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Delta is adding 3 domestic long-haul Hawaii routes this winter

February 18 2022
4 min read
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Delta Air Lines is making a big splash in the Aloha state.

The Atlanta-based carrier announced a big expansion across Hawaii on Friday, which includes three daily long-haul routes there from across the country.

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Specifically, Delta will add service between:

  • Atlanta (ATL) and Maui (OGG)
  • New York-JFK and Honolulu (HNL)
  • Detroit (DTW) and Honolulu (HNL)
(Map courtesy of Cirium)

The flights from Atlanta and Detroit will commence on Nov. 19, just in time for the Thanksgiving holidays. Meanwhile, the JFK flight will start on Dec. 17, which coincides with the beginning of the winter break period. All three flights will be operated year-round, a carrier spokesperson confirmed to TPG.

Delta will become the only carrier offering a nonstop flight from the Southeast U.S. to Maui, as well as the only carrier to serve the Detroit to Hawaii market.

Interestingly, all three routes technically mark resumptions for Delta.

The "newest" of the three routes is the Atlanta service, which last operated in January 2007, Cirium schedules show. Meanwhile, Delta last operated flights to Honolulu from Detroit in February 2020 and from New York-JFK in January 2020. Though all three flights are resumptions, none were previously operated daily, according to Cirium timetable.

“We’re guaranteeing more choice for our customers this winter, alongside Delta’s award-winning hospitality and industry-leading reliability," said Joe Esposito, Delta's senior vice president of network planning.

Delta will deploy a 226-seat Boeing 767-300ER on all three routes, which is outfitted with 26 Delta One pods, 35 Comfort+ extra-legroom seats and 165 standard coach ones. Each seat features a seat-back entertainment screen and USB-A port, while those in the forward two cabins will also enjoy access to a universal power outlet.

Delta's 767-300s feature the carrier's forward-facing Thompson Vantage seats, which are quite outdated at this point. At least each pod sports direct aisle access thanks to the 1-2-1 configuration.

Perhaps most interesting is that Delta is currently retrofitting a large swath of its 767-300s (as well as Airbus A330s), yet the airline won't deploy those jets on these new routes. Instead, it'll sport the older cabins, and the airline won't offer premium economy in the market.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

This will be welcome news for Medallion elites looking to upgrade these flights. Under the new Global and Regional Upgrade Certificate policy that went into effect on Feb. 1, these coupons can only be used to upgrade one cabin at the time of booking.

And since these routes don't feature Premium Select, Medallions will be able to confirm a bump into Delta One as early as the time of booking, subject to availability.

With these three new routes, Delta will offer 18 daily nonstop flights to four destinations in Hawaii this winter, including Honolulu (HNL), Maui (OGG), Kona (KOA) and Lihue (LIH). Altogether, the airline can offer a plethora of one-stop service to Hawaii from across the country thanks to all of its Hawaii flights.

The move to boost its Hawaii network comes as Delta's competitors have been busy doubling down on service to the Aloha State during the pandemic.

United Airlines has led the charge with its new service to Hawaii. First announced in September 2020, United added two brand-new domestic long-haul routes to Hawaii last year, one from Chicago (ORD) to Kona (KOA) and another from Newark (EWR) to Maui.

Additionally, the carrier restarted flying from Orange County (SNA) to Honolulu (HNL) in May 2021. United inherited two legacy Continental routes, one from SNA to HNL and another from SNA to Maui (OGG) when the carriers merged in 2010. United stopped the Maui flight in January 2012, followed by the Honolulu one six months later.

Meanwhile, state flag carrier Hawaiian Airlines recently added service from Honolulu (HNL) to both Austin (AUS) and Orlando (MCO).

Southwest Airlines has commanded headlines in terms of West Coast expansion to Hawaii. In May 2021, the Dallas-based carrier unveiled a major Hawaii-focused network expansion, announcing 15 new routes and three new mainland gateways — Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX) and Phoenix (PHX) — with more than 20 new frequencies to the Aloha State.

Delta's 3 new long-haul Hawaii routes

Atlanta

ATL - OGG 11 a.m. — 4 p.m.

OGG - ATL 5:25 p.m. — 6:40 a.m. +1

Detroit

DTW - HNL 12:15 p.m. — 4 p.m.

HNL - DTW 5:00 p.m. — 6:30 a.m. +1

New York-JFK

JFK - HNL 9 a.m. — 3:35 p.m.

HNL - JFK 4:55 p.m. — 7:25 a.m. +1

Featured photo by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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