Hawaiʻi’s first interisland passenger service was launched on November 11, 1929 when Inter-Island Airways flew 13 passengers in a Sikorsky amphibian from Honolulu to Hilo; the flight took a total of one hour and 40 minutes (they touched at Maʻalaea along the way.)
The first flight to Kauai was made the following day and all the Hawaiian Islands were soon receiving air service on a regular basis. During this time, the first inflight treat offered to passengers was a stick of Wrigley gum to relieve ear pressure. (Clark)
By 1936 there was a drastic upsurge in local passenger traffic. After seven years of scheduled service without an accident, the traditionally boat-minded islanders realized the safety of interisland air travel.
In 1941, the company’s name changed to Hawaiian Airlines, to pave the way for trans-Pacific operations; the Wings logo was adopted. (hawaii-gov)
Hawaiian hired its first ‘hostesses’ in 1943 to serve aboard its DC-3s. Before then, ticket agents in the Honolulu terminal would “change hats” and board the aircraft to take care of in-flight passenger needs.
Hawaiian converted five of its DC-3s into “Viewmasters” for sightseeing flights. It enlarged single windows and combined others to create 5-foot-long, panoramic windows.
In the first of its many fleet upgrades, Hawaiian introduced the Convair 340 in the early 1950s. Unlike a DC-3, it was pressurized and air conditioned.
Hawaiian brought the first interisland jet service to the islands in 1966 with the Douglas DC-9 (and adopted the Jetbird logo to symbolize change over to jet service.)
In 1973, Hawaiian Air introduced new colors and a ‘Pualani’ (flower of the sky) logo, with the profile of a woman against a red hibiscus, the state flower. (Smithsonian)
Leinaʻala Ann Teruya Drummond, a former Miss Hawaii (1964,) was the model for the distinctive island girl profile that adorns the tails of all Hawaiian Airlines aircraft.
She was born in 1946 in Puʻunene, Maui and educated at Kamehameha School (1963) and Cannon’s School of Business, and worked in the travel and hotel industry.
She married John Ian Drummond; they have two children, Christina and Kawika. She also served on the Maui County Council.
The Pualani logo had several iterations. At times the flower was a solid color; some dots were added to the center of it, and possibly a star.
In 2001, the logo was updated with the current Pualani. The new logo was an evolution of the original Pualani, which profiled an Island girl with a flower in her hair against a red hibiscus. In the new adaptation, the face has more character and represents the look of a 21st century Island woman.
Designed with input from the airline’s employees, the new Pualani is intended to reflect Hawaiian’s proud Island heritage with a sense of grace, elegance and caring. At the same time, her expression is seen to capture the strength, determination, spirit and confidence of the people of Hawaiian Airlines.
The contemporized island girl symbol is depicted in “a realistic, more genuine way, in keeping with the current Hawaiian cultural renaissance that has revived dance, music, language and other native traditions.” (Hawaiian Air)