The last Hawaiian Airlines plane flew out from Auckland on March 22.
There is presently no clarity around when the airline's planes will return but the airline's regional boss, Andrew Stanbury, is adamant the planes will be back.
"Hawaii is a unique destination and is going to be high on the wish lists of New Zealanders and Australians," he said.
Hawaiian Airlines also had a loyal following.
"Neither of those things have been diminished by Covid. When we can we'll be back and maintain our favoured position in those markets."
Committing to the market is the easy part — figuring out what services will look like and when they'll happen is much more difficult.
Staff in Australasia were modelling different scenarios around demand patterns, the types of customers who would be first to return and how they will want to buy their tickets.
"The next stage for us is to understand what the future holds. Nobody is in a position to be able to give a level of certainty — this is a moving beast."
Planning was difficult because of the great unknown — when border restrictions will ease.
The airline has built back up to about 60 per cent capacity between Hawaii and the US mainland helped by a pre-flight Covid testing regime.
But flying on other international routes was restricted to freight to some Asian countries and had stopped completely here.
"We're left with this situation of not knowing when we'll be able to fly [to Australasia] again — that makes planning difficult."
Stanbury is a veteran of airlines in this region; before joining Hawaiian at the beginning of 2019 he was Fiji Airways regional general manager in Australia for seven years and before that spent eight years with Air New Zealand in various management roles, including leading sales in Australia.
Pre-pandemic Hawaiian flew an average of four round trips out of Auckland a week, three out of Brisbane and daily out of Sydney. About 300,000 passengers were carried a year, with many flying on to the airline's 13, soon to be 16, mainland US destinations.
Staff numbers had been halved in this region but the airline still maintains a presence in New Zealand led by country manager Russell (Rusty) Williss.
"We have a small team but a larger-than-life presence — he is a one-man army," Stanbury said of Williss.
Throughout the region staff were working with hard-hit travel agents (through which the airline received a high proportion of bookings pre-Covid) to understand what they were going through.
'We spend our time staying in touch with our trade partners, monitoring what the landscape is, particularly with agencies and trying to understand what it will look like when we come out of it," Stanbury said.
Hawaiian has previously avoided alliances with other airlines — with some exceptions — but this may change. Working with fierce rival on the Auckland-Honolulu route, Air New Zealand, has been mooted before.
Stanbury says the airline is concentrating on its own game first but is wondering what competitors will do.
''Early on we saw most airlines being smaller than bigger. Will some airlines reverse the expansion of the last 15 years - or will those same airlines become more opportunistic,'' he said.
''What role will airline partnerships play in designing networks? I guess they will become more important than in the past."
Stanbury was at a global sales conference in Hawaii during February when news came through that there had been a Covid-19 outbreak in South Korea.
''Our Korean team had to travel back mid-conference. That for me was the first day that it became obvious this was going to be big.''
What followed were weeks of redeploying staff in this region to help passengers cope with disruption and then suspension of flights and then paying out refunds, an obligation under US law.
Tens of thousands of passengers were refunded millions of dollars, a process that he said generally worked well.
''Even though we have had a rough time operationally there have been some positives that have come out of it."