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Hawaiian aircraft in Honolulu (Photo: Ian McMurtry)

Hawaiian Expands Inter-Island Flights as State’s Economy Reopens

As many residents of Hawaii begin their plans to reconnect with family and friends across the state, following the end of the 14-day quarantine requirement for interisland passengers, Hawaiian Airlines unveiled its plans to increase flight operations on the island. Since late March,  the Honolulu-based airline has been operating a reduced flight schedule, specifically aimed at accommodating cargo transportation and essential travel only.

Avi Mannis, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Hawaiian Airlines,  noted the increasing demand for Hawaii residents to travel between islands and the airline’s anticipation to welcome passengers back onboard. 

“We know many of our local guests have been eagerly waiting to visit family, catch up with friends or take a staycation, just as our teams have been looking forward to seeing familiar faces onboard our Neighbor Island flights again,” Mannis said in a press release. 

In response to the state’s continuing efforts and increasing progress in containing the spread of COVID-19 on the island, Hawaiian will offer up to six daily flights between Honolulu and Lihue, Kona and Hilo. In addition, the airline will operate up to nine daily flights between Honolulu and Kahului, HI. The increases on Neighbor Island flights will go in effect on June 16 which is when the 14-day self-quarantine requirement for interisland passengers is expected to end. 

The airline hopes its plan will play a vital role in assisting and being a part of the state’s phased reopening of the local economy. Furthermore, in order to safely operate these flights and ensure that the passengers have a comfortable travel experience, Hawaiian will continue to encourage travelers to exercise contactless check-in via its mobile app and to wear a mask or face covering. 

In addition, guests who choose to fly on these flights and arrive at each of the airline’s airport lobbies will notice new health and safety protocols including plexiglass shields at counters and podiums, and frequent cleaning at self-service kiosks and aircraft that now feature electrostatic disinfection in the cabin.  On these inter-island routes, the passengers will be given complimentary sanitizing wipes, as supplies permits and hand sanitizers are readily available at the airports. 

Despite the extension of the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for out-of-state travelers and the delay in the reopening of the island’s tourism industry, Hawaiian intends to focus on interisland flight operations. 

Benjamin Pham
Benjamin Pham
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