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United Airlines Bolsters Hawaiian Network

A United 757 departs Los Angeles. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Chicago-based United Airlines boosted service on four of its routes to Hawaii over the summer, The Points Guy reports. The updates, which last through October, are an indication of United’s confidence on an imminent travel recovery within the U.S.

United will start flights between Newark and Maui as well as from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Kona on June 3, a move that was initially announced back in September. But United announced that it will launch the routes with five weekly frequencies instead of four. Flights will operate on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The routes will also operate for longer than originally planned. Though originally slated to end on Aug. 15, the flights have been granted a three-week extension and will fly through Sept. 5. The route from Newark to Maui will also be upgraded to a Boeing 767, which features 46 of United’s signature Polaris business-class pods.

United is also altering schedules on its routes from Denver to both Maui and Honolulu.

Starting in April, United will add an extra weekly frequency on the Denver-Maui route, and both routes will get upgrades from daily to 12x weekly in May. Then, both routes will be upgraded from daily services to twice-daily services from June through September before reverting to 12x weekly in October.

Additional Hawaiian frequencies from Denver will be flown with Boeing 757-200 aircraft with 16 lie-flat beds and up to 160 economy seats.

United is gearing up for a big jump in travel in the second half of 2021, and these aren’t the only additions they have made to their schedule in Hawaii in recent weeks. It also announced plans to fly between Orange County, Calif. and Honolulu starting May 6. United hasn’t operated between Orange County and Honolulu since 2012, when it canceled the flights it inherited from Continental in the companies’ 2010 merger.

United has maintained since the start of 2021 that it is fully confident in a strong travel recovery in the second half of the year. The U.S. vaccine rollout is speeding up. President Joe Biden is pressing states to make vaccines available to all adults aged 16 or older who want one by May 1, though dozens of states have laid out timelines that will see widely-available doses sooner than that.

As travelers receive the second doses of their vaccines, many airlines, United included, expect they will be antsy to travel to states like Hawaii after over a year cooped up in isolation. Hawaii might be especially attractive since it dropped its quarantine requirement for tourists at the end of 2020.

John McDermott


  • John McDermott

    John McDermott is a student at Northwestern University. He is also a student pilot with hopes of flying for the airlines. A self-proclaimed "avgeek," John will rave about aviation at length to whoever will listen, and he is keen to call out any airplane he sees, whether or not anyone around him cares about flying at all. John previously worked as a Journalist and Editor-In-Chief at Aeronautics Online Aviation News and Media. In his spare time, John enjoys running, photography, and watching planes approach Chicago O'Hare from over Lake Michigan.

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