Hawaiian Airlines adds fifth Japanese destination, will fly to Sendai

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Airlines says it will launch service this summer to Sendai, its fifth destination in Japan, and its tenth new route in three years.

"We are delighted to be bringing the aloha of our island home to a region being rebuilt after massive devastation two years ago," said CEO Mark Dunkerley in a statement.

Sendai is a metro area of 9 million people in the quake and tsunami region of northern Honshu.

Flights begin June 25, which means this service will actually begin before the previously-announced new service to Taipei, which begins in July. By then Hawaiian will also have launched flights to Auckland, New Zealand. Those begin March 13.

The plan is to turn existing service to Sapporo into a "circle route," as follows: Flight HA 441 will depart Honolulu International Airport on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 12:15 p.m., cross the international dateline, and arrive at Sendai Airport at 4:00 p.m. the following day. As Flight HA 442, the aircraft will then continue to Sapporo's New Chitose Airport at 5:55 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving at New Chitose at 7:10 p.m. before departing to Honolulu at 9:10 p.m., crossing the international dateline, and arriving in Honolulu at 9:50 a.m. the same day.

"We look forward to making visitors from Tohoku feel as though they are in Hawaii from the moment they board our flights," Dunkerley said.

Hawaiian Airlines has hired hundreds of employees as it added routes, and is still hiring.