Hawaiian Airlines Celebrates Anniversary of Service to New Zealand

March 16, 2016, 11:26 AM HST · Updated March 16, 11:26 AM
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Hawaiian launches new non-stop flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Courtesy photo.

Hawaiian launched non-stop flights to Auckland, New Zealand, in March 2013. Courtesy photo.

Hawaiian Airlines is celebrating its third anniversary of service between Auckland and Honolulu International Airports this week.

Since March 2013, the airline’s employees have shared their signature Hawaiian hospitality with more than 180,000 guests on nearly 1,000 direct flights between the two destinations.

Flight HA446, the Hawaiian Airlines anniversary flight, departed Auckland on March 13 and arrived in Honolulu on March 12.

In celebration of the Polynesian connections between Hawai‘i and New Zealand, guests on board were treated to complimentary passes to Honolulu’s Bishop Museum to see historical Hawaiian artifacts loaned by the Te Papa Museum in Wellington. The items, a royal feathered cloak and helmet that belonged to Hawai‘i Island Chief Kalaniōpu’u, were also transported aboard flight HA446.

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To help celebrate the carrier’s success, New Zealand-born Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant Mika Bailey spent a day with her Honolulu ‘ohana to share a taste of marmite, a classic Kiwiana treat.

Russell Williss, Hawaiian Airlines’ country director for New Zealand, said the link between the two Pacific cultures is incredibly strong in areas of art, language and hospitality, though a Kiwi institution such as marmite might take a while to catch on in Hawai‘i.

“Hawaiian has shared the aloha spirit with Kiwis over the past three years, so we thought it was only fair we shared a bit of classic Kiwiana with the Honolulu team,”said Williss. “It’s hard to say whether or not it went down as a treat—the crew were good sports, but I think they’ll be sticking to traditional Hawaiian fare like poi and poke.”

Reactions to the country’s “favourite” spread might have been mixed, (see the video here), but Hawaiian Airlines’ commitment to the New Zealand market is as positive as ever, with the number of Kiwis traveling to the Aloha State more than doubling since 2013 from 25,000 to 63,7061.

“We are extremely proud of the impact Hawaiian Airlines has had on the market and pleased with the double-digit growth in tourism that we’ve seen in visitors from New Zealand,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. “We’ve played a significant role increasing competition and lowering fares, making Hawai῾i and the United States more accessible for Kiwis and making New Zealand more accessible to Americans. We are looking forward to the years ahead.”

Hawaiian Airlines provides three-times weekly direct flights from Auckland to Honolulu, departing on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Hawaiian brings the Mainland US closer with its connections to 11 destinations, including Las Vegas and New York.

Hawaiian Airlines serves the market with its A330 aircraft, offering popular, state-of-the-art amenities.

By 2017, Hawaiian will further enhance the travel experience aboard the A330 by introducing 180-degree lie-flat seats and adding 28 more Extra Comfort seats for a total of 68.

Extra Comfort features five more inches of legroom; priority boarding at the gate; complimentary on-demand in-seat entertainment; and a personal power outlet. The first newly outfitted aircraft will enter Hawaiian’s long-haul network in the second quarter of 2016.

Now in its 87th year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawai’i’s largest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its primary visitor markets on the US Mainland.

For more information, go online.

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