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Hawaiian Airlines launching 4 new routes to 3 new cities

Dec. 08, 2020
4 min read
Hawaiian A321neo
Hawaiian Airlines launching 4 new routes to 3 new cities
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Come 2021, Hawaiian Airlines will offer even more gateways from the mainland to Hawaii.

The Honolulu-based carrier announced Tuesday that it will add three new dots to its route map next year, two of which are particularly noteworthy.

The first, Orlando, will be the first nonstop service from Florida to Hawaii. Beginning March 11, Hawaiian will fly its Airbus A330-200 on the 4,757-mile journey from Honolulu (HNL) to Orlando (MCO). Hawaiian's A330s are outfitted with 18 lie-flat biz seats in a 2-2 configuration, as well as 68 Extra Comfort seats and 192 standard coach seats.

The nearly nine-hour route will be operated twice weekly. Hawaiian explains that Orlando is one of the largest markets for Hawaii travel without a nonstop flight. Orlando will become the carrier's third-longest domestic flight, after Boston (BOS) and New York (JFK).

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More on the new Hawaiian routes: Lie-flat first-class seats on new Hawaiian Airlines routes available from 40,000 miles

The carrier also will add Ontario, California (ONT), to its route map beginning March 16. The five weekly flights headed for HNL will be operated by the Airbus A321neo, with 16 first-class recliners, 44 extra-legroom coach seats and 129 standard economy seats.

Ontario will complement the carrier's existing Southern California service from Los Angeles (LAX) and Long Beach (LGB), the latter of which will see a new daily flight to Kahului, Maui (OGG), beginning March 9.

And finally, on April 21, Hawaiian will begin operating another new route, this time to Austin (AUS). Austin will become the carrier's 16th U.S. destination and its first in Texas — and the south-central region of the U.S.

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Like Orlando, the flights will be operated by an Airbus A330-200 on a twice-weekly basis. In explaining the rationale for flights to Austin, Hawaiian cites that Hawaii is a popular destination for Texans, particularly those from Austin, which is one of the fastest-growing U.S. metro areas.

Flight review: Hawaiian Airlines A330 First Class BOS-HNL

According to Department of Transportation data accessed via Cirium, Austin was the third-most-popular point of departure for travelers flying from Texas to Hawaii in 2019. Dallas was first and Houston was second — thanks in part to the nonstop flights to the Aloha State operated by American Airlines and United Airlines, respectively.

The addition of flights to Florida and Texas comes amidst one of aviation's biggest downturns in recent history. While the West Coast to Hawaii market gets even more saturated with mainline carriers and Southwest, Hawaii's namesake airline is clearly trying to experiment with some new U.S. markets.

The full flight schedules are below, but it's interesting to note that the Austin flight is a daytime flight in both directions. Additionally, the Orlando flight will have the plane sitting on the ground for over 25 hours between turns, quite poor aircraft utilization.

Related: Southwest Airlines adds new Hawaii route, connects Sarasota and Savannah to its ‘hubs’

The new flights are already on sale. Fares to Orlando start at roughly $250 for a one-way coach ticket and $1,500 for a one-way lie-flat business-class pod.

For now, award availability remains quite good in coach. You can redeem 30,000 HawaiianMiles for a one-way coach ticket. Saver-level business-class awards, however, are harder to find. Some dates are available starting at 40,000 HawaiianMiles each way, with other dates topping out at 130,000 HawaiianMiles each way.

You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards directly to Hawaiian at a 1:1 ratio. While Hawaiian doesn't belong to any major alliance, the carrier does have some frequent flyer partnerships with various airlines, including JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic.

New Hawaiian flight schedules:

Long Beach (LGB) — Kahului, Maui (OGG)

  • HA 72 OGG-LGB 12:45 p.m. — 8:05 p.m.
  • HA 71 LGB-OGG 8:35 a.m. — 12:35 p.m.

Orlando (MCO) — Honolulu (HNL)

  • HA 86 HNL-MCO 5:15 p.m. - 7 a.m. (+1)
  • HA 85 MCO-HNL 8:15 a.m. - 2:05 p.m.

Ontario (ONT) — Honolulu (HNL)

  • HA 74 HNL-ONT 1:05 p.m. -- 9:35 p.m.
  • HA 73 ONT-HNL 9:05a a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

Austin (AUS) — Honolulu (HNL)

  • HA 82 HNL-AUS 10 a.m. — 10:10 p.m.
  • HA 81 AUS-HNL 10:10 a.m. — 1:30 p.m.
Featured image by Jon Brown