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Hawaiian Airlines to Suspend Most Transpacific Flying

By Lou Whiteman - Mar 23, 2020 at 10:13AM

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The airline is honoring its home state's 14-day quarantine.

Hawaiian Holdings (HA 2.38%) said Sunday it would suspend most of its North American and international routes starting Thursday, responding to a state quarantine due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige on March 21 mandated a 14-day quarantine for all travelers coming to the state set to go into effect on March 26.

The airline said it intends to operate its normal schedule through Wednesday to help remaining vacationers get home, but as of Thursday will operate only single flights from Honolulu to Los Angeles and American Samoa. Hawaiian also intends to cut capacity on its interisland flying but will maintain a minimum level of flying.

A Hawaiian Airlines A330 flies over Diamond Head.

Image source: Hawaiian Holdings.

"Hawaii is our home and all 7,500 of us at our company care deeply for it," company CEO Peter Ingram said in a statement. "We support the state of Hawaii's efforts to quickly contain this illness."

The suspension of service will sap a significant portion of Hawaiian's revenue generating potential, but the airline was likely not generating a lot of revenue right now from flying its schedule. Hawaiian said it has been flying with its planes about half full, with service to Japan flying with planes only 20% full.

Hawaiian has withdrawn first quarter and full year guidance due to the novel coronavirus, but the airline is expected to be among the hardest hit by a travel slowdown due to its niche route network and reliance on tourism.

The U.S. government is currently debating a plan that would provide upwards of $50 billion in assistance to the airline industry.

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