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 November 27, 2007, Hawaiian Airlines signed a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Airbus for 24 long-range jets priced at $4.4 billion. The order included six Airbus A330-200s with a further six purchase rights and six Airbus A350-800s with a further six purchase rights - plans to fly to Paris and London were discussed. Deliveries for the A330s began in 2010 while the first A350 was to be delivered in 2017.
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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.
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.
Previously listed on the American Stock Exchange, the company moved to NASDAQ on June 2, 2008. Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. is a holding company whose primary asset is the sole ownership of all issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. On June 30, 2008, the company announced that it had been added to the Russell 3000 Index.
On March 31, 2011, Hawaiian announced that they will be renovating the check-in lobby of the inter-island terminal at the Honolulu International Airport (Hawaiian's main hub). Hawaiian, the only occupant of the inter-island terminal, will be removing the traditional check-in counter, to install six circular check-in islands in the middle of the lobbies. Those check-in islands can be used for inter-island, mainland, and international flights.
In February 2018, Hawaiian was rumored to be canceling its order for six A330-800s and replacing them with 787-9s. It was reported that Boeing priced the aircraft at less than $115 million, and possibly less than $100 million, each; the production cost of a 787-9 is between $80 million and $90 million. Boeing Capital also released Hawaiian from three 767-300ER leases in advance; these aircraft were to be transferred to United Airlines. Initially, Hawaiian refuted it cancelled its A330-800 order, but did not dismiss a new deal with Boeing. However, on March 6, 2018, Hawaiian Airlines confirmed the cancellation of the A330-800 order and the signing of a Letter of Intent with Boeing to purchase ten 787-9 aircraft, with options for an additional ten planes; the deal was finalized at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2018.
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.