HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Airlines will celebrate a special anniversary this Sunday, its first flight.
"We take great pride in being 'Hawaii's airline' and the distinguished place our company holds in aviation history is a tribute to our hard-working employees and loyal customers," said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and CEO. "After 83 years, Hawaiian is becoming a global carrier, and one that remains comprehensively focused on Hawaii."
It all began on November 11, 1929, when the inaugural flight of Inter-Island Airways (renamed Hawaiian Airlines in 1941) departed from John Rodgers Field (now Honolulu International Airport) bound for Hilo with thousands looking on.
The Sikorsky S-38 amphibian biplane, one of only two in the new fleet, was filled to capacity that day with eight passengers and two crewmembers. With a top cruising speed of 110 MPH, the inaugural flight took more than three hours to complete, which included a stopover on Maui. The first flight to Kaua'i took place the next day and soon all the islands were receiving air service on a regular basis.
In 1930, its first full year of operations, the new airline carried more than 10,000 passengers – a total that Hawaiian today exceeds daily – and the growing company soon began adding newer, larger, and more aircraft and hiring more employees to improve its quality of service for Hawai'i, a commitment that is ongoing.
Continued growth into new and existing markets outside Hawai'i is planned.
Dunkerley noted, "Our long term plan is focused on expansion into markets that have the greatest potential for growth in visits to Hawai'i, and we look forward to bringing many more visitors to our islands in the months and years ahead as we continue to expand our operations and carry the Hawai'i brand to more places."