Catching Up with Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley

This week, Hawaiian Airlines announced a codeshare agreement with JetBlue, which, in addition to the upcoming New York-Honolulu direct flights, will help bring the middle and east coast of the mainland closer to Hawaii. Travel Agent sat down with Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO, to find out more about the partnership.

Dunkerley praised JetBlue’s presence in the east coast, especially in the New York area. Because of JetBlue’s hub at JFK’s Terminal 5, travelers from any city served by the airline can connect easily to Hawaiian, and will not need to re-check their bags when they transfer.

“This opens up the east coast to us,” Dunkerley said. “Our biggest market is the west coast, and Hawaiian is the largest carrier for that market. The third largest is Asia, and Hawaiian is expanding for that market, too. But our second-largest market is the east coast,” he added, noting that the airline had been “underrepresenting” a significant portion of its passengers.

“Hawaii’s economy as a whole is dependent on tourism, and Hawaiian is a major contributor to the state’s biggest economic activity,” he said. “This growth is a big plus to Hawaii and to tourism in general.”


Pictured: Dave Barger (left), JetBlue’s president and CEO, and Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO, exchange model airplanes. Photo by Blandon Belushin.

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