Hawaiian Airlines reported Wednesday that passenger traffic was down a smidgen for the year.
However, the carrier, which faced increased competition in 2019 after Southwest Airlines started offering trans-Pacific service between Hawaii and the mainland and interisland service, had a strong year-end finish. Hawaiian posted gains in all performance measures in December and fourth-quarter increases in all performance measures save for passenger traffic, which was flat.
The state’s largest carrier transported 11,751,003 passengers in 2019 — a nearly 1% drop compared to 2018. During the same period, Hawaiian’s load factor — the share of seats filled — increased by 1.3 percentage points to 85.6%.
In 2019, revenue passenger miles — or the number of paying passengers multiplied by the distance traveled— increased by nearly 4% to more than 17.8 billion. Available seat miles, or the number of available seats multiplied by the number of miles a plane is scheduled to fly for a given flight, were up more than 2% in 2019 to nearly 20.6 billion.
The year-end results were bolstered by December when Hawaiian carried 1,003,383 passengers— a 2.2% rise compared with December 2018. During the same period, Hawaiian’s load factor increased by 1.9 percentage points to 85.9%.
In December, revenue passenger miles increased by nearly 8% to more than 1.57 billion. Available seat miles during the same month rose just over 5% to more than 1.8 billion.