Mufi's Message - December 11, 2020
Pictured above are the four executive panelists from HLTA's airline discussion that was held during our 193rd General Membership Meeting last month.
As you may recall our General Membership Meeting included a first-class airline panel during which airline executives discussed the issues and challenges before them in helping Hawai'i's tourism industry recover responsibly and safely. The panel included: Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer Andrew Watterson; Alaska Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Harrison; United Airlines Senior Vice President & Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist; and Hawaiian Airlines President & CEO Peter Ingram.
It was very gratifying to see Alaska Airlines announced today its Hawai'i Pre-Clear Program which will allow passengers traveling to Hawai'i to receive Safe Travels approval prior to departure, thereby reducing their wait time once arriving in Honolulu. This program, which is being launched in coordination with the State, was piloted on Maui and will be rolled out to all flights to Honolulu and Kona next week. Alaska Airlines is the first airline to install a program of this nature, and it is sure to be a positive for West Coast-based travelers moving forward.
This new program is in lock-step with other airline industry-wide efforts to better inform passengers what they can expect when traveling to Hawai'i. Airlines have all made significant changes to their their pre-travel notifications as well as informational efforts at check-in, in the departure lounge, and during boarding as well just before takeoff.
These are just some of the steps being taken by our airline partners to make travel possible and, more importantly, amenable for prospective tourists. Similarly, we are working with HTA and the State administration to address the critical need to identify hotels in each county that are willing to house COVID-19 positive travelers without reservations who need a place to self-isolate. This is a very important priority of the State Department of Health and HI-EMA. In our ongoing dialogue with both entities and the Governor's office, they are pleased that we have already identified hotels on Maui and O'ahu and are working to do the same on Kaua'i and Hawai'i Island.
Speaking of HTA and its President & CEO John De Fries, we continue our collaborative efforts to schedule sessions with our visitor industry stakeholders and our county mayors. This past week, we separately met with both Mayor Mike Victorino and Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Kudos to all of you that were able to attend these sessions.
I hope you have a safe and great weekend,
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