Hawaiian Airlines Launches Non-Stop to Auckland, New Zealand
By Sonia Isotov
Hawaiian Airlines’ new non-stop service to Auckland, New Zealand was introduced today with remarks by Governor Neil Abercrombie, as well as Hawaiian music and hula in a performance honoring the Maori culture and with the traditional Hawaiian blessing.
Among the VIP guests on the inaugural HA445 flight were seven crew members of the traditional Hawaiian sailing canoe Hokule`a, whose groundbreaking 1985 voyage from Hawaii to Waitangi is known to have reintroduced the practice of celestial navigation to the Maori culture. The group was led by Hokule`a and Polynesian Voyaging Society captain Nainoa Thompson.
Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie provided send-off remarks at today’s inaugural festivities as Hawaiian becomes the only US carrier flying into Auckland.
According to a company spokesperson, Hawaiian’s market research indicates that non-stop service will release pent-up demand in New Zealand for a Hawai’i vacation. There are currently 30% fewer arrivals from New Zealand than in 1999 when the two destinations were served by more non-stop flights.
“Hawai’i is a perfect midpoint destination for the kind of extended vacation that New Zealanders prefer, and we are ideally situated to offer dual-destination holidays and easy connections from Auckland to places like San Francisco, Las Vegas or New York City,” said Mike Dunkerley, the president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Airlines, in a press statement today.
The statement went on to say that Hawaiian will operate three flights a week between Honolulu and Auckland using a 294-seat A330-200 aircraft. Hawaiian’s Flight HA 445 will depart Honolulu International Airport at 1:45 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, cross the international dateline, and land at Auckland Airport at 9:55 p.m. the following day.
Hawaiian’s Flight HA 446 will depart Auckland at 11:55 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, cross the international dateline, and arrive in Honolulu at 9:45 a.m. the same day.