Hawaiian soars

Hawaiian Airlines reported a net income of $79.6 million for the second quarter, a $30.7 million year-over-year increase, officials announced Thursday.

“These outstanding second quarter results distinguish us from the rest of the industry and reinforce our confidence in 2016,” Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines president and CEO, said during a conference call. “Robust demand for a Hawaii vacation, moderate industry capacity through the majority of our network, lower fuel costs, and our commitment to operational excellence drove the record-breaking second quarter results.”

As of June 30, Hawaiian Airlines had unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $622 million. The company also early retired $89 million of existing debt, bringing its outstanding debt and capital lease obligations to $586 million, according to a press release.

As a result, Hawaiian Airlines was able to return $8 million to its shareholders, Dunkerley said.

New direct flights from Los Angeles to Lihue were among the factors that contributed to that financial success, he said.

Starting mid-June, and running through Sept. 5, the airline is offering its nonstop service between the cities four times a week.

Dunkerley also cited continued success in Japan as a reason for the airline’s strong performance.

“We’ve built a valuable brand in eyes of Japanese consumers and are excited about our future flying between Honolulu and Japan,” he said.

Beginning in December, Hawaiian Airlines will add 11 nonstop flights from Honolulu International Airport to Haneda International Airport. The airline will also be adding three flights between Honolulu and Tokyo.

Peter Ingram, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for Hawaiian Airlines, also recognized the importance of the Japanese market.

“Japan was an area of notably stronger performance in the second quarter,” he said.

Ingram credits the boom in the Japanese market to a stronger Japanese Yen.

During the second quarter, Hawaiian Airlines added capacity by welcoming an A330 aircraft, adding 278 seats. Additionally, the company is acquiring two Boeing 717, which will bring their Boeing fleet to 20 aircrafts. Company officials hope the aircrafts will enhance the airline’s interisland network.

The planes will be ready for service by early 2017, and will add capacity during peak travel periods and meet the growing demand for mid-day connections, Ingram said.

Dunkerley and Ingram believe the second quarter results are indicative of what is to come.

“The demand for travel to Hawaii is solid. We are well positioned with products, service and outstanding hospitality,” Ingram said.

Dunkerley added: “Hawaiian Airlines is well positioned for long-term success.”

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