After a grim year for the airline industry, Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram told CNBC that he believes it is only from here.
Airlines have spent a lot in cutting 2020 routes and shortening flights due to a drop in travel demand from the coronovirus epidemic, but companies including Delta and United Airlines have announced some new additions in recent months.
Hawaiian Airlines is joining the fray with new nonstop flights from Honolulu to Austin, Texas; Orlando, Florida and Ontario, California, will be added in the spring. The Honolulu-based company expects a rebound in air travel in the new year and tries to capitalize on the population trends in the southern states.
“The reason it’s time to announce the three new routes is because … we’re very optimistic about 2021,” he said on “Closing Bell”. “These are places we’ve been seeing for a long time. Hawaii has a good demand for them.”
Austin has established itself among the top tech scene in the country, thanks to the traditional tech ecosystem that the San Francisco Bay Area is famous for. The capital city of Texas has drawn interest from several technology companies that have either opened factories there or announced plans to relocate their headquarters from California.
Earlier this month, Silicon Valley chief Oracle said it would relocate its headquarters to Austin. It is one of a group of companies planning to relocate corporate operations outside of California.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has moved his private housing to Texas, splitting the bulk of his time between Austin and Boca Cheeka, where the SpaceX facilities are located. Tesla, headquartered in Palo Alto, California, and Musk’s tunnel start-up, Boring Company, both have operations in Austin.
Apple is also increasing its presence in the Texas capital, where it is investing $ 1 billion in a 3 million-square-foot campus. The site is expected to employ 5,000 people and is planned to open in 2022.
“I’ve told your air how Austin is booming as a technology hub these days, and we think a lot of them want to travel to Hawaii,” Ingram said. “The same goes for Orlando, whose population is increasing.”
Florida is a longtime hotspot for relocating retirees, and populations in the state have steadily climbed. The Associated Press reported that due to population changes in the US, Texas is projected to add three seats to its US House delegation and Florida expects two seats.
According to Census Bureau estimates, in 10 states, including New York, Michigan and California, there is a danger of losing at least one seat in the House chamber, which, according to the AP, could have noticeable effects on the country’s political map.
Hawaii Airlines reported a nearly 90% revenue decline in its final two quarterly report.
“In a period where some of our traditional routes may not have depth, this is a good opportunity for us to broaden our network, and we see great opportunities out of all of these, not only for next year but for a long time Till, ”Ingram said.
Shares of Hawaiian Airlines declined 1.55% on a short day of trading in recognition of Christmas Eve. At $ 17.78 per share, the stock remains down 39% year to date.
The stock has more than doubled from its epidemic of $ 7.55 since mid-March.