Hawaiian Airlines reducing capacity amid virus outbreak

HONOLULU — Hawaiian Airlines said Friday it will cut capacity by 8% to 10% next month and by 15% to 20% in May as demand for air travel drops because of the new coronavirus.

The Honolulu-based airline said in a news release the declines are in comparison to its original plans for the year.

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CEO Peter Ingram told employees in a letter the company will cut costs by deferring non-essential aircraft painting and renegotiating vendor rates. The airline is instituting a hiring freeze.

Senior executives and board members are taking compensation cuts of 10% to 20% through at least June.

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Earlier this month, Hawaiian suspended flights from South Korea and reduced flights to Japan.

Ingram told a legislative advisory committee Thursday that it’s impossible to predict when tourism will recover after COVID-19. Until it does, he said businesses would suffer “considerable damage” and the entire state would suffer “economic pain.”

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