Hawaiian Airlines has revealed that it will receive an aggregate of over $167 million in government aid. The airline is latching onto the government support that was passed back at the end of December. This comes as the carrier continues to focus on the way out of the crisis.
Hawaiian Airlines to receive $167mn in aid
Hawaiian Airlines has announced that it has entered into an expanded Payroll Support Program (PSP) agreement with the US Department of the Treasury for an extra $167.5 million in aid. The money can only be used for paying employee salaries, wages, and benefits. The airline has already received 50% of this amount, approximately $83.75 million.
Just like every other airline receiving government aid, Hawaiian has to bring back its furloughed or involuntarily terminated employees. In addition, the carrier also has to limit executive compensation through October 1st, 2022, suspend the payment of dividends and share repurchases through March 31st, 2022, and comply with US Department of Transportation (DOT) mandates for minimum service.
Hawaiian was hit hard
Hawaiian Airlines’ recovery was delayed due to its geography. Seeing as how the carrier is based out of Hawaii and a lot of the traffic the carrier flies are passengers heading to Hawaii from the mainland United States, the airline appeared to be ripe for success following the crisis, given how most people looking for long-haul beach destinations are now looking at Hawaii.
However, Hawaii was shut off for tourism without a 14-day quarantine until October. After then, passengers could fly to the island with a negative PCR test and get out of the 14-day quarantine requirement. It was only from that point onwards that Hawaiian was able to see some meaningful improvement in traffic.
While it had to endure a difficult first three quarters, the airline is now looking forward to a brighter 2021. As a vaccine starts to make its way into people’s arms and the end of the pandemic approaches, Hawaiian is hoping to start to operate its full breadth of flights– including some new ones to Austin and Orlando.
Hawaiian: the premium leisure airline
Hawaiian Airlines decided to focus on premium travelers to combat Southwest Airlines’ entrance into the Hawaii market. The airline is a very interesting carrier. It flies a lot of medium- and long-haul missions– including the longest regularly scheduled domestic route from Honolulu to Boston. It also offers intra-island flights.
The carrier is hoping that its premium leisure focus will help the carrier. The airline flies to plenty of destinations in Asia, Oceania, and the mainland US from which there is demand for flights to Hawaii. The airline does not rely heavily on connecting traffic.
Hawaiian’s long-haul planes, Airbus A330s, are configured for leisure travel. Passengers like the comfortable 2-4-2 configuration in economy, which is great for couples or families flying together. Up in first class, the airline has a cabin of lie-flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration– once again a comfortable configuration for families or couples who want to splurge a little for a comfortable ride to Hawaii– especially on a long-haul from Boston or New York to Honolulu.
As we await the carrier’s fourth-quarter 2020 results, which will provide a clearer picture of how the airline’s positioning helped it financially, the carrier appears to be gearing up for a much more successful year.
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