Steady Flight Path for Hawaiian Airlines’ Leadership

Jan 12, 2018

Hawaiian Airlines president and CEO, Mark Dunkerly, 54, introduced the new Airbus A-321 and announced his retirement
Credit Wayne Yoshioka

In March there will be a change at the top of Hawaiian Airlines. The company’s chief commercial officer is stepping up to become CEO. PBN editor-in-chief A. Kam Napier has more.

Mark Dunkerley, CEO of Hawaiian Airlines for the past 15 years, will be retiring in March, to be succeeded by the airline’s chief commercial officer, Peter Ingram.

The airline has evolved tremendously through Dunkerley’s tenure. In 2005, it emerged from a two-year long Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, which Dunkerley helped the airline see through as chief operating officer before becoming CEO that year.

It has gone on to double its passenger count to 11 million, and quadrupled revenues to $2.64 billion. Twice as many people now work for the airline, 6,600, and share prices that were as low as 29 cents in 2003 were as high as $60.90 in the past year.

There has been greater community engagement too. For example, the airline was title sponsor of the Hōkūleʻa’s global voyage, flying crewmembers out to meet Hōkūleʻa wherever the airline reached. Dunkerley himself sailed on two legs of the voyage.

Peter Ingram has been with the airline for 12 years, so while this is first time as a CEO, he knows where the airline has been and where it’s going. Dunkerley originally hired Ingram in 2005 as chief financial officer. Ingram’s task will be to build on the airline’s success. It has received the first of its new A321neo aircraft, an upgrade to the fleet that will play out in the coming years. This week, the airline announced that the tens of millions it will save on its corporate tax rate under the recent tax reform will be funneled into airport improvements that should raise both customer and employee satisfaction.