By James Wilkinson
The Consul General of America’s residence in Sydney’s Double Bay was the location today (Nov 17) for an exclusive lunch to mark the 80th anniversary of Hawaiian Airlines.
Hawaiian Airlines will launch A330s in mid-2010
The airline, which flies three times per week to Sydney and has an extensive focus on the Australian MICE industry, was first launched on November 11, 1929, as Inter-Island Airways, later becoming Hawaiian Airlines in 1941.
At today’s lunch – attended by airline officials and consular dignitaries, including American Consul General Judith Fergin – Hawaiian Airlines’ vice president for revenue management and schedule planning, Avi Mannis, said the Sydney market was performing to expectations and remained a priority for the airline.
“We remain very encouraged by what we see in the market and Sydney remains an important part of our strategy going forward,” Mannis said.
Hawaiian Airlines’ general manager of sales and marketing – Australia, Sherilyn Robinson said strong group bookings to Hawaii from Australia in 2009 had contributed to the success of the route.
“Given the value of the dollar, there has never been a better time to go to Hawaii and we have seen some good group bookings on the back of that in 2009,” she told SpiceNews.
Robinson also said 2009 has been a strong year for the airline overall.
“From that historic first flight, we have developed our network and this year we are on track to carry more than eight million passengers, which is our most ever, in what has been a very challenging year,” she said.
In a speech in Honolulu last week, Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley said celebrating 80 years is a milestone for any airline still flying in 2009.
“Hawaiian Airlines has been flying since essentially the dawn of commercial aviation and has weathered the turbulence of a stormy business over 80 years,” he said.
“That is a remarkable achievement in itself, considering all the iconic airlines in history that never reached this milestone.
“It is a credit to our dedicated employees and our loyal customers that we are able to celebrate Hawaiian’s rich 80-year history in aviation and envision a promising future as we work to continue growing and diversifying our service,” Dunkerley said.
On the topic of diversifying, Hawaiian will mark a new era of travel in mid-2010 when it receives the first of up to 15 Airbus A330-200 aircraft it has on order. Initially to be used on routes between Hawaii and the US mainland, the A330s will be fitted with advanced entertainment systems and other leading technology.
A further order for Airbus’ newest aircraft, the A350XWB-800, begin arriving from 2017, enabling Hawaiian to further increase its global reach.