HONOLULU (KHON2) – Even as Japan’s travel market is still recovering from the pandemic, Waikiki remains packed with tourists, suggesting that the upcoming summer tourist season may see tighter demand and higher prices. Airlines are facing staff shortages, runway reconstruction and supply chain issues, further complicating the situation.
Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram discussed the impact of the runway challenge at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport during the airline’s first-quarter earnings call on Tuesday.
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Honolulu Airport has been operating without the use of its main arrivals runway since October. The project has experienced delays and is currently scheduled to be completed by the end of May, at which point we will effectively see seven months of damage to airport peak hour capacity. “
Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram
Hawaiian Airlines has also been grappling with engine supply issues that have grounded five planes. While the airline signed contracts with their pilots this year, staffing and pilot shortages continue to plague the industry.
Jerry Agrusa, a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Hidler School of Business, highlighted the consequences of these shortages.
“There’s a shortage of pilots, which means a shortage of planes to fly. And then there’s a shortage of planes,” Agrusa said.
Agrusa predicts that travel to and from Asia will increase, causing pricing to become what he calls a “double premium.”
“They’ve opened up, and that wave is coming — like we did when COVID opened up for us,” Agrusa said. There’s no international market. Although Waikiki is full, full, full. So it’s coming this summer, and it’s going to be a blast.”
For those who haven’t booked their summer vacation yet, Agrusa recommends considering locations with less demand.
“If you’re planning to leave, the ticket to go out probably won’t be bad, and coming back will be more challenging unless the airline is somehow able to open more flights,” Agrusa said.
Neighboring island travel can be more affordable, especially for those with friends and family.
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Hawaiian Airlines has announced that they will compete with Southwest’s $39 interisland fare, either through their own $39 fare or other incentives.