Hawaiian Airlines launched service this afternoon to its fifth destination in Japan.
The state’s largest carrier began three-days-week service between Honolulu and Sendai with 115 passengers aboard a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft,.
It is the first scheduled service between the two cities since 2004 when JALways, a subsidiary of Japan Airlines, left the market. It also is among the first new services to be introduced at Sendai Airport since it was closed for more than a month in 2011 due to damage caused by the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
The 8-hour, 26-minute flight between Honolulu and Sendai is a nonstop which then proceeds to Sapporo before returning to Honolulu. Sapporo service, which also is offered three days a week, had been a nonstop in both directions prior to today’s Sendai launch. Hawaiian, which began flying to Sapporo in October, also flies to Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka.
Hawaiian’s new flight marks the 10th new destination is has began or announced in less than three years when its made its first scheduled Japan flight in November 2010 to Haneda International Airport in Tokyo.
Hawaiian still has two previously announced routes it has yet to start. It will begin flying between Honolulu and Taipei, Taiwan, on July 9 and between Honolulu and Beijing, China, starting in April. The Beijing service is subject to government approvals.