HONOLULU – Hawaiian Airlines, a long time supporter, has signed a one-year agreement to become the official airline partner of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Athletics. Hawai‘i’s largest and longest-serving carrier will welcome onboard student-athletes, coaches and staff from all 21 UH-Mānoa sports teams as they travel between Hawai‘i and North America to compete during the 2017-18 season.
Hawaiian Airlines is a Diamond Level partner of UH Athletics and a sponsor for three decades. “Official Airline Partner” has a nice ring to it, let’s hope we see a result that brings an extension beyond the one year deal. Often while on the road opposing team fans ask why UH didn’t have a deal in place. When UH was at Ohio State in 2015 a fan said, “Having a Hawaiian Airlines jet on the Tarmac would be so cool and kind of a thrill to see at Port Columbus.”
“As Hawai‘i’s hometown carrier, we are delighted to extend our support for our University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa student-athletes and their staff with this exclusive agreement,” said Peter Ingram, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for Hawaiian Airlines. “We look forward to delivering our authentic Hawaiian in-flight hospitality so they may arrive rested and ready for game time.”
“This agreement is a difference maker for UH Athletics as it will lead to significant savings,” said UH Athletics Director David Matlin. “We’ve had a very special relationship with Hawaiian Airlines over the years and are proud our teams will continue to fly Hawaiian. They have a special way of taking care of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff and we’re appreciative of all they do for us. Mahalo nui loa Hawaiian!”
UH-Mānoa men and women’s teams will enjoy the convenience and flexibility of Hawaiian’s comprehensive network of flights between Hawai‘i and North America as they plan their itineraries for regular season and post-season games. In fact, the Rainbow Warriors football team will fly on Hawaiian Airlines for Saturday’s historic trip to play UCLA at the Rose Bowl.
The new partnership, which runs through June 15, 2018, also allows Big West Conference and Mountain West teams playing in Hawai‘i to travel aboard Hawaiian Airlines in accordance with athletic agreements between the competing schools.
Let’s hope the savings created for UH and the additional exposure for Hawaiian Airlines is beneficial enough to work for everyone involved. It’s another step in the right direction, up, for the program.