The island state of Hawai’i is preparing to welcome more visitors to the island as it lifts its 14-day quarantine rule for some passengers. The islands’ carrier, Hawaiian Airlines, will resume more flights to the mainland states to prepare more visitors. The network expansions come as the airline begins offering new ways to get tested for COVID-19 before flying.
Hawaiian Airlines recently launched a new initiative of drive-through testing, which it hopes will encourage people to visit the island. The drive-through testing will launch in set locations in the mainland states, and anyone with a negative test result will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Hawai’i.
Both the airline and state hope this reassurance will see more people looking to travel to Hawai’i. The airline announced this week it would be launching more flights to meet the potential rise in demand. In a statement on its website, the airline said,
“We’re encouraged by the positive response to the state’s decision to welcome travelers back to Hawai’i, and we are resuming service to key markets to give our guests more options to visit our islands,”
The airline resumed its non-stop service from Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport earlier this week. At the start of November, the airline will then resume its flights to Oakland, Phoenix, and San Jose.
If all goes well, from November 10th, the airline will also resume flights from Maui to Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland, Seattle, San Jose, and Sacramento. It will also look to add more flights from Honolulu to Los Angeles, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.
First, the airline’s new drive-through testing sites will be located near to Los Angeles Airport and San Francisco Airport so passengers will be able to get tested before they fly and avoid quarantine.
Hawaiian Airlines testing
Hawaiian Airlines is looking to target more than just US-based passengers. The airline is due to restart flights to Tokyo this week. In its second-quarter results, the airline confirmed that capacity was down around 85% compared to last year. While the airline has accepted loans from the US government to help it through this challenging period, it continues to make cuts to reflect the uncertain situation.
Hawai’i is reliant on tourism for much of its income, and as such, Hawaiian Airlines generally transports leisure passengers. This heavy reliance on one sector of aviation means Hawaiian is going above and beyond to encourage passengers.
As well as it’s new drive-through testing sites, the airline announced this week that it would also offer at-home testing kits for passengers. These kits are delivered in the mail and then shipped overnight to a lab for testing. If passengers receive a negative result, they do not have to quarantine when arriving in Hawai’i.
American Airlines, JetBlue, Air Canada, and United Airlines also offer passenger testing with kits ranging from $50 to $250. If the idea takes off, we may see more airlines offering to test passengers. It is a potential revenue stream as well as a way to give passengers confidence.
What do you think of airlines offering testing kits? Would you be more willing to fly if you could test with your airline ahead of time? Let us know in the comments.