Hawaiian says Aloha to dedicated cargo service in the inter-island market

Hawaiian Airlines has recently marked a milestone, launching dedicated freighter service in the inter-island market with turboprop aircraft. Although the operation is small, and likely won’t drastically alter the company’s inter-island cargo market share, it is a unique opportunity for Hawaiian to bolster its cargo revenue. It is also a line of business that Hawaiian aims to grow, now that the operation is up and running.


Summary:

  • Hawaiian Airlines has recently marked a milestone, launching dedicated freighter service in the inter-island market with turboprop aircraft;
  • The airline is operating dedicated all cargo inter-island service with ATR-72 turboprops from Honolulu to Hilo and Lihue;
  • The DBEDT has calculated the value of Hawaii’s inter-island cargo market in 2015 at USD3 billion;
  • Hawaiian’s inter-island freighter market is initially operating with two turboprop aircraft, but could grow to a handful of turboprops by the end of 2019.

The airline is operating dedicated all cargo inter-island service with ATR-72 turboprops from Honolulu to Hilo and Lihue, according to the Motley Fool.

The opportunity in the inter-island cargo market remains robust. Average annual growth in inter-island air cargo and mail flows from 2000 to 2016 was 8.61%.

The DBEDT has calculated the value of Hawaii’s inter-island cargo market in 2015 at USD3 billion, which paled to the USD10.4 billion value of inbound air cargo, but still represents an opportunity for Hawaiian to capitalise on growth in the inter-island cargo business.

Hawaiian’s entry into the dedicated freighter market on inter-island routes with two turboprop aircraft is not likely to move the needle very much in terms of its market share of the cargo market in the islands.

But the airline has ambitions to grow in the market, and could be operating a handful of turboprops on cargo routes among the islands by the end of 2019. The company obviously wants to grow its share of the growing USD3 billion market, and the dedicated ATR 72s will add some breadth to cargo transported in Hawaiian’s passenger 717s on inter-island routes.

But for now, the airline is taking a measured approach to all-cargo operations in the inter-island market. Hawaiian executives recently explained that the company was starting with one turboprop operating the nightly flights between the islands and one spare. “We are highly spared up initially as we get this up and running, and as we get the third airplane out in the latter part of the year, we’ll continue to grow the business”, said company SVP revenue management, network planning and cargo, Brent Overbeek.