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 Holdings revealed on July 17, 2012, that it had signed a Letter of Intent to acquire turboprop ATR 42 aircraft with the aim of establishing a subsidiary carrier to serve routes not currently in Hawaiian's neighbor island system. In December 2012 it was announced that Empire Airlines would operate the aircraft on behalf of Hawaiian. A fourth ATR 42 aircraft was acquired in June 2018.
On February 11, 2013, the airline announced a new venture in the turboprop interisland business, "ʻOhana by Hawaiian." Service is operated by Empire Airlines using ATR 42-500 turboprop airplanes. Service began on March 11, 2014, to Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. The airline expanded more "ʻOhana by Hawaiian" routes between Kahului, Kailua-Kona & Hilo during the summer of 2014.
In March 2003, Hawaiian Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in its history. The airline continued its normal operations, and at the time was overdue for $4.5 million worth of payments to the pilots' pension plan. Within the company, it was suggested that the plan be terminated. As of May 2005, Hawaiian Airlines had received court approval of its reorganization plan. The company emerged from bankruptcy protection on June 2, 2005, with reduced operating costs through renegotiated contracts with its union work groups; restructured aircraft leases; and investment from RC Aviation, a unit of San Diego-based Ranch Capital, which bought a majority share in parent company Hawaiian Holdings Inc in 2004.