Wall Street Is Begging Hawaiian Airlines for Basic Economy

Jan 30, 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.

The past few years have seen many airlines introduce a basic economy product. So, it wasn’t a big surprise when Hawaiian followed suit last year, announcing the bare bones fare class would be instated in 2019.

Now, in a new report, one well-respected Wall Street analyst wants the airline to launch the product as soon as possible, rather than sticking with the current timeline to launch later this year.

Analyst Helane Becker from Cowen Equity Research said in a Wednesday report that for Hawaiian, “basic economy can’t come soon enough.”

Why the sudden push for no-frills fares from Wall Street?

Hawaii as a destination currently has plenty of capacity, which is keeping fare prices depressed. Capacity is going to grow even more once Southwest gets airborne and island bound. This is great news for thrifty air passengers who want to head to the islands. Round-trip flights from Los Angeles(LAX) to Honolulu(HNL) can currently be booked for an average of less than $500 with Hawaiian. For investors, however, this over capacity poses a risk to profits.

Wall Street wants the airline to launch its basic economy product ahead of schedule to better compete once Southwest launches its much-anticipated service to Hawaii. The new fare class would allow Hawaiian to shore up revenue as passengers opt to pay for higher classes of service to avoid the restrictive product, or pay additional fees for conveniences like choosing their seats ahead of time.

With the government shutdown delaying Southwest’s entrance into the market, Hawaiian has some time get out ahead, although the window to do so is shrinking. It remains to be seen if the airline will heed the pleas from Wall Street and makes changes to the launch timetable for its basic economy product.

Featured photo by Hawaiian Airlines.

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.