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Earlier the year, Southwest Airlines commenced service as they are growing to four airports in Hawaii including Honolulu (Oahu), Kahului (Maui), Lihue (Kauai), and Kona (Big Island).
What’s unique about Southwest’s Hawaii service compared to that of Delta, American, and United is in addition to the service from the mainland to Hawaii, they offer a robust inter-island connection service as well.
Per the Honolulu Star Advertiser,
Passenger traffic for Hawaiian Airlines in May was just below flat, the carrier reported Thursday; however, its efficiency markers were up and the carrier is investing in new technology to enhance operational performance.
Hawaiian carried 1,006,639 passengers — a four-tenths of a percentage drop compared with 1,011,175 passengers in May 2018.
So far, 2019 has not been as robust as 2018 was for Hawaiian Airlines. Last year, the airline carried an all-time high of 11,840,178 passengers in 2018 amid a fleet expansion. Hawaiian’s passenger traffic last year rose 2.9 percent from 11,505,324 in 2017 as the airline took delivery of nine A321neo aircraft during 2018 to bring the size of its A321neo fleet to 11 aircraft.
As Southwest Airlines has just begun their initial service to the Hawaiian islands, it appears that Hawaiian Airlines has already started seeing an impact on their load factor.
Southwest Airlines has plans to add service from the mainland to Hawaii in the coming months, as well as adding service to a 5th island destination Hilo, Hawaii.
Not only is Hawaiian Airlines having compete with service to the mainland, I think their biggest battle with Southwest will be on inter island flights. Southwest plans to greatly increase this service as well, which could continue to cause a challenge for Hawaiian Airlines to struggle on their once dominating service between the islands.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below on the impact that Southwest Airlines has on Hawaiian Airlines and the outlook ahead.