Hawaiian Airline : how long island hopping before upgrading to longer trips?


Dreaming of joining Hawaiian Airline as an ultimate goal… but I have limited time left (say starting at a regional at 49/50 years old)… what is the expectation at Hawaiian ? How long do you have to fly island routes before being able to upgrade and fly longer routes?




Welcome the forums, I’m sure our Pilot Mentor Adam will soon reply. He’s currently a Captain at Hawaiian Airlines and can provide a rough-timed answer. Simply going to the website of Hawaiian, I found this as their First Officer Requirements:

Alot of information can also be found about Hawaiian Airlines’ requirements on AirlinePilotCentral.com


Aloha Jax,

InterIsland is the junior aircraft at Hawaiian and all new hires are subject to a 2 year seat lock before they can bid to a larger transpac aircraft (A321, A330, or B787). While that is the minimum time, there needs to be a bid and available vacancies for you to bid into.

I also have to be honest, if you’re not starting at the Regionals till 50 and the preferred mins include turbine pic, that puts you at 53-54 and Hawaiian might not see you as a good investment with only 10-11yrs left to fly. That said you never know and if that’s your goal it’s worth a shot.



Fyi, Ohana was shut down when the pandemic started and there’s little hope of it returning.


:scream:, I did not know that.

What happened to all those ATR’s they were flying?

Thanks a lot for the quick reply!!! I’m turning 47 and perhaps I should consider going to a regional sooner rather than later?? I have just earned my CPL AMEL at the 5-days program at the Phoenix ATP KIWA location, I had such a great time there, fantastic instructor and facilities! I’ve about 1900 hrs in singles flying my own Bonanza in the past 10 years and only 9.8 hrs in multi.


Frankly I’m a little confused? I don’t know what you’re currently doing now but you’ve got 1900hrs. Why aren’t you getting you ME rating, build 25hrs ME time and applying to the Regionals ASAP?

It literally could make the difference between you making it to Hawaiian (or any Major) or not.


Thanks for the sage advice !! Short answer : got 2 kids going to college… need to keep my current job just a bit longer (2 years perhaps) to pay for their tuition and expenses before diving into the airline world… But maybe I should seriously consider accelerating the timeline.


Fair enough. But Regional pilots top out at about $90k. Majors hit $350k. Don’t know where your are now salary wise but that money would pay a fair amount of student loans. Just sayin’…