Welcome back, Kiwis: 2 airlines relaunch direct flights between New Zealand, Hawaii
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two airlines are starting up service again between New Zealand and Hawaii after a two-year pause due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Starting Monday, Air New Zealand is bringing back direct flights between Auckland and Honolulu.
“We’re still in that rebuild phase as with many other airlines around the world,” said Ben Evers-Swindell, general manager of the Americas for Air New Zealand. “The fact that Hawaii flying is coming back so soon, with three-times-a-week flights from Auckland into Honolulu is absolutely indicative of how important that is to Air New Zealand but also to New Zealanders in general to visit Hawaii.”
In 2019, about 75,000 Kiwis flew to Hawaii on Air New Zealand and spent about $250 per person. Before COVID shut down borders, travel to Hawaii was up 7%.
Hawaiian Airlines also resumed three-times-weekly flights between Auckland and Honolulu on Saturday. The carrier marked the relaunch with a Hawaiian oli and blessing ceremony before the departures.
“We are seeing strong demand – with some travel periods surpassing 2019 levels – proving that Hawaii has remained a top-of-mind destination for New Zealand travelers,” said Russell Williss, country director of New Zealand at Hawaiian Airlines, in a statement.
On Friday, Hawaii also welcomed back Japanese visitors with All Nippon Airways’ relaunch of direct flights from Tokyo to Honolulu on its massive Airbus A-380. Experts say these direct international flights are key to Hawaii’s economic recovery and to offset soaring inflation and worker shortages.
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