As Mark Dunkerley sees it, Hawaiian Airlines is just scratching the surface of what it could become.
"Our future lies around the Pacific Rim," said Dunkerley, who as the airline's president and CEO has overseen big growth in recent years. "We're about four times larger than we were, say, six or seven years ago."
Analysts agree that Hawaiian has had quite a run under Dunkerly. It was the highest-rated among U.S. carriers for on-time arrivals last year, landing 91.1 percent of its flights as scheduled. That's well above the industry average of 81.4 percent, according to the Department of Transportation.
Financially, Hawaiian Airlines is coming off one of its most profitable years ever, having earned a net income of more than $244 million. That's up 33 percent from the prior year.
Yet despite its momentum, some analysts remain skeptical of Hawaiian's growth potential. Their biggest concerns include the added complexities that come with adding new destinations in Asia or East Coast of the U.S.
"I worry a little bit that they are beginning to get a little bit too aggressive," said Scott Hamilton, managing director of Leeham Company, an aviation consulting firm. "They have very ambitious long-haul expansion plans, which of course is all well and good, but you need very expensive airplanes to do that. So I am just a little cautious as to what they have on the plate right now."