloa, Waihe’e, Waiehu, Pu’uohala, Wailuku, Waikapu



Rep. Henry Aquino



Rep. Sean Quinlan



Rep. Tom Brower



Rep. Mark Hashem



Rep. Joy San Buenaventura



Rep. Aaron Johansen



Rep. Kaniela Holt



Rep. Jarrett Keohokalolo



Rep. Mark Nakashima



Rep. Kyle Yamshita



Rep. Lauren Matsumoto





July 20, 2016

Hawaiian Airlines Awarded Haneda-Honolulu Daytime Route

 Current “Nighttime” Service to be Re-timed Oct. 29


HONOLULU – Hawaiian Airlines today received tentative approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to shift its current daily flight between Honolulu and Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport to a coveted daytime schedule.  The new flights will begin on October 29, 2016 (see chart below).

This morning’s tentative award follows a DOT ruling in May granting Hawaiian a nighttime slot pair to provide daily service between Haneda and Kona three times weekly and Haneda and Honolulu four times weekly.  That service will launch on December 20, 2016, giving Hawaiian Airlines two daily flights between Haneda and the Hawaiian Islands.

“We commend the U.S. DOT for recognizing both the success of our existing Haneda service and the immense value that Hawaiian provides to travelers and to our state’s economy,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Airlines.  “We believe that allowing us to arrive and depart earlier in the day will enhance our already popular Honolulu route.  Combined with the additional capacity between Honolulu and Kona we will be able to fulfill the demand for a Hawai’i vacation from travelers coming from Japan’s most populous city while giving back to our community and all local businesses through increased tourism to Hawai’i.”

Dunkerley also expressed gratitude for the strong support for Hawaiian’s application offered by Hawai’i’s Congressional delegation.

Hawai‘i’s largest and longest serving carrier was among the first three U.S. airlines granted authority to operate at Haneda in 2010.  For the last six years Hawaiian has successfully provided its daily nighttime service between Tokyo and Honolulu, flying more passengers out of Haneda than any other U.S. carrier. Its service to Honolulu has added at least $941 million to the U.S. GDP, generated $564 million in direct spending and led to the creation of 2,337 new jobs. 


The new daytime flight schedule between Honolulu and Tokyo’s Haneda will be as follows:   






Start Date

HA 457


2:45 p.m.

6:55  p.m.*


October 29, 2016

HA 458


9:30 p.m.

9:45 a.m.**


October 30, 2016


Flights cross the international dateline and land:         
*At HND the following day     
**At HNL the same day

Hawaiian’s Honolulu to Haneda service served as a springboard for an expanded Japan network that today includes:  Osaka (July 2011) and Sapporo (October 2012). This Friday, July 22, the airline will start service to its fourth destination in Japan, with daily nonstop service between Tokyo’s Narita Airport (NRT) and Honolulu. 

About Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian® has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past 12 years (2004-2015) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the highest of all domestic airlines serving Hawai‘i.

Now in its 87th year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawai‘i’s biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its primary visitor markets on the U.S. Mainland. Hawaiian offers non-stop service to Hawai‘i from more U.S. gateway cities (11) than any other airline, along with service from Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tahiti. Hawaiian also provides approximately 160 jet flights daily between the Hawaiian Islands, with a total of more than 200 daily flights system-wide.

Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com. Follow updates on Twitter about Hawaiian (@HawaiianAir) and become a fan on its Facebook page.

 For media inquiries, please visit Hawaiian Airlines’ online newsroom.

May 13, 2016

Aloha friends!

We awoke this morning to very good news! The U.S. Department of Transportation this morning approved Hawaiian Airlines’ application to serve Honolulu and Kona from Haneda airport in Tokyo. The DOT has given Hawai‘i’s largest and longest serving carrier until January 29, 2017 to start the new service.

In an order issued this morning, the DOT wrote: “Hawaiian, and Hawaiian alone, requested the nighttime slot pair, and the Department finds that prompt approval of Hawaiian's request is consistent with the public interest.”

Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Mark Dunkerley stated:

“This is tremendous news for Hawaiian Airlines, for our employees, our customers and for the economies of Kona and our entire state. Flights between Hawaii and Japan are the most traveled and most beneficial to the U.S. economy, so being able to expand the number that we can offer to Tokyo's Haneda airport is especially important. We have estimated that the Kona portion alone will generate $35 million in visitor spending and $12.5 million in wages and benefits.

“Many thanks go to our entire Congressional Delegation for advocating so strongly for Hawaiian Airlines and Hawai’i in this proceeding. Mahalo also to Governor David Ige, Mayor Billy Kenoi and all of the businesses and individuals who offered letters of support for this service.”

The DOT is still deciding which U.S. air carriers will be awarded five round-trip daytime frequencies that were opened as part of a February agreement between the U.S. Government and the Government of Japan. Hawaiian has asked to confirm that its current Honolulu-Haneda night-time slot will be shifted to a permanent daytime slot, noting that no other application comes close to providing the benefits to the community, travelers and the economy when compared to the very successful service we started six years ago. 

Please feel free to dowload this editable "mahalo and support" letter to press the DOT to grant our request to shift our current Haneda-Honolulu service from the night slot to a day slot.

We will keep you updated on the progress of that application. 

May 12, 2016

Aloha friends of Hawaiian Airlines,

 Today (May 12, 2016) marked an important procedural deadline for Hawaiian Airlines and the other U.S. air carriers seeking to expand service between Haneda International Airport and the United States.  Each of us has filed final arguments supporting our application with the U.S. Department of Transportation.  The DOT will now decide how it will allocate six precious round-trip frequencies from Haneda.

Currently, four U.S. carriers – Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines – are allowed to serve travelers at Haneda between the “night time” hours of 10 p.m. and 6:55 a.m.  The governments of the U.S. and Japan amended that agreement in February to move the four night-time allocations to day time hours (between 6 a.m. and 10:55 p.m.) and add two additional frequencies, one during daytime hours and one during the nighttime hours.

Hawaiian has asked the DOT to assign a daytime slot to our current Honolulu-Haneda daily flight and allow us to add service during the night time hours that serves Honolulu four times per week and Kona three times per week.  Here is a recap of the applications:



Frequencies Requested by Priority

Daytime Authority Requested?

Nighttime Authority Requested?


  1. Daytime Honolulu-Haneda Daily
  2. Nightime Honolulu-Haneda (4x/week) + Kona-Haneda (3x/week)






  1. Daytime Los Angeles-Haneda (daily)
  2. Daytime Dallas/Fort Worth-Haneda (daily)




  1. Daytime Los Angeles-Haneda (daily)
  2. Daytime Minneapolis-St. Paul-Haneda (daily)
  3. Daytime Atlanta-Haneda (daily)




  1. Daytime San Francisco-Haneda (daily)
  2. Daytime Newark-Liberty-Haneda (daily)



As you can see, we are the only one of four U.S. airlines to request the night time slot, and we have filed a motion asking the DOT to recognize that by granting us immediate permission to proceed.

We feel we have the strongest application for a number of reasons, including:

  • Hawai’i is the largest market between Tokyo and the United States.
  • Kona is a larger local market than Dallas, Minneapolis and Atlanta. The Kona portion of our proposal alone will generate $35 million in visitor spending and $12.5 million in payroll and benefits.

We also argue that allowing us to operate our very successful Honolulu-Haneda service during daytime hours would allow us to compete on an even playing field with Japanese carriers that have the flexibility to operate service to Honolulu during the day as well as the three U.S. mega carriers and their alliance partners who operate competitive Honolulu-Tokyo service during the daytime hours from Narita airport.

We appreciate all of the letters of support we have received.  If you would like to add your voice to the chorus of encouragement for our application, please do so.  You may access an editable support letter here and are welcome to add your own thoughts to the content. 

Please email the letter to Erin Combs at our Washington, DC lawfirm.  Her email address is ecombs@cooley.com

Mahalo nui loa for your enduring support!

April 21, 2016

Aloha friends!

Today (April 21, 2016), Hawaiian Airlines, filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) seeking authority to operate two nonstop routes between Haneda International Airport (HND) in Tokyo and the state of Hawai’i. 

The application filed in Washington, DC, asks regulators to allow Hawaiian to operate its current and very successful Honolulu-Haneda service during the daytime hours.  It also seeks authority to operate a second daily route from Haneda serving Honolulu four days each week and Kona International Airport (KOA) on Hawai’i Island three days each week.

Hawaiian’s request follows a proceeding established after February agreement between the U.S. Government and the Government of Japan providing a total of six slot pairs, or round-trip routes, between Haneda and the United States.

“Hawaiian Airlines was among the first three U.S. airlines granted route authority from Haneda in 2010, and our Honolulu service has been by far the most successful of the original services,” noted Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. 

“We have more than held our own against much larger competitors. Allowing us to utilize a more favorable daytime slot for our existing service and add additional capacity between Honolulu and Kona will signal that the U.S. DOT values competition from smaller, independent carriers against the mega-carriers advantaged by mergers and anti-trust immunized alliance agreements,” said Dunkerley.

Hawaiian Airlines’ application notes that Hawaiian has flown more passengers out of Haneda than any other U.S. carriers.  Its service to Honolulu has added $941 million to the U.S. GDP, generated $564 million in direct spending and led to the creation of 2,337new jobs. 

The carrier believes that an additional route serving both Honolulu and Kona will create additional public benefits, serving a market that has pent-up demand for nonstop service. Kona is the third-largest airport without nonstop service to Tokyo, with more point-of-sale Japanese passengers than 11 other U.S. destinations with nonstop service from Japan’s most populated city.  The carrier has requested a daytime slot for the Honolulu/Kona service, but has asked for consideration of a night-time slot as a second choice. 

How You Can Help

Overwhelming support for this route from our ‘ohana and our community will be tremendously helpful in winning the right to provide this service. You may access an editable support letter here. The letter may be download and reprinted on your own letterhead.  Please feel free to add your own thoughts to the content.  

Please email the letter to ecombs@cooley.com.  We will include all letters in a packet and provide them to the U.S. DOT. 

November 2, 2015


Kaua’i County Council
4396 Rice Street, Suite 209
Lihu’e, Hawai’i  96766

Aloha Chairman Rapozo, Vice Chair Kagawa and members of the Kaua’i County Council.

I am writing to address some concerns voiced by members of the Kaua’i County Council on October 21, 2015 during the Council’s deliberation on Resolution 2015-61, a copy of which we received in the mail on October 29, 2015.  We have also reviewed the videotaped October 21, 2015 council meeting during which this resolution was introduced.

Let me begin by stating that Hawaiian is very proud to be Hawai’i’s oldest and largest airline.  We provide 160-180 flights daily between the islands of our state (34 – 42 non-stop segments each day between Lihu’e and Honolulu, and another 8 non-stop flights between Lihu’e and Kahului) in addition to 22 North America and International gateways.  We have 5,500 employees – an increase of 60 percent since 2008 – 92 percent of whom live here in Hawai’i. 

We are acutely aware that our kama’aina largely rely on our airplanes to travel for business and pleasure between the islands of our state.  We are proud to be Hawai’i’s hometown airline, proud to be a significant contributor to the economic well-being of our state, and eager to continue to provide both kama’aina and visitors with the best possible service to and between our Islands. 

I do feel compelled to correct or respond to some of the statements made during the Council hearing call.  I have responded to each of them in the attached document. I hope this helps clarify some of the misstatements that form the premise of the Council’s resolution and becomes a good starting point for discussion.


Very sincerely,



Mark B. Dunkerley

Statement: Fares have ‘skyrocketed’

Hawaiian Airlines has implemented a revenue management system that offers a range of prices at different times of the day, and which are adjusted by availability of seats.  By managing fares according to demand, we are able to offer the very low fares available for those who have more flexible travel schedules.

If you are trying to reserve a seat at the busy travel time, and are doing so the day before, you may very well see some of the higher fares.  But often the lower fares are plentiful even a few days prior to your intended flight.

On November 1, for example, I visited www.hawaiianairlines.com to book a non-stop flight from Lihu’e to Honolulu on Wednesday, November 4 – three days out.  Of the 17 one-way flights available, 15 offered tickets for $79, which includes about $14 in taxes and fees that we collect for the Federal government.  The same fares were available for a return on the following Monday, November 9 – for a total round-trip price of $158, taxes included.   I am underscoring the fees and taxes because, unlike hotels, retailers and any other businesses, the airline industry is obligated by the Federal government to post the total price to our customers.

The average fare we collect

Perhaps the best measure of our fares across our Interisland network is the average fare we collect, as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  According to the U.S. DOT, Hawaiian’s average Interisland fare between Lihu’e and Honolulu for the 12 months that ended March 30, 2015 was $68.  That, by the way, was the same average fare collected for the same period in 2012.  For all of our neighbor island flights, our average fare for the 12 months ending March 30, 2015 was $74. 

Again, these average fares are what we collect, exclusive of federal fees and taxes. Adding the 7.5% excise tax fee, a $4.00 per person U.S. segment tax and a $5.60 per ticket TSA segment fee takes our average LIH-HNL fare to $82.70 -- the price that people see on our website.

Over the course of the last decade (2004-2014), the average Neighbor Island base fare increased 30 percent – lower than the Hawai’i inflation rate and far lower than the taxes and fees on each ticket. Here are some interesting numbers.


US Auto Pur-chase

Hono-lulu Bus Fare

NI Avg. Base Fare

US Movie Ticket

US Postage

Hawai’i Inflation

Hawai’i Restaur-ant Meal



NI Airline Ticket Taxes and Fees

Hawai’i Gas

Hawai’i housing pur-chase

Hawai’I College Education














Statement: There are not enough seats to Kaua’i

Hawaiian Airlines operates 34-42 segments (17-21 round-trip flights) between Lihu’e and Honolulu every day, starting at 6:20 a.m. and ending at 10:48 p.m.  We also fly 8 non-stop segments (4 round-trip flights) between Lihu’e and Maui each day.  We fly B717 aircraft with 128 seats each.  We try to provide maximum travel choice by clustering flights closer together during the peak periods every day.

Statement: The Interisland business is subsidizing International expansion

Our route network consists of three “geographies:” Interisland, North America and International.  These geographies are expected to, and do, support themselves.  We would no sooner charge more for Neighbor Island fares to subsidize International routes than we would increase fares to International destinations to subsidize Interisland flying.  In fact, it’s not economically possible to do so.  Fares are set by the market, and we have competition in every single one of our geographies. 

As the attached chart demonstrates, the average fares we collect, as measured by the U.S. DOT, are lower than similar-length routes across the U.S. – even on routes where there are alternative methods of transportation, such as ferries, trains or superhighways.


Average fare comparison – 2014

Source: U.S. DOT

190+ miles



Average Fare (one way)

San Diego – Santa Barbara, CA

192 miles


Boston, MA – Newark, NJ

200 miles


New York – Nantucket, MA

202 Miles


Washington, D.C. – New York

214 miles


Lansing, MI – Green Bay, WI

213 miles


Birmingham, AL – Knoxville, TN

221 miles


Honolulu, HI – Hilo, HI

216 miles




160-185 miles



Average Fare (one way)

Hartford, CT – Allentown, PA

169 miles


Lansing, MI – Milwaukee, WI

168 miles


Boston, MA – New York, NY

185 miles


Washington, D.C. – Scranton, PA

185 miles


Ketchikan, AK – Sitka, AK

185 miles


Honolulu, HI – Kona, HI

169 miles



89-112 miles



Average Fare (one way)

Los Angeles– Santa Barbara, CA

89 miles


Boston – Nantucket, MA

91 miles


Saginaw – Detroit, MI

98 miles


Ketchikan, AK – Petersberg, AK

112 miles


Seattle, WA – Portland, OR

129 miles


Honolulu, HI – Lihu’e, HI

102 miles


Honolulu, HI – Kahului, HI

101 miles


Additionally, our International expansion has provided significant benefit to the state of Hawai’i and to the economies of every Island we serve.  Each new long-haul route we serve brings in 90,000 visitors annually and, by the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s estimate, creates up to $160 million per route in visitor spending.  The passenger traffic generated by International guests traveling on to Kaua’i has allowed us to provide our robust schedule of 17 - 21 roundtrip flights.

In addition, each new long-haul flight adds 150 full-time employees to our payroll.  As we noted above, since 2008 our workforce has increased by 60 percent. These are employees who are domiciled in Hawai’i, who shop at our markets, volunteer in our communities and pay state taxes.

Statement: The state is financing the modernization of Honolulu International Airport

This is not correct.  The $1.7 billion state-wide airport modernization program is paid for by the airlines and other users of the airport via airport user fees.  Hawaiian Airlines, as the largest user of the airport, is paying for one-third of the cost of airport modernization. 

Statement: Hawaiian Airlines now charges $4.99 to hold reservations for 24 hours

That is not correct. There is no charge to hold reservations for 24 hours. We do charge a fee of $4.99 to hold reservations for three days.  When we hold a reservation, we are effectively taking it off the market for sale.  This three-day hold option is available to customers throughout our system. 



U.S. DOT Tentative Ruling on Haneda Slots Favors Delta, Denies Hawaiian


On March 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a tentative ruling to allow Delta Air Lines to retain its right to fly from Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport to Seattle. In its order, U.S. DOT also determined that, should Delta continue to fail to provide the daily service it proposed in its application, this
valuable slot pair will be assigned to American Airlines’ proposed HND-LAX

This decision comes despite strong support from our Hawaiian Airlines ‘ohana, which sent in more than 1,000 petition signatures and letters of support. 

In its order, the department stated:

Kona currently lacks any nonstop Tokyo service, and selection of Kona would establish a new U.S. gateway to Haneda.  Furthermore, Hawaiian, as a
non-alliance member and one that has fully delivered on its Honolulu-Haneda
service promises, could enhance competition in the U.S.-Japan market. On the
other hand, the State of Hawai‘i now enjoys three of the eight total
U.S.-Haneda route-opportunities available to the U.S. and Japanese carriers.

In selecting American as runner-up, the Department wrote:

The benefit of Hawaiian’s Kona proposal, on the other hand, would not
overcome the benefits of American’s proposed Los Angeles service. Kona-Haneda
service would largely benefit Japanese-originating leisure traffic, which,
while important for promoting increased international tourism and economic
activity in Hawai‘i, minimizes Haneda’s advantages to U.S. travelers in
general, and U.S. business travelers in particular.

Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley issues the following statement in resonse to the DOT action:

Sadly, by dismissing Hawaiian’s proposed Kona route as just simply being additive to the routes to Honolulu already serving Hawai‘i, DOT has once more failed to appreciate the geography of the 50th state. As we all know, Kona and Honolulu are separate markets, separate communities and indeed are located on separate islands. The justification for selecting American Airlines as the backup proposal reveals a long-held institutional bias among decision makers favoring the interests of U.S. business travelers over those of U.S. travel-related businesses and
travelers in general.

We will be considering our next steps regarding this application over the coming weeks. But clearly, we need to help the U.S. DOT better understand the economic benefits of tourism not only to Hawai‘i, but to the entire country as well.

As always, your support for our company is recognized and greatly appreciated.


Hawaiian Files Application to Provide Daily Tokyo-Kona Service

January 20, 2015

Aloha Kona friends and supporters!

Yesterday we filed our final legal pleading in our quest to provide nonstop, daily service between Haneda International Airport in Tokyo and Kona International Airport on Hawai’i Island.

Mahalo nui loa to the 1,000 individuals and businesses who signed our petition or provided letters supporting our application, including Governor Ige, Sen. Brian Schatz, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Rep. Mark Takai and Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi.  In addition, Hawai’i County Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi has introduced a resolution urging approval of our application. That resolution is scheduled for council vote on Feb. 4, 2015.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines are our competitors in this process.  American has applied to provide daily service between Haneda and Los Angeles, and Delta has asked to keep the Haneda-Seattle service that it has reduced to seasonal frequencies. The U.S. DOT will now take all applications under advisement, and we do not expect a decision before March 2015.

Our full pleading is available at in the column to the right.  However, we thought you might enjoy some excerpts:

Excerpts from the Jan. 20, 2015
Consolidated Reply of Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.

Delta and American would have the Department dismiss the benefits of
Hawaiian’s application because “U.S. businesses should receive public interest
priority over Japan’s tourists.” This line of argument is fundamentally misguided. 
As a threshold matter, both American and Delta have argued that the Department
should favor particular U.S. business interests while ignoring the
Administration’s tourism policy and the Department’s broader public interest
mandate.  The facts are that the greatest beneficiaries of Hawaiian’s
proposal will be U.S. businesses and workers.


American’s superfluous additional capacity simply will make the market uneconomic.  American’s only alternative, which they recognized by using the same flight numbers for their present Narita service and their proposed Haneda service, is to cut its Narita service, eliminating any incremental benefit to American’s proposed service. 


Given the dearth of traffic on Delta’s proposed Seattle service, the results tilt even more heavily in Hawaiian’s favor.  Hawaiian’s service will increase U.S. GDP by over 16 times the amount of Delta’s proposal, with a similar disproportionate impact on U.S. jobs.

Mahalo hou for your support!




January 5, 2015

Aloha friends!

Today (January 5, 2015), Hawaiian Airlines filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide daily, nonstop service between Tokyo International Airport at Haneda and Kona International Airport on Hawai’i Island.  Hawaiian’s action was prompted by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s decision last
month to review the public interest served by Delta Air Lines' Seattle-Tokyo route after Delta reduced its frequency from daily to seasonal. 

A copy of the application can be found here.

In the application, Hawaiian urges the U.S. DOT to reallocate Delta’s Haneda frequency based on market data, noting that Hawaiian’s Honolulu-Tokyo service has been “by far the most, if not only, successful route” of the four Haneda slot pairs granted to U.S. carriers in 2010.

Hawaiian calculates that the new service will provide an additional 39,000 visitors directly to Kona each year, generating 1,151 new jobs, $65 million in new direct spending and $117 million in total new sales.

You can help us

Overwhelming support for this route from our ‘ohana and our community will be tremendously helpful in winning the right to provide this service.  You can help in two ways:

1) Please click here to sign a petition in support of our application, or

2) You may also use the key arguments below to write your own letter to U.S. DOT
Secretary Anthony Foxx at the address below. Please include the docket number.  

The Honorable Anthony Foxx

Secretary of Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Ave., S.E.

Washington, D.C. 20590

Re: DOT-OST-2010-0018

Key Arguments:  

  • Market data demonstrates that Hawai’i is the strongest market for Haneda service.
    • The Tokyo-Kona market is one of the largest U.S. destination markets without non-stop service. 
    • Hawaiian’s Tokyo-Honolulu service has been the most stable of the four Haneda-U.S. route awarded in 2010. 
    • Hawaiian Airlines has earned a reputation in Japan for unparalleled service and hospitality.
  • Direct service between Tokyo and Kona will provide significant public interest
    • The Hawai’i Tourism Authority estimates daily service will bring nearly 92,000 visitors to Kona every year.
    • Hawaiian Airlines calculates that 39,000 of those visitors will be additional visitors to the state.
    • The additional visitor traffic will generate 1,151 new jobs, 65 million in new direct spending and $117 million in totally new sales.


Previous Updates

Aloha Friend of Hawaiian Airlines!

There is much going on in Washington:

The Latest Tax on Air Travelers

On July 21, 2014, the TSA more than doubled the aviationsecurity fee that is added to domestic airfares.  The fee has increased from $2.50 to $5.60 per one-way ticket. 

Two aviation trade organizations, Airlines for America (A4A) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia asserting that the increase is being unlawfully collected.

Support the lawsuit here: www.TSADontBeThatGuy.com.

You will be asked for a POPVOX password.  Click "forgot password" and it will move forward to allow you to send an email to your Congressional delegate.

The Tax Landscape and What it Means for Tutu

The security fee is one of three federal taxes levied on each ticket.  Your airfare also includes 7.5 percent federal excise tax and a $4.00 segment fee.  That means a Tutu traveling from Maui on our lowest fare to spend the weekend with her grandchildren on O’ahu will pay $14.39 in federal taxes and fees alone.  That’s 22.5 percent of Tutu's ticket price!

The doubling of the aviation security fee will increase what passengers pay to the federal government by more than $1 billion.  Adding insult to injury, this will not pay for increased security.  The fees collected will be used to reduce the General Fund’s share of TSA’s $5.6 billion aviation security budget, so that the General Fund money can be redirected for other uses, such reducing the deficit.   

Why We Support This Lawsuit

All of these taxes disproportionately impact residents who rely on airplanes to move between major cities in this State.  A tax of 23 percent is simply too high.  In addition, it is blatantly unfair to place the burden of paying for the general operations of this country on the backs of air travelers.    

Q & A

Q:  What is the Aviation Security Fee?

A:  Also known as the Sept. 11 Security Fee, this levy was created to help fund the Aviation Security Budget.

Q: What is the TSA’s total aviation security budget?

A: According to the A4A, it is $5.6 million.

Q:  How is the TSA budget funded?

A: In the past, about 60 percent of the TSA’s Aviation Security Budget was funded by the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury, with the remainder being supplied through assessments on air travel.  This increase will flip that percentage, so 60% of the funding will be coming from the Aviation Security Fee, and 40% will be coming from the General Fund. 

Q: Is there an exemption for Hawai’i?

A: The TSA has created an exemption that covers day trips between Islands that last for fewer than 12 hours.  In that case, both the flight over and the return flight will be taxed as one trip.  The taxes will still be higher, because instead of paying $2.50 each segment ($5.00 total), the passenger pays $5.60 for both segments (an increase of 60 cents). This exemption will help somewhat the passengers who make single-day trips for work or for medical care, because their tax increase will be smaller.  However, the majority of our passengers will see their security fee costs double.

If you have additional questions on this issue please contact us at action@hawaiianair.com

Other Updates:

Transparent Airfare Act Passes U.S. House of Representatives

On July 28, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would require that all federal taxes and fees be broken out of the cost of an advertised airline fare.  The measure was passed on “voice vote,”meaning that votes were not recorded by individual.

This is an important piece of legislation, as it allows passengers to understand the true cost of their ticket price, and not the price inflated by myriad government taxes and fees.  Currently, airlines are required to include all the taxes and fees in the base advertised price, which obscures the significant percentage that goes to the government.

Airlines for America (A4A) notes that commercial aviation and its customers pay up to 17 different taxes and fees.  We know that the federal taxes and fees on Neighbor Island travel in Hawai’i adds 23% to the costs of our lowest fare. 

The measure now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration.  We will keep you posted regarding its progress.



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 Aloha Friend of Hawaiian Airlines,

The national advocacy group Airlines for America has launched a campaign of huge importance to our company.  A4A is calling on the Administration and Members of Congress to restore transparency in the way air fares are advertised so that consumers will know exactly how much of the fare they pay is going to federal taxes. 

Please click http://airfaretransparency.com/?utm_source=A4ASTAFF&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Transparency to join that effort!


In 2012, the federal government ended a 25-year-old practice that enabled airlines to clearly delineate in ads both the base airfare and the amount of taxes and fees that customers had to pay for a ticket. Because of that ruling, the government today is able to hide the outsized, ever-increasing amount that airline customers pay in government-imposed levies. In fact, the government’s ability to conceal such extra costs actually increases the temptation of lawmakers to raise taxes on airlines and their passengers and further puts air travel at a competitive disadvantage to other modes of transportation that do not have to include taxes in their fares, which ultimately hurts our economy and jobs.

Each segment we fly carries with it a federal excise tax of $4.79, a federal segment tax of $4.00 and a federal security tax of $2.50.  On July 1, 2014 the security tax more than doubles to $5.60 per segment. That means that our passengers will pay $14.39 in taxes for each segment they fly.  That’s a stunning tax of 22.5 percent on the lowest Neighbor Island rate we offer. 

We think we ought to be able to show our passengers what they are paying to us, and what they are paying in taxes.

Please click the link above and let our voices be heard!

Welina mai kakou,

Thanks for being one of our advocates! As a Friend of Hawaiian Airlines, you can play an important part in delivering information to decision makers.

The Latest

The U.S. Department of Transportation has tentatively denied our application to provide nonstop service from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to Kona.

In a Show Cause Order issued this morning (Feb. 28, 2014), the USDOT tentatively allocated the open slot pair at Haneda to United Airlines, which intends to provide nonstop service between Tokyo and San Francisco.

We know, as you do, that this service would bolster the economies of Hawai’i Island, our state and the United States, providing a great benefit to the U.S. public interest.  We have ten days to file an objection, and we are evaluating whether to do so.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the 600 of you who signed petitions and wrote letters supporting our second attempt to connect Tokyo and Kona.  Though disappointed in today’s order, we remain very bullish on Asia in general and Japan in particular, and we will continue to evaluate opportunities in that region. 


Tax Increases on the Horizon

On Thursday, Dec. 26, President Obama took time out from his Hawai’i vacation to sign into law the bipartisan budget bill.  This bill will have a significant impact on the cost of air travel, and we wanted you to know the details.

Many of you may not know that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) currently charges a $2.50 tax per segment on each ticket.  On July 1, 2014, this segment tax will more than double to $5.60 – an increase of $3.10 per segment.  

Here are some points for you to consider:

This tax of $5.60 per segment amounts to 7% of our average NI fare of $80.

  • Hawaiian Airlines’ net profit margin in 2012 was 2.7 percent. 
  • We will not be able to absorb this additional tax. 

 The $5.60 is in addition to $8.97 in other federal taxes and fees, bringing the total tax burden to $14.57 for each ticket.

  • That takes our lowest one-way fare of $63.91 (to Kaua’i and Maui) to $78.48 – an increase of 23%.  
  • We carry approximately 9.8 million passengers who will have to pay this tax every year – for a total collection of $54.3 million dollars.  
  • The increase from the current tax of $2.50 per segment is $3.10, which amounts to an additional $30.4 million.  

 NI travelers will be disproportionately impacted.

  • Because the NI fares are lower and the trips are more frequent, our kama’aina travelers will pay a disproportionate share of this tax. 
  • This fee increases the tax on necessary travel between the islands.  

 The plan places the burden for national security and revenue generation on the backs of airline passengers.

  • Passengers who travel on other modes of transportation do not pay a TSA tax. 
  • TSA tax collections beyond $250 million will be placed in the treasury for non-security purposes.  
  • The U.S. aviation industry and its customers are subject to 17 different federal taxes and fees, which totaled nearly $19 billion in 2012. In FY 2013, U.S. airlines and passengers paid $2.3 billion in federal taxes and fees to TSA – a 100 percent increase from the amount collected in 2002. 

Support Our Application for Tokyo-Kona Nonstop Service

Right now, we are mounting another campaign for the right to provide daily nonstop service from Tokyo International Airport at Haneda to Kona International Airport on Hawai’i Island, using a 294-seat Airbus 330-200 aircraft. That amounts to more than 107,000 seats coming directly into Kona from Tokyo every year.

We have prepared two petitions.  One is from employees, and one is from our community of friends.  Please click on the appropriate link to register your support.

Employee support petition.

Community support petition.

We believe we have a very strong case.

Key Arguments:  

  1. Despite not having nonstop service to Tokyo, Kona already has more point of sale Japan passengers than 13 existing U.S. markets with Tokyo nonstop service.
  2. Kona is the second highest “origin and destination” market without nonstop service to Tokyo.
  3. Hawaiian expects the overwhelming majority of the traffic on this route to originate in Japan, providing the unique economic benefit of bringing significant additional spending to Hawai’i and the United States.  This will create jobs and further benefits within the economies of Hawai’i and the United States as a whole and does not export U.S. dollars and spending to a foreign country.

If you would rather write a letter on your own, please address the letter to The Honorable Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C.  20590.

Please reference Docket Number DOT-OST-2010-0018.

Letters can be emailed to ann.botticelli@hawaiianair.com.  We will make sure they are included as part of our application.

 Important Facts About Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines has been one of the fastest growing companies, and our expansion benefits the overall Hawai’i economy.  

Since 2010:

  • We have expanded our workforce by 36%, to 5,242 employees.
  • We have added 9 International routes, as well as service to New York (and we will launch our 13th international route -- to Beijing -- in April 2014).
  • Using data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority we estimate that each new International route generates $100-$130 million in visitor spending.

In 2012:

  • We paid $7.5 million in Income and General Excise Taxes.
  • We directed approximately $13 million in employee income tax withholding to the department of taxation.
  • We paid $2.5 million into the State Unemployment Fund.



Airport Corporation Articles

Honolulu Star-Advertiser, March 22, 2017: Attempt to build airport facility delays upgrades.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser, March 26, 2017: Legislators reconsider an entity to oversee airports. 

Editorial -- Honolulu Star-Advertiser, March 26, 2017: New authority can improve state's airports. 

2016 Haneda Application

DOT order approving nightime slot.

Mahalo and Support letter to DOT.+++++

HND 2016 Motion for Immediate Grant of HNL/KOA frequency

HND 2016 -- May 5 Answer

HND 2016 -- May 12 Answer

2016 Haneda Route Application

2016 Haneda Support Letter


Information about Hawaiian Airlines

Compare Hawaiian Airlines average Neighbor Island fares with those on routes of similar length in North America

How average NI fares compare to other commonly consumed goods in Hawai'i.

Important voices

TSA Fees/Nick Calio, A4A, November 2013

Media Articles

Kaua'i Garden Isle -- Jan. 9, 2014