HNN town hall considers post-pandemic future, from lessons learned to building back better

Updated: Mar. 27, 2021 at 11:42 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Friday marks one year since the governor restricted travel to Hawaii ― with a mandatory 14-day quarantine for incoming passengers.

Despite being hurt by the guidelines, Hawaiian Airlines said they are now looking to the future.

“We’ve come out of this a more nimble airline,” said Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing.

“We’re more focused now on how we can build back travel in a way that is better for our community, as we explore new technologies, things like sustainable aviation fuel and electrification.”

Mannis said that Hawaiian Airlines remains focused on leisure travel and he believes that demand for leisure travel and tourism will come back much faster than normal business travel.

“One thing that we’ve learned over this past year is that a lot of business can be done over Zoom. So I think the airline industry is refocusing on leisure as an important opportunity over the next couple of years,” Mannis said.

Hawaiian Airlines is among many Hawaii brands looking to ensure the lessons learned during the pandemic aren’t lost ― while seeking to build back better than before.

Some businesses and nonprofits are working to make Hawaii more green by introducing and creating more sustainable technologies and teaching residents to be more self-sufficient in their own homes and yards.

The panelists also discussed the great strides Hawaii residents have made in adapting to change, which can be seen in how many businesses and schools reverted to remote working and learning.

Jahstyce Ahulau, a Campbell High School student, said that although a lot was taken away from her and her peers during the pandemic -- such as proms, graduations and other large events -- she is hopeful for the future.

“Going into the future I think our generation is honestly scared. We don’t know what it holds, but I know we are all extremely excited to be able to experience this,” said Ahulau.

“If we take the positive out of all this, we were the generation that got to try something new and maybe start something new.”

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