Celebrate a Legacy Honoree Stanley Kennedy, Sr.
A local boy, born in 1890, Stan Kennedy began his career following his father’s footsteps working for the Inter-Island Steamship Navigation Company. Following his service in World War I as an aviator, Stan saw that the future of travel was in the air, not on the water. Working his way up to become General Manager at Inter-Island, he was finally in a position to bring the company into the aviation age by launching Inter-Island Airways in 1929. On November 11 that year, thousands gathered at Honolulu’s John Rogers Airport to witness the departure of Hawaiʻi’s first scheduled interisland flights to Maui and the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. Two eight-passenger Sikorsky S-38 amphibian planes served these routes.
Stan took charge of the new operations, introducing the islands to a whole new way of traveling. Like many new enterprises in the 1930s, the company struggled financially until Stan was able to obtain a contract to carry the US mail. In 1941 Inter-Island changed its name to Hawaiian Airlines, introducing the DC-3 into island service and an instantly recognizable brand name for the airline. Over the years, island residents and visitors have come to expect reliable and convenient service from Hawaiian Airlines. Passenger volume grew along with the visitor industry and an expanding economy.
Airlines have come a long way since eight-passenger propeller aircraft served the islands. Today Hawaiian Airline’s modern fleet of jets fulfills the vision of its founder, Stan Kennedy.