Celebrate a Legacy Honoree Hung Wo Ching
Dr. Hung Wo Ching was an entrepreneur, financier and developer … but he is best known as a leading force of Aloha Airlines. Following a successful career in real estate and development with the legendary Chinn Ho, Dr. Ching was offered the opportunity to take over management of a struggling airline in the 1950s – Trans Pacific Airlines, now Aloha Airlines. Although the airline was near bankruptcy when he became president, Dr. Ching reorganized, reengineered and refinanced the airline, upgrading its fleet and making it a stiff competitor for its rival, Hawaiian Airlines. Despite the challenges of a competitive marketplace, Aloha’s Boeing 737 fleet with distinctive island graphics have become a fixture in Hawai‘i’s skies.
Aloha Airlines was instrumental in promoting Neighbor Island travel and the growth of statewide tourism. Under Dr. Ching’s leadership, Aloha developed travel packages and promotions that expanded interisland travel. Meanwhile, the airline’s promotional teams spread the spirit of aloha throughout the world. Hawaiian music and tropical flowers sponsored by Aloha Airlines were evident at major trade shows and sales events worldwide.
Dr. Ching’s success in the business world came at a time when Hawai‘i was dominated by the “Big Five” sugar companies, and Asian faces in the executive suite were rare indeed.
His management style was approachable and he kept a close relationship with his employees. A Hung Wo Ching tradition, still fondly remembered, was his habit of touring the Aloha Airlines operations throughout the state on Christmas day … shaking hands with employees at work on the holiday and wishing them well.