Alaska Airlines-Hawaiian would have 40% of Hawaii-mainland US capacity but compete on just 12 routes

Alaskan and Hawaiin Air

The Alaska Air Group plans to acquire Hawaiian Airlines. In an overall sense, the pair’s networks do not overlap much but it is a different story between Hawaii and the US mainland. The deal would, of course, enable the Alaska Air Group to significantly increase its presence to, from and within Hawaii, rather than materially increase presence in Alaska Airlines’ primary mainland airports. Debate rages about changing fleets, equipment swaps, network changes and whether the tie-up would be anticompetitive. One thing is clear. If it happens, it is unlikely that Hawaiian will remain in its present form.

Hawaii-US mainland dominance would rise to 40%

According to Cirium schedules information, there are about 2.6 million departing seats between Hawaii and the continental US in Q1 2024 (January-March). Inevitably, Hawaiian Airlines is the market leader, albeit not by much. It has approximately 24% of capacity on a network of 28 routes. This involves four airports in Hawaii (Honolulu, Kahului, Kona, Lihue) and 15 across the lower 48.

Alaska Airlines is the third-largest operator with around 16% of capacity. It has 24 routes to the state this quarter with flights from eight airports. When added to Hawaiian’s available seats, the pair would have 40% of mainland capacity and sightly more (48%) to the West Coast states. It would help to transform Alaska Airlines’ competitiveness versus Southwest, although its capacity – like all airlines in the market – has reduced year-on-year.

Hawaiian may eventually become a oneworld airline like Alaska Airlines. Assuming this, the market would have three oneworld members, including American. It means the alliance’s lower 48 seats would rise from 27% to 51%. To the West Coast, it would virtually double to 55%.

Hawaii-mainland US airlines

Dublin Airport

Compete on 12 routes this January-March

Cirium tells that Alaska Airlines has about 304 domestic and international routes in Q1, while Hawaiian has 47. The pair compete directly on just 12 routes from Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego to the islands. Hawaiian is larger than Alaska Airlines on two-thirds of routes.

Just 4% of Alaska Airlines’ network faces Hawaiian, rising to half if only its Hawaii-West Coast operation is considered. From Hawaiian’s perspective, they face one another on one in four of its routes, rising to 43% to the West Coast.

Routes on which they compete directly

Honolulu would become their second airport

In these three months, Alaska Airlines will serve 124 destinations and Hawaiian 30. When their top 10 airports are combined, their divergent networks reveals that little will be gained at most key airports. Seattle capacity, for example, will rise by just over 1% and Portland by 4%. Honolulu, one of three Hawaiian airports on the combined top 10 airports list, would see capacity rise by about 14%. Honolulu would account for about a tenth of the Alaska Air Group’s capacity.

Top 10 airports by a combined Group

Montpellier Airport