Hawaiian Airlines announced today that it is resuming most of its U.S. mainland routes and will increase its neighbor island schedule — although international service will remain suspended due to restrictions on inbound travel.
The carrier’s decision follows Gov. David Ige’s announcement last week that starting Aug. 1 the state would allow passengers with approved negative COVID-19 tests taken within 72 hours of their trip to Hawaii may bypass the state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for out-of state passengers. The out-of-state quarantine runs through July 31 and is expected to be extended.
“The layered safety measures put in place to protect the health of our local communities promise to make travel to and from Hawai’i more accessible than in recent months,” said Peter Ingram, president and CEO at Hawaiian Airlines in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming onboard guests who support and observe the protocols in place for responsible travel, including our visitors and kamaaina reconnecting with family and friends on the U.S. mainland.”
Starting today, the carrier will begin once-daily service between Honolulu and Portland. It will add once-daily service to San Diego and Sacramento on July 15.
Effective Aug. 1, the carrier said it plans to reinstate nonstop service from six U.S. mainland cities to Honolulu, including Boston, New York, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, and Oakland. Hawaiian said it also plans to resume some U.S. West Coast-to-neighbor island routes with its narrow-body Airbus A321neo aircraft, including Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento to Kahului, Maui; Los Angeles and Oakland to Lihue, Kauai; and Los Angeles to Kona on the Island of Hawaii.
Starting Aug. 6, Hawaiian plans to resume weekly service between Honolulu and American Samoa.
The service will resume under the new new comprehensive health and safety program —including the use of face coverings, airport and onboard spacing, and enhanced cleaning measures — adopted by Hawaiian in May.
Some Hawaii residents and law makers are anxious about the possibility that a second wave of coronavirus cases will come with the broader reopening of travel. However, others, especially members of the visitor industry, are hopeful that safe travel may resume promptly so that the state can begin to heal the dire economic consequences of halting tourism.
Hawaiian had significantly reduced its service amid declining travel demand from COVID-19 fears and tourism lockdowns, which began in Hawaii about mid-March and even earlier for some of the international destinations that it was serving.
Hawaiian, which had been burning roughly $3 million in cash daily, recently had been operating a reduced neighbor island network and only offering once-daily service between Honolulu and Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco to support essential flights and critical cargo transportation.
Hawaiian has not yet restored its international service.