Hawaiian Airlines Returns To New Zealand After 2 Years Break

After more than two years, Hawaiian Airlines has restarted direct flights between Honolulu and Auckland in New Zealand. The last time Hawaiian Airlines operated the Auckland to Honolulu route was on March 21, 2020, with services later suspended due to COVID border restrictions.

Hawaiian Airlines (Hawaiian) flight HA446 was scheduled to leave Auckland International Airport (AKL) at 23:55 yesterday, although a minor delay saw it go at 00:27 today. The flight was operated by an Airbus A330-200, registration N360HA, landing at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) at 10:34. The service will operate three times weekly, departing Honolulu on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday for the 8:10 hour flight to Auckland. Last night’s A330 return service to Honolulu was full and forward demand is solid, in some periods exceeding 2019 levels.


Hawaiian Airlines is restarting the Auckland route with its 278-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian has a simple fleet, with just three aircraft types. According to, it has 18 Airbus A321-200neos, 24 A330-200s and 19 Boeing B717-200s, with all but four aircraft on active service. It also has 10 Boeing 787-9s on order. It has flights on 49 routes to 31 destinations in seven countries, with an extensive domestic operation in Hawaii. The A330s have a 278-seat, three-class cabin, with 18 Premium Cabin lie-flat leather seats, 68 Extra Comfort seats and 192 Main cabin seats.

It’s great to be back in Aotearoa

Hawaiian’s New Zealand country director, Russells Williss, was at the airport and said it was a great feeling to see the Hawaiian aircraft land again in New Zealand. He added:

“We have missed our Kiwi passengers and we know there are many Kiwis who have missed the Hawaiian Islands. As Hawaii’s hometown carrier, we’re also delighted to be the first airline to reconnect New Zealand with the Hawaiian Islands since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.” reported that when the Hawaiian Airlines A330 arrived in Auckland on Sunday night, it was welcomed back by local kaumatua (Maori society elders) and a mihi whakatau (Maori welcome ceremony) at Auckland airport. Hawaiian brought reverend Kahu Aaron Mahi and hula dancers to bless and celebrate the first take-off. Hawaiian’s director of cultural and community relations, Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, said that “serving the Aotearoa (New Zealand) community had always been a wonderful journey for us, so it’s only natural that we took the suspension of our Auckland services especially hard.”

“We now look forward to helping to reconnect many of us who have been disconnected from our long-time friends, family members and colleagues, and of course to welcoming visitors to come, see and experience our beautiful Hawaiian Islands.”

Hawaiian connects Honolulu nonstop to 16 US hot-spots

The Hawaiian Airlines A330-200 is back gracing the runways of Auckland Airport before the eight-hour flight to Honolulu. Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying

Hawaii is also a popular transit point for New Zealanders and Australians for onward travel to the US. Hawaiian connects with direct flights to 16 US destinations, including New York City, Boston, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orlando and Seattle. It also has codeshare agreements with major international airlines, particularly those located around the Pacifc Rim region.

Currently, travelers to the US from New Zealand need to show their international vaccination certificate at check-in, sign an attestation regarding their vaccination status and a contact tracing form containing their accommodation details in Hawaii. They do not need a pre-departure COVID test before boarding.

It will be very interesting to see how Auckland Airport handles the next few weeks with Air New Zealand restarting 14 international routes in 16 days, plus the restart of Hawaiian’s services. Will Auckland break the global pattern, or will it will be chaos?

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