During the 1980s, Hawaiian also embarked on the development and construction of Kapalua Airport on west side of Maui. Opened in 1987, the airport was designed with a 3,000-foot runway, which constrained its ability to handle large aircraft. As a result, when the airport first opened, Hawaiian Airlines was the only inter-island carrier with aircraft capable of serving the airport. With its de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 turboprops, Hawaiian had a distinct competitive advantage in the Maui market.
On May 4, 2006, Hawaiian Airlines expanded service between the US mainland and Hawaiʻi in anticipation of the induction of four additional Boeing 767-300 aircraft, primarily focused on expanding non-stop service to Kahului Airport from San Diego, Seattle, and Portland. Additional flights were also added between Honolulu and the cities of Sacramento, Seattle, and Los Angeles.
In October 2015, Hawaiian Airlines announced that they will be upgrading their business class seats from the standard cradle seats to a 180-degree lie-flat seats on their A330 fleet in a 2-2-2 configuration. The new seats will be installed starting the second quarter of 2016. In addition to the new business class seats upgrade, the airline will add 28 additional Extra Comfort seating.
On February 16, 2010, Hawaiian Airlines sought approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin nonstop flights from its hub at Honolulu to Tokyo-Haneda sometime in 2010. The airline was one of 5 US carriers — the others being Delta, Continental, United, and American — seeking approval to serve Haneda as part of the U.S.-Japan OpenSkies agreement. Approval was granted from USDOT to begin nonstop service to Haneda, Japan. The flight began service on November 18, 2010. In addition, the airline is planning to establish a codeshare agreement with All Nippon Airways. On January 12, 2011, Hawaiian Airlines began nonstop service to Seoul-Incheon, South Korea. On July 12, 2011, Hawaiian added Osaka, Japan to its network.
On August 30, 2012, Hawaiian filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for a nonstop route between Kona and Tokyo-Haneda. This would fill a void that Japan Airlines left when it ceased service to Kona nearly two years earlier. However, the US Department of Transportation rejected the airline's application to begin service.
Hawaiian began acquiring Boeing 717 aircraft for operation on the Neighbor Island network in February 2001. On June 4, 2008, the airline announced that it had agreed to lease an additional four 717 airplanes to meet demand due to the shutdown of Aloha Airlines' passenger operations and the closing of ATA Airlines, with deliveries between September and the end of 2008.
Hawaiian Airlines started HawaiianMiles, their frequent-flyer program, in 1983. Miles accumulated in the program allow members to redeem tickets, upgrade service class or obtain free or discounted car rentals, hotel stays, merchandise, or other products and services through partners. The most active members, based on the amount and price of travel booked, are designated Pualani Gold (fly 30 Segments or fly 20,000 Flight Miles) and Pualani Platinum (fly 60 Segments or fly 40,000 Flight Miles), with privileges such as separate check-in, Premier Club Lounge access in Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, Kahului, and Līhuʻe, priority upgrade and standby processing, or complimentary upgrades. Travel award redemption from the HawaiianMiles program account for 5% of total revenue passengers.