Strong demand is seeing Hawaiian Airlines resume an old route and add extra capacity on an existing route between Honolulu and California’s Bay Area. The upgrade comes as Hawaiian’s frequencies between Hawai’i and the US mainland return to pre-pandemic levels, nicely positioning the Honolulu-based airline for a bumper summer of flying.
New Hawaiian flights to Oakland & extra flights to San Francisco
This summer, Hawaiian Airlines is bringing back its nonstop service between Oakland (OAK) and Kona (KOA) on the Island of Hawai’i and adding a second daily flight between San Francisco (SFO) and Honolulu (HNL).
The seasonal Oakland-Kona service reboots on June 15 and will operate through September 6, 2022. Hawaiian will deploy its A321neos on the daily five-hour plus run. The A321neo service will be Hawaiian’s fourth daily flight connecting OAK and the islands, joining existing nonstop services between Oakland and Honolulu, Kahului on Maui, and Līhu’e on Kaua’i. Hawaiian last operated the Oakland-Kona route in 2016.
On the busy San Francisco – Honolulu sector, Hawaiian will offer a second daily nonstop service between May 15 and August 1. The additional service, also flown by an Airbus A321neo, operates as a daytime flight to Honolulu and an overnight flight back to SFO.
“The Kona Coast has been an increasingly popular destination for Bay Area travelers, and we are pleased to once again offer our Oakland guests convenient nonstop service to the Island of Hawai’i while also providing a second flight option between San Francisco and Honolulu,said Hawaiian’s Brent Overbeek.
Hawaiian’s A321neos will fly the additional Bay Area services. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines CEO predicts a bumper summer
Speaking this week in Honolulu, Hawaiian President and CEO Peter Ingram said his airline has moved through the delta and omicron road bumps and was now powering ahead on the back of solid demand for mainland flights.
“By summer, I expect our flights to be back to our normal level of fullness again,” Yahoo News reports Mr Ingram saying. The CEO’s bullishness is despite Hawaiian’s international network remaining in the doldrums and fuel costs soaring.
“We’re seeing very good demand, especially from the US mainland. There’s really no problem at all with (domestic) demand, and I think people are probably willing to pay any increases. What we can charge is a function of supply and demand , and that has to do with the overall level of capacity in the market.”
Hawaiian Airlines President & CEO Peter Ingram. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines
Nine flights a day between Hawai’i & California’s Bay Area this summer
Over this upcoming summer, Hawaiian Airlines will average nine daily return flights between its home state and the Bay Area. With nearly eight million people living in the Northern California region, it is a rich market for the airline to tap into.
Meanwhile, on the back of strong mainland demand, Hawaiian Airlines is hiring again. This week, Peter Ingram also said he was in the market for around 100 extra pilots and 300 flight attendants, along with unspecified numbers of ground staff.
“We are getting ready for another era of growth and opportunity,” Mr Ingram said. Like other US airlines, Hawaiian Airlines stood ready to lay off thousands of workers earlier in the pandemic. US Federal funding largely averted those layoffs. But Hawaiian’s workforce downsized significantly through voluntary departures and natural attrition and a big slow down in new hires.
With Hawaiian Airlines getting its mojo back, that downsizing era is over and the airline is back in growth mode. Peter Ingram says the airline has survived the worst of the pandemic and is positioning to become “bigger and better than ever.”
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