Hawaiian Airlines Begins Suspending Long Haul Flights to and From Hawai‘i, Effective Thursday

March 22, 2020, 3:22 PM HST · Updated March 22, 3:30 PM
Wendy Osher · 54 Comments
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Hawaiian Airlines will begin suspending long-haul flights to and from Hawaiʻi, effective Thursday, March 26, 2020, the company has confirmed. The company website states that Hawaiian Airlines will keep a network that will continue to provide vital connectivity for guests traveling “within the state.”

As of 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 23, 2019, the company website had listed an exception stating:

“We will maintain our regular flight schedule through Wednesday to allow guests to return home before we begin suspending most of our North America and International routes for the remainder of March, except for one daily nonstop flight between Honolulu (HNL) and Los Angeles (LAX) and one weekly HNL-American Samoa (PPG) flight.”

The exceptions are “in order to provide a baseline of out-of-state access,” according to a company press release.  The airline plans to evaluate its transpacific cargo network and says it may provide passenger access on any additional flights for travelers willing to undergo the mandated self-imposed quarantine.

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The company also reports plans to reduce its Neighbor Island schedule – “starting with the suspension of ‘Ohana by Hawaiian service between Honolulu and Kapalua in West Maui effective March 25.”

Interisland cargo service will continue uninterrupted using Boeing 717 jets and a turboprop fleet operated by ‘Ohana by Hawaiian.

The impending suspension is attributed to quarantine restrictions put in place by the state of Hawaiʻi. The mandatory 14-day quarantine applies to anyone arriving in the state–both visitors and residents alike–and goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020.  The quarantine will be in effect until further notice.

During Saturday’s press conference, company President and CEO Peter Ingram said, “Our responsibility to our guests is to make sure we get them back home.  This includes both guests that are here now and residents who are traveling and want to return to Hawaiʻi.  We understand that this action is motivated by a desire to restrict travel to and from our state. We anticipate adjusting our domestic and international flying schedules to a ‘bare bones level’ after Wednesday.

The company reports that the quarantine has necessitated near-term adjustments to Hawaiian’s long-haul schedules.

“We are in a period of breathtaking change and disruption for our industry and the world. Hawaiian Airlines is committed to managing this situation with mālama (care) for the well-being of our guests, our employees and our community,” the company stated on its website on Sunday afternoon.

Hawaiian continues to experience what it calls “an unprecedented volume of calls” from guests and is asking that only those with “immediate travel needs” contact the airline for assistance. Options to reach Hawaiian’s reservations team, make online changes to tickets, and details on available travel waivers are available here.

“As Hawai’i’s airline, we take our role to connect the islands with each other and with the U.S. mainland very seriously. This schedule is designed to maintain a minimum level of connectivity for residents’ important needs,” said Ingram. “We will be ready to resume our schedule when the quarantine has been lifted.”

The company is currently providing updates on the rapidly changing situation and its impacts on the airline through its website at the following direct link.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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