Also, just a side note. Many people here really want other airlines start up inter-island operations, be it AS or WN ... or even UA and DL. I seriously doubt any of them will do it in a meaningful way. I think AS and/or WN will probably have a few triangle routes (e.g. OAK-OGG-LIH-SAN), but don't think anyone is going to set up an HA style operation with aircraft based at HNL as long as HA maintains their current pricing levels, which IMHO are FAIR. That is the key. Here is why:
The interisland market is shrinking due to direct flights to neighbor islands. If anything AS and WN are/will be two of the main contributors to this. Much of the island hopping traffic from tourists has dried up. Today a larger share of interisland traffic is local people (certainly more than in the past). As more people come to Hawaii every year, or every few years they spend each trip on one island instead of a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip to every island that was more common in the past.
Check out an AQ or HA timetable from the mid-to late 90s. Each alone was running more flights between HNL-OGG than HA does today. Off the top of my head I recall almost 30 flights per day each on AQ and HA on HNL-OGG, today HA operates 26 nonstops HNL-OGG. Another quick example ...In 1997 AQ alone had 14 daily nonstops HNL-ITO and in 2000 HA had 11 nonstops HNL-ITO. Today HA has 14 nonstops HNL-ITO.
If I go home and browse my timetable collection I can find more examples.
You’re right about the shrinking interisland market. There will always be a market for connections to and from the outer islands to international - that won’t change too much unless KOA sees MAJOR investment and gives ultra major discounts. OGG will probably never happen outside of Canada with the runway restriction. But the island hopping tourist is gone for the most part. Local traffic is the bread and butter and that won’t change too much unless there is major industry development in the outer islands and they don’t have the critical mass for it, I don’t think. I still find it amazing that there are day laborers - mechanics, construction, etc - who commute every morning from HNL, never mind the business people and politicians. Then of course there’s cargo - HA recently won the Love’s bakery contract that Aloha had for a long while. That’s just one small example of how entrenched HA is and there is very little room for competition.
No other airline could get cargo and mail contracts without the multitude of flights; the connection passengers without cooperation with international carriers; or even the terminal space at capacity-constrained airports state-wide. AS will never do interisland - I will eat my shoe if that happens. And while WN has alluded to it, I expect only round-robin flights like OAK-HNL-OGG-OAK if even that because why should they even need tags? They could serve every major state airport nonstop as it is.
Unless you watch HA interisland closely, you really can’t appreciate what a behemoth and what a necessity it is to the whole State. HA knows that and will only tighten their grip to ensure no one dares question their authority.