Hawaiian Airlines could fill Midwestern ‘void’ with Dreamliners

Sep 23, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Hawaiian Airlines could land somewhere in the Midwest with the arrival of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the next few years.

“We have a pretty big void in the network between Phoenix and Las Vegas, and Boston and New York,” Brent Overbeek, vice-president of revenue management and network planning at the Honolulu-based carrier, said at the World Routes conference in Adelaide, Australia, on Sunday. “We could look to fill in there.”

Overbeek was responding to questions on where Hawaiian is looking to fly the 10 787-9s that it has on order. The aircraft will complement its fleet of Airbus A330-200s on long-haul routes.

The airline is due to take delivery of its first Dreamliner in 2021, its latest fleet plan shows.

Related: Hawaiian Unveils New 787 Business Class

Hawaiian has a broad network to the U.S. West Coast, including interior cities Las Vegas (LAS) and Phoenix (PHX). It also serves Boston (BOS) and New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) on the East Coast, both hubs for its codeshare partner JetBlue Airways.

But the Midwest has long been a gap in the airline’s map. Numerous investor presentations over the past several years have acknowledged this gap, which includes multiple large metropolitan areas like Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth. However, Hawaiian has looked elsewhere for growth as competitors offer greater depth in the region and easy one-stop connections to Hawaii over existing hubs.

Competition for Hawaii-bound Midwestern travelers has only ratcheted up with Southwest Airlines this year. While connections were initially difficult when the the Dallas-based discounter began flights in March the carrier is rapidly expanding flights to the islands with new routes from Sacramento (SMF) and to Kona (KOA) and Lihue (LIH) starting in January.

Related: Southwest’s ‘Second Wave’ of Hawaii Expansion Is Now Underway

The 787 could allow Hawaiian to shrink its Midwestern gap. The aircraft’s lower operating economics compared to current-generation wide-bodies, including the A330, has been credited with opening numerous new long-haul markets around the world. A recent example is British Airways’ new seasonal summer flights to Charleston (CHS) in South Carolina from London Heathrow (LHR) that began in April.

Hawaiian has several years to decide where to deploy its Dreamliners. Overbeek said Hawaiian is focused on Japan over the next year when it hopes to implement a planned joint venture with Japan Airlines (JAL). The immunized partnership would allow the carriers to act as essentially one, jointly coordinating schedules and fares among other things, between Japan and Hawaii.

Hawaiian will begin a new flight to Tokyo Haneda (HND) from Honolulu with an A330 in March. The frequency will be timed to provide connections to JAL’s domestic flights from the close-in Tokyo airport.

To listen to an interview with Brian Kelly talking to the CEO of Hawaiian Airlines listen here:

Featured image by Alberto Riva/TPG.

Related: Sign up for our daily newsletter to get the latest news and frequent-flyer info delivered right to your in-box


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.