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As Oil Goes, So Go Airline Fares: Hawaiian Air CEO

Friday, 2 Mar 2012 | 4:54 PM ET

The price of oil will be one factor in how high airline fares rise this year, Hawaiian Air CEO Mark Dunkerley told CNBC Friday.

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"No single airline sets airline prices. One of the things that goes into it is the cost of our inputs, oil being the most important ones," he said. "As the price of oil goes, so go airline prices in the next 12 months."

The airline has "hedged 40 percent to 50 percent of next year's supply so we have a measure of insurance there," he added.

"But we look for the rainbow in the dark cloud. A lot of the demand for oil is being driven out of Asia, That means there's a lot of economic activity out of Asia."

That activity, plus the appreciation of Asian currency against the U.S. dollar, means more demand in Asia for a Hawaiian vacation.

Hawaiian Airlines CEO on Travel
An outlook on whether there are dark clouds on the horizons for airlines, with Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Air president/CEO.

According to Dunkerley, demand has been "pretty robust over the last couple of years and fairly balanced between business travel and leisure travel."

He said his airline is trying to find ways to save money on fuel by running a younger fleet of planes rather than charging for water and pillows.

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