Peter Ingram, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, joined the COVID-19 Care Conversation to share updates from the airline industry.
The financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been devastating to Hawaiian Airlines, which experiences a revenue loss of $3 million every day, Ingram said.
Despite the challenges, Ingram expressed gratitude for the airline’s strong financial standing at the beginning of 2020 as well as the federal government support received, both of which have helped the airline stay in operation.
This week, Hawaiian Airlines announced new policies and procedures, including social distancing requirements during check-in, a face mask requirement for employees and passengers, and increased cleaning procedures.
Ingram said that air travel was already a safe environment pre-COVID-19 as many safety initiatives, including HEPA filtration systems on planes and sanitization procedures were already in place. A new addition to Hawaiian Airlines’ cleaning procedure is the implementation of electrostatic cleaning — a method of cleaning that sprays an electrostatically charged mist over all surfaces. The electrostatically charged spray adheres to surfaces better which provides for longer-lasting sanitation, he said.
When asked about when the airline will reopen flight routes to popular destinations such as Las Vegas, Ingram said most flight routes will not reopen until the mandatory 14-day travel quarantine is lifted. He also shared his thoughts about travel bubbles. Ingram agrees that it is an idea to discuss, but he does not feel travel bubbles with specific destinations will be enough to financially sustain tourism.
Ingram thanked Hawaiian Airlines employees for the many ways they have supported each other and the community during this challenging time. “I could go on and on with the stories of heroism from our team. It’s really been so heartwarming for me to see,” he said.
Ingram said Hawaiian Airlines is looking forward to getting back to business.
“It will be a new normal, but we want to get back to some form of normal at least,” he said.
Watch here and comment through our Facebook page. Join us Monday when Gov. David Ige will be our guest.
The COVID-19 Care Conversation, sponsored by Hawai’i Executive Collaborative and Hawaii Pacific Health, airs live every weekday at 10:30 a.m. on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji discuss the latest news, resources and community concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.