Connecting Flight

New Era, New Look

By Mark Dunkerley, Chief Executive Officer, Hawaiian Airlines

There is perhaps no airline with a more distinctive logo than Hawaiian Airlines. Pualani, our “flower of the sky,” has adorned Hawaiian’s aircraft tails since 1973. Her beautiful and welcoming gaze represents our culture of service and hospitality and our attachment to the Islands we call home. She never fails to stir pride in each of us in the Hawaiian‘ohana, whether she is seen alone on the tail of one of our widebody aircraft in some far-flung destination, or as a collection of identical sisters, side-by-side at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport awaiting their next round of guests. Pualani is irreplaceable and unique: She sets us apart from all others not only as the sole female icon in the airline industry but also as a symbol of our home and the spirit of our employees.

“Before I started my career at Hawaiian, I looked at Pualani as a direct representation of my Native Hawaiian culture,” says flight attendant Keoni Craig. “Each time Pualani is seen throughout the world, people automatically think of Hawai‘i and all that it has to offer. It means aloha.”

So you’ll appreciate how gingerly we approached the task of updating Pualani for the decades ahead. It’s important that we do it now, because the impending arrival of a fleet of eighteen A321neo aircraft—all with new paint designed to last more than a decade—means it will be a dozen or so years before we have another opportunity to undertake the expensive and time-consuming work associated with a fleet change. Painting even one of our smaller Boeing 717 aircraft takes twenty workers a combined 3,000 hours to apply 185 gallons of paint in thirteen different colors and weighing more than 2,000 pounds. The cost of the labor, materials and out-of-service time for an aircraft runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, so it is not something that you seek to do more frequently than is necessary.

Pualani first graced the tails of our aircraft forty-five years ago, at the dawn of the jet age when we introduced the first McDonnell Douglas DC-9s. While slight variations were made to the red hibiscus in Pualani’s hair over the next twenty-eight years, she was most recently updated in 2001, when we debuted a more modern and confident-looking, twenty-first century logo to adorn Hawaiian’s then-new fleet of Boeing 717 and 767 aircraft. But time moves on and what was new and forward-looking fifteen years ago looks slightly dated today.

In her new iteration, Pualani is framed by the rising sun as she watches over our guests and crew members. Beneath her, a silver maile lei with interwoven pakalana flowers wraps around the fuselage to symbolize our warm welcome and the traditions that bind us together.

Pualani herself is not a real person, yet she has been brought to life by our employees, most of whom were born in these Islands and inherently bring to work the values of aloha (love and welcome), ho‘okipa (hospitality), mālama (caring) and lōkahi (unity) that Pualani embodies.

It will take some time before our entire fleet is repainted with the new Pualani, which earlier this year began appearing in our web and digital materials, airport lobby signage and kiosks, and at boarding gates. Until then, our guests can rest assured that the authentic, Hawaiian in-flight experience Pualani represents will remain at the essence of who we are.

From our ‘ohana to yours, enjoy your flight and mahalo for your business.