Hawaiian’s Five-Year Downhill Slide Led it Right Into Alaska’s Arms


Alaska’s decision to buy Hawaiian Airlines and save it from a bankruptcy filing — or worse — was not something that happened overnight. Over the last five years, Hawaiian has gone through some of the most challenging times any airline has ever faced, and the hits just kept on coming. Let’s take a look back at what this management team has had to endure.

On March 4, 2019, Southwest Airlines announced that it would begin flying to Hawaiʻi on March 17 with an inaugural flight from Oakland to Honolulu. Southwest had been planning on entering the Hawaiʻi market for awhile but had to wait until it received ETOPS certification to begin operations, so for Hawaiian, this was like watching a slow moving freight train barreling toward the airline. While a new competitor from the mainland was always concerning, the bigger problem was that Southwest would also start flying interisland with Honolulu – Kahului starting April 28. All the other big routes would follow.

This wasnʻt the first time that Hawaiian had faced stiff interisland competition, but this time was different.

The interisland market has always been huge and hugely important. With the exception of Maui to Lānaʻi (and Molokai which ended in 2016), no two islands had been connected by passenger ship in decades. For that reason, air travel is vital. Locals fly to other islands for shopping, doctor appointments, and high school sports meets. This kind of thing doesnʻt happen on the mainland, and it means a lot more seats are needed than one might expect. Hawaiʻi is the third largest intrastate air market in the US behind much larger California and Texas.

For ages, the interisland market was a duopoly run by Hawaiian and Aloha with the occasional competitor coming in to try and disrupt the market before failing. Then, in 2008, the Great Recession brought already weak carriers to their knees. Aloha would never recover, going out of business that year. The failure of Aloha was a lifeline for Hawaiian, as you can see by the average fares in the market over time.

Hawaiʻi Interisland Average Fare

Data via Cirium

When the short-lived and much-hated Mesa entered into the market with its go! brand, interisland fares plunged to around $40. Once go! killed off Aloha for good, fares began to rise. By the time it left the market in 2014, fares had doubled to the $80 range.

At the time Southwest said it was coming to town in 2019, Hawaiian undoubtedly had a sense of déjà vu, but it also knew it would have a much tougher fight on its hands. Southwest, after all, was unlike Aloha in that it was an enormous airline that didn’t have its world centered on Hawaiʻi. In fact, Hawaiʻi was a tiny part of the airline’s network, though a strategic one that Southwest desperately wanted to enter. It didnʻt have to make money or run away. It could spend years funding a money-losing operation if the airline decided that was worth doing.

It didnʻt take long before interisland fares began to plummet. In Q4 2018 before Southwest arrived, the average interisland fare was $72. That had dropped to $59 by Q4 2019.

If only that was Hawaiianʻs biggest problem. As we know, a mere year after the entrance of Southwest, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived. This all but grounded the entire airline industry around the world, but some places would recover more quickly than others. Hawaiʻi was not one of them.

Seats vs 2019 by Region

Data via Cirium

Hawaiʻi was on track for notable growth vs 2019 until the pandemic arrived, and then traffic disappeared overnight. Naturally, interisland flying continued at a higher level but comparing flying to the mainland vs flying within the continental US shows just how dire things were.

The state of Hawaiʻi had effectively banned travel to the islands, requiring a 14-day quarantine for anyone flying in. There was no way around it until October 15, 2020 when the state allowed travelers to visit without quarantine if they tested negative using the Safe Travels program. This program was cumbersome, but it did allow airlines to return seats to the market. Letʻs stretch that chart above out a few years.

Seats vs 2019 by Region

Data via Cirium

The change was swift and massive. By summer of 2021, seats from Hawaiʻi to the mainland were well above pre-pandemic levels. You might think that this would be good news for Hawaiian, but it wasn’t.

With US flag carriers unable to fly their widebodies to most places internationally, they started pouring those airplanes into Hawaiʻi, adding a ton of seats and depressing fares. There was an increase in demand, but the state’s infrastructure couldnʻt handle it. Maui County asked visitors to stop coming. They were tired of people resorting to renting U-Hauls since there were no other cars available.

Though these people were paying a lot once in the islands, part of the reason they could do that is because fares were cheap to get there. The average fare between the mainland and Hawaiʻi in Q2 2019 was $309. By Q2 2021, it was down 15 percent to $264.

This capacity would stabilize eventually as international markets reopened, but there was still more pain coming for Hawaiian.

By 2022, the mainland operation was getting back closer to normal. Demand was up, and March brought the end of the Safe Travels system which required pre-registration and testing. While the domestic market was doing well, however, the international world was still locked up.

Unfortunately for Hawaiian, its focus on the Pacific Rim left it serving some of the most restrictive countries toward the tail end of the pandemic. Australia and New Zealand opened in 2022, but they had a hard closure until that point. It was good for Hawaiian to get back into this market, but the biggest and most important international market for Hawaiian by far is Japan.

In 2019, six percent of Hawaiian’s total seats touched Japan. That, however, was more than 20 percent of total seats offered on the A330 fleet. Hawaiian had service to five airports in Japan and was getting closer and closer with Japan Airlines until the government shot down a joint venture just as the pandemic began. There aren’t a lot of Hawaiians flying to Japan. This is almost entirely about Japanese tourists visiting Hawaiʻi.

Japan kept its doors closed until later in 2022, but even after that there were rules about testing that helped deter Japanese travelers from coming to the islands. According to ARC/BSP data via Cirium, for the first nine months of 2019, there were 3,600 travelers per day coming from Japan to the Hawaiian islands. Looking at the first nine months of 2022, that had plunged to about 350 per day. This was a huge increase compared to the 43 per day during that period in 2021, but it was still almost nothing for an airline flying several widebodies a day to Japan.

As the final restrictions went away in Japan, it was believed that traffic would come back very quickly. It didn’t. Looking at the first nine months of 2023, there were only about 1,350 travelers per day originating in Japan. What happened?

There are plenty of theories including Japan being a more cautious culture and wanting to stay closer to home post-pandemic, but the reality is probably much simpler. It’s economics.

Inflation made things a lot more expensive in the US. Hotel rates skyrocketed, but food costs were up as well. As if that wasn’t enough, the yen lost a lot of value compared to the dollar.

Japanese Yen per US Dollar Over Time

Back in 2019, the yen was fairly steady against the dollar with 1 USD equaling about 110 JPY. In 2022, the climb began. It has gone up and down, but the range has been between 125 and 150. It’s been closer to 150 as of late. So, expenses go up in real dollars but then yen aren’t worth as much either. A vacation to Hawaiʻi is significantly more expensive for the Japanese right now, and that makes it much less appealing.

At least Hawaiian had the mainland business running ok… until the summer of 2023 hit. It was then that Pratt & Whitney started sounding ominous messages about its engines that powered Hawaiian’s A321neo aircraft.

The upshot of that mess was that Hawaiian didn’t have enough airplanes to fly its bread-and-butter west coast routes. It had to cancel several flights, and going into 2024 the expectation was of more pain before things got better.

The only saving grace here — in a horribly twisted way — is that Hawaiian didn’t need all those flights thanks to a massive decline in demand for tourism on Maui when fire destroyed Lāhainā in August. All of West Maui remained closed for two months before slowly reopening, and there has been real concern about when demand will fully recover. Some airlines have already reduced capacity well into next summer.

Eventually, the Japanese will return, Hawaiian will get paid by Pratt & Whitney and Maui demand will bounce back, but with all these problems hitting the airline from all sides for a sustained period of time, it was questionable how long the airline could make it without resorting to a bankruptcy filing.

Investors knew this was all bad news, and the share price suffered. Hawaiian was backed into a corner, so if it’s true that Alaska was the one that actually approached Hawaiian, it must have seemed like a blessing from Kāne that would allow the airline to survive in this new, combined creation. I’d imagine that nobody from Hawaiian wanted to sell, but after such a difficult few years, this had to have seemed like the best possible option by far.

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37 comments on “Hawaiian’s Five-Year Downhill Slide Led it Right Into Alaska’s Arms

  1. I guess it’s sort of on topic, sort of not but I’d be curious to see what you think AS will do with the Hawaiian wide bodies, Cranky?

    Unless AA wins the NEA on appeal, it’s hard to imagine AS would ever be allowed to enter any AA JV which is basically every JV Alaska would want to join, especially from SEA. Too much pricing coordination would be required for AS to join a JV with a domestic competitor after the legal precedent the court set with the NEA, for better or worse.

    I guess they could just keep doing the HA model of flying wide bodies on long US routes like BOS/JFK then Japanese and Oceania destinations but they have competition on most of those routes and you’d think AS would want some longhaul flying out of SEA with the widebodies.

    With all the competition HA faces to/from Hawaii, I’ve wondered if they could do a better job creating better connecting banks to connect most of the mainland destinations to their Oceania and Pacific network. It could provide some better pricing and unique one stop connections if they tried to provide some unique one stop connections to places they serve and don’t serve today like RAR, PPT, CNS, ADL, MEL, CHC, APW, PPG, TBU, NAN, etc (some of these islands may obviously a bit too small and more connected to AU/NZ vs the US for traffic patterns). I may be alone in this, but when I flew HNL-BNE a few years ago, I just loved how much nicer the flight was to divide up the flying time to Australia. Perhaps bring back more of this old route network (not all with wide bodies) with a true connecting back to the Mainland: https://crankyflier.com/2022/12/06/hawaiian-tests-its-neos-with-new-cook-islands-flight/

    The better money seems like it would be with longhaul flying out of SEA but I just wonder how worthwhile that will be when AS would be competing against DL and the AA JVs, most likely.

    Probably an interesting article for another time vs a reply to me today… but it is something I’ve wondered.

    1. I would expect them to keep the A330s focused on Hawaii initially. They have an established formula for marketing those flights, so it’s much less risky than developing demand from scratch for a new destination pair.

      Given the weakness in the Japanese market, one interesting option would be to redeploy some of the A330s to serve large cities in the eastern US where Alaska already has a station. They could potentially command a fare premium by offering nonstops to travelers who would otherwise have to connect. They’ve run nonstops to HNL for a long time to NYC and BOS, but there are several major airports that no nonstop to Hawaii. These fall into two general categories:

      – AA eastern hubs (PHL, CLT, MIA). AA doesn’t currently run any nonstops east of DFW, but instead routes all passengers through DFW, PHX, or LAX. There’s an opportunity to pick off some of those passengers who would prefer a nonstop, but that’s complicated by Alaska’s partnership with AA.

      – Airports that aren’t a hub for a legacy network carrier. Most of these are dominated by Southwest. The largest examples include BWI, BNA, STL, TPA. There are also many mid-sized examples in the midwest, including PIT, CVG, MCI, CMH, IND, and CLE. Alaska/Hawaiian would have a structural advantage at these airports, because no other carrier could feasibly offer a nonstop. Legacy network carriers aren’t going to fly a widebody for a random spoke-to-spoke flight, and Southwest doesn’t have any aircraft with the range to get to Hawaii from there. Alaska is already paying some of the fixed costs of maintaining an operation and marketing in these places, though I’m not sure which of these airports could accommodate an A330 without additional investment. It’s not obvious that there is enough demand to regularly fill up an A330, but maybe there is enough Allegiant-style 1x-2x/week frequency, with the planes serving different destinations each day.

      More speculatively, they could try adding flights to OGG (Maui) and KOA (Big Island) to legacy hubs that currently only have nonstops to HNL (e.g. ATL, IAD, IAH). However, they haven’t run nonstops to OGG or KOA from their existing stations in BOS or JFK, so my guess is that the demand just isn’t there to support this.

      Trans-Pacific flights have weak demand right now for reasons that are idiosyncratic to each major destination. Japanese travel demand to the US is weak for the reasons mentioned in the post, US-China travel demand is low due to geopolitics and other concerns, and US airlines are handicapped on flights to India by the ban on use of Russian airspace. NRT would be the obvious choice to try, but it’s already served daily by OneWorld partner JAL. Maybe they try SEA-HKG to connect with Cathay Pacific? Doesn’t seem that promising in the current environment, but it would open up onward connections to Southeast Asia.

      1. I can certainly see the A330s staying in HNL for a bit given the cargo agreement with Amazon. It would make sense for HA to pool passenger a330 flights with Amazon cargo a330 flights for a while.
        Which then does make you wonder if the 787s would see a new home other than HNL.
        I could see AS using the oneworld strengths in places like BNA, AUS (already there), RDU, or some other major cities (even Dulles given the DCA strength of OneWorld) but I wonder how much AA would like that since it would dilute the DFW yields, to your point

        1. Max – The A330-300s that fly for Amazon are mainland-based. I believe the base is in Cincinnati, but right now the one airplane operating is just going back and forth between there and San Bernardino. Maybe that hasn’t opened yet with only 1 airplane, but point being the A330-300s are already not going to be HNL-based.

          1. I don’t disagree that the planes are based there but is Hawaiian opening a new pilot base in SBD too? Just seems needlessly expensive to open a new pilot base when every plane would likely hit HNL anyway and there would be better synergy to use the existing HNL pilot base.
            I just assumed Amazon was going to use the HNL pilot base to fly the Amazon cargo a330s, regardless of where the planes are based?

            1. Max – The only cargo base is a mainland base. It won’t be in HNL. I think it’s CVG but I’m not 100% sure.

            2. Apologies
              Just know something about this topic…
              The synergies of the Amazon work came from HA’s HNL pilot base being able to fly both pilot and cargo planes out of HNL — same pilot base (didn’t matter where the planes went on the mainland or whether Amazon wanted to fly an a330 to sbd or the Amazon hub at Cvg)

              So it surprised me to see you suggest the pilot base for any Hawaiian a330 flying would be anywhere but HNL.
              That’s where the cargo goes to Hawaii and where it would make sense to base HA pilots if they’re flying cargo or pax.
              But apologies. Don’t mean to be argumentative on the topic

              But that was the basis of my conjecture: that HA would want an a330 pilot base in HNL for a few years while flying amazon cargo and their own passengers
              But I appreciate the clarifications if things have changed

            3. From what I’ve read the Amazon A330 operation is sort of its own thing. Own pilot base, own dispatch facility.. it’s not as integrated into the rest of the HA system as everything else.

        2. Sincere question: what do you mean by “I could see AS using the oneworld strengths in places like BNA, AUS (already there), RDU, or some other major cities”?

          I think it’s very unlikely that Alaska would fly the widebodies on any route that isn’t anchored by one of their hubs (realistically just SEA or one of the Hawaii airports). For example, I don’t think they’d try flights to Europe from BNA or RDU, because they have no feed from their own network for those flights.

          But I’m probably just misunderstanding you.

            1. All conjecture from me
              Wish I was cooler to provide facts :)

              But yes. I meant speculation from HNL to strong OneWorld cities east of dfw (or even within the catchment area like MCI, OKC, or DSM)

            2. That makes sense, thanks. I agree that there might be opportunities to add some long-haul flying from Hawaii to destinations in the eastern US that aren’t legacy hubs, like BNA, RDU, and others. See my reply to Tim below.

              I don’t think the oneworld presence in BNA or RDU makes much of a difference though. AA will prefer to route connections to DFW or PHX to fly on their own metal, while BA would route passengers through SEA, which is much closer to the LHR-HNL great circle route than any other major airport in the lower 48. SEA is actually very well-positioned as a scissor hub between Europe and Hawaii. Unfortunately there is just not that much demand in either direction.

        3. The 330 freighter (A333F) and 330 passenger (332) are not interchangeable. The freighters have Amazon livery and can’t fly pax. They are also entirely based mainland (CVG) and don’t touch Hawaii.

  2. Very accurate and detailed challenges that have been facing HA for years.
    It should be noted that WN is the only one of the big 4 that could have done what they did in entering not just the mainland-HA market but also the intrastate HA market which anyone could see would crush HA on its own. WN has a privileged position in Washington DC in its ability to convince lawmakers it is all about lowering prices and helping consumers.
    The government of Hawaii helped bring about HA’s demise with their covid policies but AS has been “kind enough” to carry the brand on and make commitments to not do with HA what it did w/ Virgin America – which is to clean house, dump routes and simplify the fleet and operations. AS will increase its own costs through a lot more complexity in the name of diversifying its own network – and mainland US to Hawaii fares will go up to the joy of the big 4. AS will be a higher cost competitor across their system w/ HA “bolted on” and that will help other legacies, including DL.
    As for adding longhaul SEA flying, you need only look at BOS and NYC where B6 and DL directly compete. While part of the reason DL’s growth has been so strong in the NE is B6’ persistent operational mess, B6 is seeing that DL and other legacies on both sides of the Atlantic will fight hard to keep B6 small in the international arena. AS is run by smarter people than B6 (as evidenced by the two carrier’s financials) and AS will think twice about jumping into the longhaul international market esp. given that they will use widebodies (if they add longhaul flying) while the A321NEO for B6 is much less of a threat to other legacies at BOS and JFK. A whole lot of other carriers besides DL are adding longhaul international service to SEA and rely on AS to feed their flights so AS would also be stepping on their own partners to add AS longhaul international flights.

    and, Max, the US has never allowed 2 US carriers be in a JV w/ the same foreign carrier on the same routes. AA routes from SEA and other west coast hubs are part of JVs which means AA would have to give up JV on its own network in order for AS to get in unless the US changes policy – which didn’t happen with the NEA

      1. @Max Power – but you didn’t work effluent praise of Delta and a blast at JetBlue into your post, so he had to join in , :-)

    1. @TimDunn AS commitment to the HA brand maybe similar to DL’s commitment to maintaining CVG as a hub when it merged with Northwest. Once the merger was approved and a few years later, DL decided to optimize its operations. AS may do the same in a few years to Its HA assets, regardless of what it is currently telling politicians and regulators.

      1. Brian W

        There is a big difference between maintaining two brands and maintaining hubs. Brands are relatively cheap to maintain and it was a given that AS had to placate Hawaii’s interests while it was a given that AS would never walk away from the intra-island and longhaul international flying which is core to what the state of Hawaii needs out of an airline.
        It is more notable that HA is apparently telling its pilots that it will keep the 717s until the end of the decade; unless AS decides to start dumping the A330s or A321s, both of which would be costly to do, AS could end up w/ a more complex fleet than AA.

        The DL/NW merger was the first of the big 4 megamergers which meant that legislators and regulators had no idea what consolidation would do. Whether Delta knew CVG and MEM would not survive, they found cover to close those hubs because of high fuel prices that were the result of the 2008-9 financial crisis. It was actually the FL/WN merger that provide a solution to DL’s problem of a huge 50 seat RJ fleet, giving DL the ability to pick up the 717s – which DL and now HA apparently want to use as long as possible.

        It was subsequent mergers that came w/ commitments in writing to maintain hubs or to divest assets; the DL/NW merger resulted in neither.

        And while MAX above notes that AA and AS would end up competing w/ each other, it is still very real that AS would compete against its own international partners since it provides feed to practically every longhaul operator from SEA other than DL.
        And it is still possible that regulators will require AA and AS to shrink if not eliminate their cooperation or AA itself might decide that the value of AS is competing against it is larger than the value from the codesharing that AA and AS does, esp. since AA has apparently decided to not build a SEA longhaul hub.

        The big 3 are likely to ask and the DOJ will likely agree to require AS and HA to maintain codeshare services on intrastate Hawaii flights to ensure strong competition remains across AS/HA’s network.

    2. International partner airlines also often have structurally lower costs than US airlines: Crew compensation is lower, the overhead of their HQ staff is lower, etc. To the extent possible, it might be better for Alaska to encourage as many oneworld partner airlines as possible to run flights to SEA, and then focus on providing seamless connections within the US for those passengers.

      Everyone likes the idea of a Seattle scissor hub between Asia and the US for geographic regions, but I think the core problem is that there’s just not enough of a local demand base to support it. The Seattle MSA itself is not that big (~4m people in the 2020 Census), so it’s not clear that it needs much more international service than it already has. Most big cities already have direct service to either Tokyo or Seoul, so they can just make any ongoing connections at those hubs. Seattle could compete for passengers traveling from smaller metro areas, but the low population density of the northwestern US means that there just aren’t that many potential passengers in SEA’s “catchment zone”. Most passengers would overfly an existing international hub (e.g. ORD, DTW, DEN, SFO) “on their way” to SEA.

      1. SEA is more than just a scissor hub but a true hub – many more domestic flights for each int’l flight.
        While foreign carriers other than in western Europe and Japan have lower labor costs than US carriers on longhaul service, US carriers and esp. at SEA benefit from joint ventures and, in DL’s case, being able to financially link the benefit of domestic flights to the international operation.
        When a carrier like AA, DL or UA carry a domestic connection to a longhaul international flight they operate or a foreign carrier connects a passenger that originated from the US via their overseas gateway to a shorter gateway, they can justify the shorthaul segment based on the total value of the passenger to the network. Joint ventures are intended to duplicate the same concept between two carriers.
        Because it does not participate in joint ventures, AS has to charge foreign carriers enough to generate comparable revenue to what it can get if it sells seats solely for US O&Ds. Foreign carriers can offer high quality service because of their lower labor costs but they pay more for connecting service esp. for lower fare international passengers. It isn’t a given that foreign carriers end up making more money than a US carrier on the same international passenger, esp. if it involves a connection that is not under a joint venture.
        AS could shift into the category as AA, DL and UA in being able to “subsidize” its international operation w/ its already existing domestic system esp. at SEA but they face a very competitive environment in SEA. As you note, SEA has a lot of international service but it is in a favorable geographic position which helps carrier costs across the Pacific. SEA is a lower cost airport than SFO and the handling costs per passenger at SFO are expected to grow faster than at SEA. SEA does have challenges but the airport and airlines do have a viable niche. And most international carriers, including DL, have large and growing positions at LAX which is much more about the local market. LAX and SEA work together from a network perspective more than SFO does with either LAX or SEA.
        Let’s also not forget that there are limited barriers to entry for longhaul international service to major HNL markets where HA provides the only longhaul service other than to Tokyo which AA DL and UA all serve directly or via a JV. If AS decides to get into the longhaul international business from the mainland, DL and UA esp. might have reason to consider longhaul international service from HNL.
        Those that hold onto hope of AS longhaul international service from SEA or other west coast gateways might consider that AS has considered all of the competitive game theories and is not interested in repeating what happened with Virgin America which was to challenge one or more big 4 carriers that essentially led to the failure of much of that merger.

  3. Here’s an interesting thought. Alaska Airlines with their frequent flier program has always had the ability to get their customers on other international airlines without a JV. I wonder with this expansion with Hawaiian if the international partners will be able to get more of their customers on a combined Alaska/Hawaiian operation?

    Compared to the Virgin America merger with its higher costs to operate in SFO, Virgin brand licensing (actually used or not) and aircraft leases, I can see Alaska and Hawaiian as successful separate brands with integrated back end systems.

  4. Yes, Brian W, I don’t trust ANYTHING which an airline executive tells a regulator. They lie about everything from cabin comfort to baggage service, to labor relations, to helping passengers with physical disabilities, to protecting the public from terrorism (World Trade Center on 9/11), to keeping hubs open (Delta gutting its 2nd largest hub Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky).

    Here in California, we used to have Pacific Southwest Airlines as a regional low-cost airline. Eventually it merged with American. Today, there is no trace of PSA in California.

      1. southbay – Yes. I didn’t bother correcting it since technically it’s all part of American now! But American bought AirCal and USAir bought PSA back in the day.

        1. I think I was surprised to learn that US Air bought PSA since US Air was a very east coast airline at the time and this purchase seemed really out of place.

          But, then again AA bought Reno Air and dismantled that pretty quickly.

  5. How does one start merger talks?

    Does AS send HA a DM on Instagram, saying, “Hey, wanna hook up?” Is it a request sent to legal counsel or a cold call to a board member or c-suite executive?

    I am genuinely curious; I’ve always wondered how any merger ball gets rolling.

    1. I would think that executives at major corporations know each other and already have lines of communication open. They may have met at industry conferences, been on boards together or worked together on joint ventures or whatever. There are also clubs (think Rotary but at a higher level) for them to socialize.

      If a company wants to sell itself, typically it would hire an investment bank to market it to potential acquirers. If a company wants to make an unsolicited offer, my guess is they would first talk to the large shareholders and then go to management.

      But this is all based on limited info, I have no direct experience with any of this.

    2. Remington – It can start in a variety of ways, but in this case it sounds like Alaska’s CEO reached out to Hawaiian’s, at least that’s the story they’re giving.

  6. The 787s at a combined HA/AS are the equivalent of the 747 at Eastern, Delta, National in 1970. They too big, expensive, and not suited for Hawaii-Mainland service, really. They make sense for Asia flying. They don’t for AS’s domestic network. The A330s are young. The first one was delivered in 2010. The issue will be what route map AS envisions for a combined airline. The HA Asia and Oceania network is significant, if smaller than it was pre-pandemic.

    It doesn’t seem to make much sense for AS to launch TPAC or TATL on the 787 out of SEA. They could certainly do it, but it would come at a huge expense and get them little beyond what they get now with JVs/Alliances.

  7. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for smaller, niche carriers to survive in the more and more consolidated airline industry,

    Captain Obvious

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