Alaska Airlines permanently cuts all routes between Oakland and Hawaii
You'll soon have one less option if you're traveling between the Bay Area and Hawaii.
Alaska Airlines just pulled the plug on its Oakland (OAK) to Hawaii routes. Going forward, the carrier will no longer fly to Honolulu (HNL), Maui (OGG), Lihue (LIH) or Kona (KOA) from Oakland, Alaska spokesperson Ray Lane confirmed to TPG.
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Monday's news has been a year in the making. When the pandemic came stateside in March 2020, Alaska temporarily suspended flying between Oakland and Hawaii. The carrier resumed the routes for the busy holiday season, from Nov. 20 to Jan. 4, and then put them on hold again until May 21, 2021.
Despite the initial plan to restart the OAK flights this summer, Alaska has instead decided to discontinue them entirely.
In a statement, the carrier shared that:
Alaska Airlines has made the difficult decision to discontinue service starting May 21 between Oakland and the four Hawaiian Island markets: Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island (Kona).
Looking ahead, we will concentrate our service between the Bay Area and Hawaii with our flights from San Francisco and San Jose.
Travelers with existing reservations for flights between Oakland and the islands will be able to re-route onto other Alaska Airlines flights or collect a full refund. The carrier promises to reach out to affected passengers to talk through alternative travel arrangements.
But it's not all bad news. Alaska confirmed to TPG that it plans to increase flight frequency and add additional Hawaii service in the coming months from its West Coast hubs, including from Seattle (SEA), Los Angeles (LAX) and San Diego (SAN).
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As for the Bay Area, the competition on routes to Hawaii is intense.
Southwest Airlines started flying between Oakland and Honolulu in March 2019. Since then, the Dallas-based carrier has expanded its reach to include nonstop flights to Maui, Kona and Lihue. Oakland is one of Southwest's largest operating bases on the West Coast, so the carrier can offer many one-stop options for flyers headed to or from paradise.
In addition to Southwest, Hawaiian Airlines, the flag carrier of the Aloha State, has long flown to Oakland from Honolulu, Maui and Lihue.
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And that's just at Oakland. The other two major Bay Area airports — San Francisco (SFO) and San Jose (SJC) — also see a ton of Hawaii routes from an even greater assortment of carriers. In fact, Cirium timetables show that there are over 50 daily flights scheduled for May 2021 between SFO and SJC and Hawaii.
Despite Hawaii being open for tourism, there's seemingly insufficient demand to support Alaska Airlines flying to the Aloha State from all three Bay Area airports.