Hawaiian Airlines to Cut Capacity in Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

March 13, 2020, 2:33 PM HST (Updated March 13, 2020, 2:33 PM)
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Hawaiian Airlines will offer fewer flights, as the COVID-19 global pandemic is grounding customers across the world.

The airline on Friday announced it will reduce flight capacity systemwide in April and May. The network adjustments will reduce Hawaiian’s capacity by between 8% and 10% in April and 15% to 20% in May, compared to the airline’s original 2020 plans, to better match current demand, according to a company press release. Schedule changes will be introduced over the next week.

“We find ourselves in a rapidly evolving environment that has presented our company with its greatest challenge in many years,” Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram said Friday in a letter to employees. “We know this will not be our new normal, but we can’t know when health experts and community mitigation efforts will bring the spread of the virus under control — or when travel apprehension will fade.”

The airline continues to offer customers the ability to change travel plans at no cost while reinforcing and expanding sanitation efforts across the company, the release said. Hawaiian has commenced enhanced cleaning of airport spaces and aircraft cabins, as well as made in-flight service adjustments such as suspending the refiling of beverages and hot towel service, the company continued.

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In his letter, Ingram said the company is instituting a hiring freeze and evaluating a series of actions to reduce costs, including reviewing third-party contracts, deferring non-essential aircraft painting and renegotiating vendor rates. Hawaiian’s senior executives and board members are voluntarily taking compensation adjustments of 10% to 20%, effective immediately, through at least June, the release continued.

Earlier this month, Hawaiian announced it was temporarily suspending flights that operate three-times-weekly between Kona International Airport (KOA) on the Island of Hawai‘i and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND), and four-times-weekly between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and HND. The airline also suspended its five-times-weekly nonstop service between HNL and Incheon International Airport (ICN) from March 2 through April 20.

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