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Hawaiian Increases Domestic and Inter-Island Schedule
Demand for travel to the Hawaiian islands plummeted at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The island’s government-mandated a fourteen-day quarantine for arrivals to the island chain, as well as a quarantine requirement for inter-island travel. However, the government of Hawaii has decided to begin to gradually relax these restrictions on travelers. In response, the airlines of the state have been increasing service to match an expected increase in demand.
Earlier in June, the state announced that the quarantine for inter-island travel would be lifted. In response, state carrier Hawaiian Airlines announced an increase in its inter-island schedule. Travelers from out of state still have to quarantine for fourteen days upon their arrival. However, beginning Aug. 1 these rules will change and in response, Hawaiian Airlines will be updating their schedule to match the restrictions.
New Quarantine Rules For Arrivals
Beginning Aug. 1 travelers to the islands will no longer have to quarantine if they can produce a negative test result within 72 hours of their date of travel. This essentially eliminates the need for quarantine for travelers arriving on the islands. In response, Hawaiian Airlines has announced an increase in travel to the mainland, as well as the resumption of several suspended routes. The airline will also resume mainland flights from cities outside of Honolulu.
Prior to July 1, the airline was only operating flights to the mainland once a day from Honolulu to Los Angeles, San Fransico and Seattle. On July 1 a daily flight between Honolulu and Portland resumed. Daily service to San Diego and to Sacramento will resume on July 15. The biggest expansion of service will occur on August 1, when the new travel restrictions come into effect.
On August 1, flights will resume to New York, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, Oakland, and Boston, which is the longest domestic flight in the United States. On the same day, neighbor island flights to the mainland will resume with Kahului to Los Angeles, Oakland, San Fransico, San Jose, and Sacramento. In addition, flights will resume between Lihue and Los Angeles and Oakland, as well as Hilo to Los Angeles. Rounding out the announced service resumption, flights between Honolulu and American Samoa will resume on August 6.
A Possible Quick Recovery
In August the airline is planning to operate 252 weekly flights between the mainland and the islands, as well as 114 daily interisland flights. Hawaii and Hawaiian Airlines may be in a unique position for a stronger and quicker recovery than other airlines. The likely closure of borders internationally means that leisure travelers will seek vacation destinations closer to home. Hawaii will provide that unique vacation destination, while also remaining within the temporarily closed borders the world is currently facing.
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