Hawaiian loses $60.7 million in the first quarter

Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330-243 N386HA (msn 1302) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 952315.

Hawaiian Holdings, Inc., parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., today reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2021.

First Quarter 2021 – Key Financial Metrics


YoY Change


YoY Change

Net Loss





Diluted EPS





Pre-tax Margin


(10.9) pts.


(124.4) pts.

“We reached an important inflection point during the first quarter on our path to recovery with an encouraging rebound in demand, despite the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose on our business. Bookings in North America improved materially as we began to realize the pent up demand for leisure travel after a year of lockdown,” said Peter Ingram , Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO. “I am grateful to my colleagues who continue to connect people with aloha in the face of historic uncertainty. I am more optimistic each day about our progress as we rebuild our network and capitalize on the resilience of Hawai’i as a post-pandemic vacation destination.”

Statistical data, as well as a reconciliation of the reported non-GAAP financial measures, can be found in the accompanying tables.

First Quarter 2021

Financial Results

For the first quarter of 2021, the Company reported a net loss of $60.7 million , and adjusted net loss of $190.6 million .

The Company reported total revenue of $182 million , down 72% compared to the first quarter of 2019, on 49% lower capacity.  After a slow start to the year, the Company experienced a rebound in close-in demand in North America in March 2021.

The Company reported total operating expenses of $255.4 million , and operating expenses excluding non-recurring items of $402.7 million , down 33% compared to the first quarter of 2019.

Routes and Network

Throughout the first quarter of 2021, the State of Hawai’i continued its Safe Travels program, which allows guests to avoid quarantine with evidence of a negative COVID-19 test, subject to certain additional county-specific requirements.

The Company continued to rebuild as well as expand its network primarily in North America . During the first quarter, the Company operated an average of 51% of its first quarter system 2019 capacity, comprised of 73%, 38% and 12% of North America , Neighbor Island and International 2019 capacity levels, respectively.

In March and April of 2021, the Company launched four new North America routes. Starting in the summer of 2021, the Company will expand frequencies on the less than daily routes.

  • Daily service between Kahului Maui (OGG) and Long Beach (LGB), which started March 9, 2021 .
  • Twice weekly service between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Orlando International Airport (MCO), which started March 11, 2021 .
  • Five-times-weekly service between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Ontario International Airport (ONT), which started March 16, 2021 .
  • Twice weekly service between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), which started April 21, 2021 .

In April 2021 , the Company announced it will initiate four-times-weekly service between Kahului Maui (OGG) and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) starting in May 2021 .

Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of March 31, 2021, the Company had:

  • Unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $1.9 billion , up $1.0 billion from December 31, 2020
  • Outstanding debt and finance lease obligations of $2.1 billion , up $852 million from December 31, 2020
  • Air traffic liability of $687 million , up $154 million from December 31, 2020

The Company further enhanced its liquidity position during the first quarter of 2021, including:

  • In February 2021 , Hawaiian completed a private placement by Hawaiian Brand Intellectual Property, Ltd., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Hawaiian, and HawaiianMiles Loyalty, Ltd., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Hawaiian, of an aggregate of $1.2 billion principal amount of 5.75% senior secured notes due 2026.
  • In March 2021 , the Company completed an at-the-market equity offering (“ATM program”) of shares of its common stock. The Company issued an aggregate of 5.0 million shares through the ATM program, raising net proceeds of $109 million , of which $68 million was raised in the first quarter of 2021.
  • As of March 31, 2021 , the Company has received $147.3 million in grants and $20.2 million in loans pursuant to the Payroll Support Program Extension Agreement (the “PSP Extension Agreement”) with the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

In February 2021 , the Company repaid in full the $45 million loan from the U.S. Department of Treasury under the Economic Relief Program pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). This debt extinguishment resulted in the recognition of a non-operating loss of $4 million.

In February 2021 , the Company repaid $235 million of borrowings under its revolving credit facility, of which the full amount is available to the Company.

In the second quarter of 2021, the Company expects to receive approximately $25.1 million pursuant to the PSP Extension Agreement and approximately $179.7 million in Payroll Support Program funds pursuant to a Payroll Support Program 3 Agreement (“PSP3”) with the U.S. Department of Treasury under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

As of March 31, 2021 , the Company had $2.1 billion in liquidity, including the undrawn portion of its revolver. This figure does not include the $205 million of additional PSP Extension Agreement and PSP3 funding that the Company expects to receive in the second quarter. The Company is confident it has the liquidity to weather the remaining near-term effects of the pandemic and is not currently looking to raise additional capital.

Guest Experience

The Company continues to adapt its policies and services to better meet the needs of its guests. In April 2021 , the Company announced that HawaiianMiles – the currency of its award-winning loyalty program – will no longer expire. This policy comes in addition to the elimination of change fees and the extension of status for Hawaiian’s elite members.

In the first quarter, the Company joined the State of Hawai’i Pre-Clear Program, allowing its guests in both domestic and participating international markets ( Japan and Korea) who are entering the state of Hawai’i to validate their pre-travel testing status at their departure airport and avoid lines upon arrival in Hawai’i.

Starting June 1, 2021 , the Company will bring back more of its signature onboard services, including drink service, complimentary Koloa Breeze cocktails, and a curated assortment of alcoholic beverages and snacks for purchase, in addition to the complimentary meals it has served throughout the pandemic, while maintaining the highest standards of safety for its guests and guest-facing team members.

The Company continues its enhanced cleaning procedures and guest-facing protocols to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Understanding that health and safety are still critical concerns for our guests, the Company will continue to focus on effective measures such as:

  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of counters and self-service check-in kiosks in airports.
  • Ensuring hand sanitizers are readily available for guests at airports it serves.
  • Requiring guests and guest facing employees to wear a face mask or covering, with guests required to wear masks from check-in to deplaning (except when eating or drinking on board).
  • Performing enhanced aircraft cleaning between flights and during overnight parking.

Awards and Recognition

The Company maintained its #1 national ranking for On-Time Performance for the 17th consecutive year in 2020 as well as in January and February of 2021, as reported in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report.

Second Quarter 2021 Outlook

The Company expects to continue to rebuild its network in the second quarter, and expects significant sequential improvement in revenue compared to the first quarter, primarily driven by strength in North America.  The Company expects a sequential increase in operating expenses, excluding non-recurring items, driven by the increase in capacity as compared to the first quarter.

The table below summarizes the Company’s expectations for the second quarter ending June 30, 2021 , expressed as an expected percentage change compared to the results for the quarter ended June 30, 2019 , as applicable.


Second Quarter 2021

GAAP Equivalent

GAAP Second
Quarter 2021


Down 30 to 33%

Total Revenue

Down 45 to 50%

Operating Expenses, excluding non-recurring items (a)

Down 20 to 24%

Operating Expenses (a)

Down 35 to 39%

Interest Expense

$30 million

Adjusted EBITDAR (b)

($70) million to ($20)  million

Effective Tax Rate


Fuel Price per Gallon


(a) See Table 4 for a reconciliation of GAAP operating expenses to operating expenses excluding non-recurring items.

(b) The Company is not providing a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDAR to GAAP net income, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, as it is unable, without unreasonable efforts, to calculate certain special and non-recurring charges, which could have a significant impact on the GAAP measure.

Statistical information, as well as a reconciliation of certain non-GAAP financial measures, can be found in the accompanying tables.

Full Year 2021 Outlook

The Company expects its capital expenditures for the full year of 2021 to be between $50 and $60 million.

Top Copyright Photo: Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330-243 N386HA (msn 1302) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 952315.

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