Japan’s All Nippon Airways is continuing its ad hoc flights between Japan and Hawaii throughout October and November. The airline is running just two services in each direction each month using Boeing 787 Dreamliners. It’s a far cry from the heady days when All Nippon Airways deployed their eyecatching A380s on the route.
All Nippon Airways down to two Hawaii flights a month
According to a press release issued by All Nippon Airways in late September, the airline will operate two services in each direction between Haneda and Honolulu in November. The Honolulu bound services will depart on November 6 and 20, tagged as NH186. The return services to Haneda will depart Honolulu on November 7 and 21, tagged as NH185.
The November schedule mirrors the October service to Honolulu. The first flight to Honolulu left Haneda yesterday and is making the return trip today, October 6. The next flight departs Haneda on October 19 and heads back the following day. The airline says the two flights a month are in response to passengers needing to travel for study or work purposes. Yesterday’s flight marked All Nippon Airways’ return to Hawaii after an absence of six months.
Boeing 787-9 aircraft will operate All Nippon Airways’ Hawaii flights. The airline has 12 of the planes in a variety of seat and cabin configurations. The All Nippon Airways 787-9 Dreamliners deployed on international runs seat between 215 and 245 passengers across three cabins. It usually takes just over seven hours to cover the 6,200 kilometers between the two airports.
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Big plans for a vital international route
All Nippon Airways has been flying to Hawaii for several decades now and considers the run down to Honolulu one of its key international routes. In January this year, the airline planned to go double daily to Honolulu using A380s. At the time, All Nippon Airways called the route “increasingly prominent.”
But soon after, as the travel downturn kicked in, All Nippon Airways temporarily scratched its services to Hawaii.
Before this, All Nippon Airways had big plans for Hawaii. In 2020, they had wanted to double the number of seats on the route. Eighteen months ago, the airline was running thrice daily Dreamliners on the route. In May 2019, All Nippon Airways brought one of its colorful A380s onto the run. By January this year, the A380 was operating ten of the 14 scheduled weekly services, and that was set to increase.
Reduced flights come at a big cost to Hawaii
This was on the back of Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport upgrading their infrastructure to handle A380 flights. For its part, All Nippon Airways tipped in US$5 million of their own money, building a couple of lounges at the airport. They were the first All Nippon Airways lounges constructed outside Japan.
Now, after months of closed borders, Hawaii is only just starting to re-open its doors. It may be years before traffic volumes get back to normal on the run between Honolulu and Tokyo. For Hawaii, that’s hundreds of millions of dollars in foregone revenue. Between them, those double daily A380s were predicted to tip $500 million annually into the local economy.
All Nippon Airways advises they are monitoring both demand and border restrictions. The airline says it will continue to take appropriate measures and will resume operations based on the entry and quarantine measures in effect at each destination, including Hawaii.