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Airlines are rebuilding domestic routes to Hawaiʻi

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Airlines in Hawaiʻi are rebuilding both itineraries and workforces as travel — especially on domestic routes — mostly returns to a more familiar pattern.

When you rank Hawaiʻi’s top airlines based on the number of passengers flown to the state in 2021, United Airlines tops the list with 1.8 million passengers.

Hawaiian Airlines follows with 1.7 million passengers and American Airlines with 1.1 million.

Alaska and Southwest airlines also carried more than 1 million passengers each to the islands.

Pacific Business News ranks 18 airlines on that basis, with Fiji Airways bringing in the fewest, at just 251.

In interviews with PBN, the larger airlines report they’ve been on hiring sprees as domestic air travel returned through the year.

Hawaiian Airlines, for example, has hired more than 1,200 people in 2022 and is aggressively looking for more. That airline has expanded its partnership with Honolulu Community College to increase the number of airplane mechanic graduates in Hawaiʻi.

Alaska Airlines says its Hawaiʻi operations are staffed at 70% of its goal as it continues to recruit.

Southwest is also hiring and, as of Labor Day, the airline expanded its interisland reach — finally implementing an expansion that COVID restrictions had put on hold.

A. Kam Napier is the editor-in-chief of Pacific Business News.
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