Hawaiian Airlines is the 12th largest commercial airline in the United States. It is the largest airline based in the State of Hawai'i and is commonly referred to by the acronym "HAL". Hawaiian Airlines' hub is located at Honolulu International Airport in Honolulu, Hawai'i; it is one of three airlines that have their hubs there (the others are Aloha Airlines and Island Air). HAL has code sharing agreements with Alaska Airlines, America West Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Island Air, Northwest Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Hawaiian Airlines was founded by the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company as Inter-Island Airways on January 30, 1929 and started operations on November 11, 1929. On October 1, 1941 the name was simplified to Hawaiian Airlines when the company phased out its older Sikorsky flying boats. In 1966 jet travel started with the acquisition of Douglas DC-9 aircraft, which cut travel times in half on most of the routes. In 1984, the company began to operate charter services to the South Pacific using Douglas DC-8 aircraft, and soon they added Lockheed L-1011 aircraft to their fleet for West Coast services. As the west coast market grew, the South Pacific market shrunk, and so service was reduced when the company's DC-8's were retired in 1993, and when the L-1011's were replaced in favor of the Douglas DC-10 in 1994. The company replaced these leased DC-10's with 14 leased Boeing 767 aircraft during the fleet modernization, and replaced the DC-9's with Boeing 717 aircraft (the last member of that same family).
Hawaiian Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 21, 2003 with operations still continuing, and is overdue for $4.5 million USD worth of payments to the pilots' pension plan. Within the company, it has been suggested that the plan be terminated. As of May 2005, Hawaiian Airlines had received court approval of its reorganization plan. The company emerged from bankruptcy protection on June 2, 2005 with reduced operating costs through renegotiated contracts with its union work groups, restructured aircraft leases and investment from RC Aviation, a unit of San Diego-based Ranch Capital, which bought a majority share in parent company Hawaiian Holdings Inc in 2004.
Hawaiian has never had a fatal accident in its entire history, and is the oldest US carrier with such a distinction (the others have not been around for more than 40 years). Hawaiian Airlines has been the number one on-time carrier since 2004. Also number one in fewest Cancelations, Baggage Handling, and fewest oversales. Hawaiian Airlines is rated the best carrier serving Hawaii by Travel and Leisure, Zagat, CondeNast, and also the Department of Transportation.