Hawaiian Airlines is returning to Sydney after a 21-month hiatus, resuming their popular flights in mid-December. Hawaiian’s return coincides with Australia beginning to reopen its borders and a raft of other airlines either increasing frequencies or returning to Sydney.
Five Hawaiian flights a week from December 13
Commencing December 13, Hawaiian Airlines will start sending one of its Airbus A330-200s to Sydney five times a week. HA451 will depart Honolulu’s Daniel K Inouye International Airport at 11:50 every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
After ten hours and 45 minutes in the air, HA451 will touch down in Sydney at 19:45 the following day. The return flight, HA452, will push back from Sydney at 21:40 every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from December 15.
HA452 will land in Honolulu at 10:35 the following morning. Hawaiian’s A330-200 aircraft comfortably seat 278 passengers, including 192 in economy class, 68 in Hawaiian’s version of long-haul premium economy, and 18 passengers in business class.
“We are thrilled to reconnect Hawaiʻi and Australia and have been encouraged by the public’s response to Australia’s national vaccination program, enabling the reopening of borders,” said Andrew Stanbury, regional director for Australia and New Zealand at Hawaiian Airlines.
“Hawaiʻi is a hugely popular holiday destination for Australians, and we know many people have been keenly waiting to take a Hawaiian vacation.”
Hawaiian Airlines the market leader on a popular route
Mr Stanbury has got that right. In 2019, the last year of clear flying, 599,493 people flew nonstop in either direction between Hawai‘i and Australia. Airlines usually on the route, including Hawaiian, Jetstar, and Qantas, offered a total of 2,340 flights in 2019.
In addition to the nonstop flights, airlines like Fiji Airways and Air New Zealand offer handy one-stop options between Hawai‘i and Australia.
In 2019, Hawaiian Airlines provided 1,028 (or 43.3%) of the 2,340 flights available on the sector that year. The airline flew 117,270 passengers to Honolulu in 2019 from its two Australian ports, enjoying an average passenger load of 82.4%.
On its Australia-bound legs, Hawaiian Airlines carried 111,023 passengers in 2019, with an average passenger load of 78.0%. Business was slightly better on the airline’s Hawai‘i-bound flights than Australia-bound flights.
What Hawaiian Airlines is not doing in December is resuming flights to its second Australian destination, Brisbane. While Sydney and Honolulu Airports are about to roll out the welcome mat to vaccinated international travelers, Brisbane Airport hasn’t yet.
Get your boarding pass to the flight of the year. The Future Flying Forum is taking off soon!
Hawaiian Airlines skips Brisbane
Hawai‘i will start welcoming back fully vaccinated travelers on November 1. Travelers must show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of their departure for Hawai‘i.
Likewise, New South Wales and its capital, Sydney, are dropping their quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers on November 1. New South Wales is also lifting its cap on the number of international travelers allowed to fly in.
Initially, Australia’s borders will be open for Australians only, but the welcome mat is expected to be rolled out to all fully vaccinated travelers by the end of the year. Hawaiian’s return to Sydney coincides nicely with that timeline.
There’s no such luck for Brisbane Airport. The Queensland Government has declined to fix a date for dropping quarantine requirements there for international arrivals. The Government says that will only happen when vaccination targets are met.
Consequently, airlines like Hawaiian are bypassing the Queensland capital, preferring the more welcoming climate in Sydney.