Hawaiian Airlines: Q3 performance marred by Maui wildfires

A Hawaiian Airlines A330 taxis after landing.
Prayitno CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA) parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, today reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2023.

Despite facing several hurdles, the company’s resilience and strategic approach are evident in their ability to weather the storm.

The aviation industry is no stranger to turbulence, both literal and metaphorical. In this report, we delve into Hawaiian Holdings, Inc.’s Q3 2023 financial results, exploring the impact of unexpected events and the strategies employed to steer the airline toward clearer skies.

Q3 Revenue Environment

The third quarter started positively in July, but the devastating wildfires in Lahaina, West Maui, on August 8, 2023, caused a sharp decrease in traffic to Maui.

While most areas of the island remained unaffected by the fires, portions of West Maui reopened to tourism on October 8, 2023, resulting in the gradual recovery of travel demand to Maui. However, it remains below historical levels.


Hawaiian’s Q3 schedule was also significantly affected by the July 25, 2023 announcement from RTX, the parent company of Pratt & Whitney.

This announcement anticipated accelerated removals and inspections of a significant portion of the PW1100G-JM engine fleet, which powers Hawaiian’s A321neo aircraft.

This unanticipated time out of service led to lower-than-expected capacity growth in the quarter.

Render of a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner in flight.
Image Credit: Hawaiian Airlines

Revenue and Capacity

Operating revenue was down 1.8% from the third quarter of 2022 despite a 4.1% increase in capacity across Hawaiian’s network.

Despite these challenges, passenger traffic on Hawaiian’s Japan routes remained robust in the third quarter of 2023.

Furthermore, international revenue witnessed a remarkable increase of 90.9% from the third quarter of 2022, accompanied by a 43.6% capacity increase.

Third Quarter 2023 Highlights


Commencement of its A330-300F contract freighter business on October 2, 2023.

Routes and Network

Announcement of the resumption of service between Tokyo Haneda Airport, Japan, and Kona, Hawai’i, starting on October 29, 2023.

Initiation of ticket sales on September 6, 2023, for flights on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which is expected to enter service on select West Coast routes commencing on April 15, 2024.

A Message from Hawaiian Airlines’ CEO

“I am immensely proud of our team’s continued focus on moving our company forward, particularly in a quarter affected by the tragic wildfires in Maui,” said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram.

“Underlying demand remains resilient, our brand and business model are core strengths, and the major investments we are making now will create substantial value in 2024 and beyond.”

Maui Wildfires Relief

In the immediate aftermath of the tragic wildfires that devastated Lahaina in West Maui, Hawaiian took swift action. They increased their schedule to evacuate more than 17,000 displaced visitors and residents within the first 72 hours.

Additionally, they transported vital supplies and first responders, carrying 54,000 tons of emergency supplies within the first week.

Hawaiian Airlines and its HawaiianMiles members made generous contributions to the American Red Cross of Hawai’i, providing the nonprofit with the equivalent of 18,000 free seats to carry volunteers and personnel to and from Maui.

In addition to these miles, Hawaiian donated $150,000 in cash to various charities, including the Hawai’i Foodbank, the Maui Food Bank, and the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund.

As travel to Maui resumed, Hawaiian initiated the Travel Pono Maui video series, sharing essential information with visitors about what to expect when traveling to the island now.

Hawaiian Airlines continues to support ongoing relief efforts through its Malama Maui Desk, established to efficiently aid people and organizations seeking flight, cargo, or other assistance in the aftermath of the wildfires.

The company has received over 200 individual requests from Hawai’i and across its network to transport donated food and various goods to affected residents, as well as passengers providing West Maui support services.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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