The Benefit of Hawaii’s Thriving Airlines

July 4, 2014

The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii recently held its first Hawaii Infrastructure and Transportation Summit in Waikiki, on Oahu. Of course these are areas of distinct interest for those considering a move to Maui, or a Maui real estate purchase. The visitor industry is heavily influenced by the performance of our airlines. Travel and infrastructure impact our daily lives as Hawaii residents in many ways. For that reason, it was good to hear that Hawaii has been performing well in terms of air travel.

Considering that we live on an island chain where the vast majority of travel is done by air, it’s not surprising that we enjoy robust air service. At the summit, Peter Ingram, a senior vice president at Hawaiian Airlines said that while he’s concerned with an upcoming security tax increase from the Federal Aviation Administration, Hawaii is still outperforming most other markets of comparable sizes.

Ingram used Greenville, South Carolina for comparison. Their market size is about the same as Hawaii’s, but while Hawaii boasts 48 destination flights, 23 airlines and 987 departures per week, Greenville only has 18 destinations, six airlines, and 315 departures per week.

As the most isolated place in the world, the demand for robust air service is huge, which is especially convenient for Hawaiian Airlines. It’s also great to know that they don’t slack off in the quality of service they offer just because the demand is there. Hawaiian is routinely the most on-time airline in the nation.

At the summit, it was noted that interisland flights were becoming less common, despite Hawaii airline growth in general. The causes were obvious, and involved two primary factors. First, there are now more and more direct flights to the neighbor islands, like Maui, requiring fewer stopovers in Honolulu. Second, neighbor island infrastructure has come a long way, and now residents can get the goods they need from their own island, so they don’t need to shop on Oahu anymore.

All the news was good, despite concerns over that security tax increase, which will go from $2.50 to $5.60. An increase of $3.10 will add up, but will it make or break the fiscal performance of the airlines? We’ll just have to wait and see what kind of an impact it makes in the future. For now, cheers to a thriving airline industry and the competitive prices we enjoy because of it!

As always, if you need assistance finding the right Maui home, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo for reading this week! – By Mark Harbison

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