Maui Business

Hawai’i Tourism Now: Interview with Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram

May 5, 2020, 9:15 PM HST
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Jack Dugan, the Chief Operating Officer of Pacific Media Group and director of MauiNow.com interviews the Chief Executive Officer and president of Hawaiian Airlines, Peter Ingram.

Ingram saw signs of decline in demand in early March – mainly from their Asian routes – as the coronavirus was spreading across the continent from China.

“I don’t think we really anticipated how comprehensively it would affect us. By the end of March…our revenue-generating capability as a business was shut down,” Ingram said.

Hawaiian Airlines is still operating daily flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco and from Honolulu to Maui, Kona, Lihue and Hilo mainly carrying cargo.

“The passenger side of the business – 90% of our revenue is gone right now. Our operations are a shell of what we would normally have,” he said.

Ingram said that the most important action to support Hawai’i’s tourism industry is to have the public health situation under control, referring to the coronavirus pandemic that is currently affecting countries globally.

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“We are not going to see a return of visitors before quarantines are lifted. Even as we get to a point where quarantines are lifted. There’s going to be a period of recovery and I think it is going to be gradual and it is going to take a long time,” Ingram answered in regards to his projections to Hawai’i’s economic recovery when the lockdown is lifted.

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Ingram explained that two things that will require time for recovery: the economy and public uncertainty.

“Just as our economy has been damaged by this situation, the economies in other places we serve, where our visitors come from…those economies have been hurt and spending power is not the same,” he said.

According to Ingram, individuals will experience public uncertainty once shelter at home orders are lifted.  He said that it requires a period of adjustment – when the pandemic is over – in order to regain the confidence to feel safe traveling and interacting in public again.

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“Thank you to everyone in our community…We are going to get through this, we have challenges all the time, we should do our best to get through it together – with the best interest of each other and our community and in our hearts,” Ingram said as his final message to the community.

To learn more about Hawaiian Airlines and how they are navigating the tourism industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, watch the interview above or visit their website.

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