Following a five year break in service, Honolulu based Hawaiian Airlines has announced that it is looking to bring back its non-stop service between Fukuoka, Japan and Honolulu, Hawaii using A330s.
First launched in April 2012, the Fukuoka-Honolulu route was suspended by Hawaiian in 2014 following disappointing passenger numbers. However, with Delta Airlines announcing that they are dropping the route starting May 7th, Hawaiian has decided to get back in and try to make the route profitable.
Delta is reducing flights out of Japan
Delta’s move follows a decision on how how to best deploy its Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. The SkyTeam Alliance member has used it to serve the two Pacific cities since 2011.
Delta’s dropping of the daily Fukuoka-Honolulu flight is the latest in a number of Japan flight reductions by the US based carrier.
“We are resizing and re-gauging our Pacific [network] and [we] embarked on that journey many, many years ago,” Delta President Glen Hauenstein told Flight Global, “We’re in a really good place in the Pacific right now where we like our portfolio… but we always maintain the ability to re-gauge and resize.”
Subject to government approvals and the ability to secure the right gates and time slots, Hawaiian will relaunch its service with four weekly flights between Honolulu and Fukuoka, starting in November.
Japan is a special place for Hawaiian Airlines
When speaking about its decision to bring back the Honolulu- Fukuoka flights senior vice president for global sales and alliances at Hawaiian Airlines Theo Panagiotoulias said in a press release,
“We are eager to bring travellers in Fukuoka and throughout Kyushu our warm Hawaiian hospitality along with the convenience of non-stop flights to Hawaii.” “Japan is a special place to Hawaiian and Hawaii, and we are excited to make both island chains more accessible for our guests.”
Hawaiian Airlines already has a strong relationship with Japan, with flights from the island’s to Osaka, Sapporo and Narita in Tokyo. They are hoping that the new non-stop service to Fukuoka will complement the network they already have in place.
What passengers can expect on board Hawaiian A330’s
Passengers travelling between HNL and FUK will be able to enjoy their flight aboard Hawaiian’s spacious fuel-efficient wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft.
All 192 economy class seats are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration, with every passenger getting their own LCD touch-screen monitor. Hawaiian also offers 68 enhanced comfort seats with more legroom and amenities, and in business class there are 18 lie-flat leather seats in a 2-2-2 layout, which is appealing to couples and honeymooners.
All passengers on-board the new HNL-FUK flights will be treated to Hawaiian Airlines award-winning inflight meals, prepared by some of the island’s top chefs including Food Network star Chef Lee Anne Wong.
Will the Honolulu-Fukuoka be successful for Hawaiian Airlines?
Time will, of course, tell whether or not the revived route will be successful, but given Hawaiian Airlines previous experience and the fact that Delta is abandoning its daily flights between FUK and HNL, it certainly looks promising.