In January 2013, Hawaiian signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for an order of 16 A321neo aircraft plus up to 9 options. The aircraft is operated in a 2-class, 189 seat configuration. Following the completion of labor agreements relating to the operation of the aircraft with the airline's pilot and flight attendant unions, the airline finalized the order in March 2013. In December 2016, Hawaiian announced their intention of leasing two additional A321neo aircraft, bringing their total fleet of the type to 18. The first flight took place on January 17 from Kahului to Oakland.
Starting December 1, 2017, guests in the main cabin on Hawaiian flights between Hawaiʻi and Western U.S. gateway cities will be treated to complimentary meal service exclusively created for the airline’s new Pau Hāna Café brand. The Pau Hāna Café, branded meals made exclusively for the airline, consists of a continental breakfast box for brunch and hot sandwich and side for lunch. Pau Hāna, a Hawaiian term for “finished work,” is a time to relax and unwind after a long workday. The meal service will be followed by coffee and a sweet treat for dessert. A parting Mahalo service features the carrier’s popular Kōloa Breeze cocktail, featuring Kōloa Rum from the Island of Kauaʻi, and the airline's signature Pau Hāna snack mix.
Despite continuing efficiency improvements from the major aircraft manufacturers, the expanding demand for global air travel has resulted in growing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Currently, the aviation sector, including US domestic and global international travel, make approximately 1.6 percent of global anthropogenic GHG emissions per annum. North America accounts for nearly 40 percent of the world's GHG emissions from aviation fuel use.
Airlines often have a strong seasonality, with traffic low in Winter and peaking in Summer. In Europe the most extreme market are the Greek islands with July/August having more than ten times the winter traffic, as Jet2 is the most seasonal among low-cost carriers with July having seven times the January traffic, whereas legacy carriers are much less with only 85/115% variability.
Growth rates are not consistent in all regions, but countries with a de-regulated airline industry have more competition and greater pricing freedom. This results in lower fares and sometimes dramatic spurts in traffic growth. The U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, Brazil, India and other markets exhibit this trend. The industry has been observed to be cyclical in its financial performance. Four or five years of poor earnings precede five or six years of improvement. But profitability even in the good years is generally low, in the range of 2–3% net profit after interest and tax. In times of profit, airlines lease new generations of airplanes and upgrade services in response to higher demand. Since 1980, the industry has not earned back the cost of capital during the best of times. Conversely, in bad times losses can be dramatically worse. Warren Buffett in 1999 said "the money that had been made since the dawn of aviation by all of this country's airline companies was zero. Absolutely zero."
Meanwhile, Hawaiian Airlines also entered the new international markets of Australia and New Zealand in 1986 with one-stop services through Pago Pago International Airport. Hawaiian also aggressively grew its international charter business and pursued military transport contracts. This led to a large growth in the company's revenues and caused its inter-island service's share of revenues to shrink to just about a third of the company's total.
Honolulu to Sydney Manila to Honolulu Seattle to Maui Honolulu to Maui Sydney to Honolulu Honolulu to Manila Los Angeles to Honolulu Seattle to Honolulu Honolulu to Las Vegas Honolulu to Los Angeles Maui to Honolulu Las Vegas to Honolulu Maui to Las Vegas Phoenix to Honolulu San Diego to Honolulu Honolulu to Seattle Honolulu to San Francisco Honolulu to Phoenix Honolulu to San Diego San Francisco to Honolulu
The United States, Australia, and to a lesser extent Brazil, Mexico, India, the United Kingdom, and Japan have "deregulated" their airlines. In the past, these governments dictated airfares, route networks, and other operational requirements for each airline. Since deregulation, airlines have been largely free to negotiate their own operating arrangements with different airports, enter and exit routes easily, and to levy airfares and supply flights according to market demand. The entry barriers for new airlines are lower in a deregulated market, and so the U.S. has seen hundreds of airlines start up (sometimes for only a brief operating period). This has produced far greater competition than before deregulation in most markets. The added competition, together with pricing freedom, means that new entrants often take market share with highly reduced rates that, to a limited degree, full service airlines must match. This is a major constraint on profitability for established carriers, which tend to have a higher cost base.
To replace its retired DC-8s and L-1011s, Hawaiian Airlines leased six DC-10s from American Airlines, who continued to provide maintenance on the aircraft. An agreement with American also included participation in American's SABRE reservation system and participation in American Airlines' AAdvantage frequent flyer program. The DC-10s were subsequently retired between 2002 and 2003. The company replaced these leased DC-10s with 14 leased Boeing 767 aircraft during a fleet modernization program that also replaced its DC-9s with new Boeing 717 aircraft. The Boeing aircraft featured an updated rendition of the company's "Pualani" tail art, which had appeared on its Douglas aircraft since the 1970s.
"In today's competitive world you cannot justify providing complimentary meals on a traditional business model. It simply does not pay for itself... which explains why essentially everybody has taken all that free food off the airplane. We're being illogical by actually investing heavily in this area... It's part of who we are, and it's what makes us different from everybody else."