Impressed with Hawaiian’s stock skyrocketing almost 200% since last March, CNBC invited carrier CEO Mark Dunkerley in for an interview.
Among the wide-ranging topics covered were Hawaiian’s pursuit of slots at Tokyo Haneda and ticket pricing.
Hawaiian is lobbying to garner two of the four available slots to fly Boeing 767s from Honolulu to Tokyo.
“We like our chances,” Dunkerley says of the current proceedings of by US regulators to allocate slots. All the majors except for US Airways are also fiercely competing for access to close-in Haneda.
The trading of barbs has started with US regulators as each airline tries to make its case. American argues Hawaiian’s proposal is inferior since Narita is better-suited for leisure travellers.
Continental is blasting Hawaiian’s “wingtip-to-wingtip” service, or flights that essentially depart 10 minutes apart, arguing that if Hawaiian believes there a need for 528 seats on the Honolulu-Haneda market, “it should be purchasing a high density B747-400 or A380 to operate the route”.
On a broader subject, Dunkerley was asked about consolidation, saying it “has a lot of industrial logic in our business”. Although he also thinks it is anyone’s guess of when or if it actually might happen, characterising consolidation in general as “out there in the ether of the industry”.
Here’s in the interview – he’s also asked in joking manner about buying United.