Hawaii Welcomes First Kiwi Travelers in Two-Plus Years

Written by Juergen T Steinmetz

Hawaiian Airlines this weekend resumed its three-times-weekly service between Auckland Airport (AKL) and Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), welcoming the first Kiwi travelers to Hawaiʻi in two-plus years.

HA445 resumed on July 2 and will depart HNL on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays at 2:25 p.m. and arrive at AKL at 9:45 p.m. the next day. HA446 resumed today, July 4, and will depart AKL on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 11:55 p.m. with a 10:50 a.m. same-day arrival at HNL, allowing guests to settle in and explore O‘ahu or connect to any Hawaiian Airlines’ four Neighbor Island destinations. 

“As Hawaiʻi’s hometown carrier, we are delighted to be the first airline to reconnect New Zealand with the Hawaiian Islands since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are seeing strong demand – with some travel periods surpassing 2019 levels – proving that Hawaiʻi has remained a top-of-mind destination for New Zealand travelers,” said Russell Williss, country director of New Zealand at Hawaiian Airlines. “It’s been a joy to reunite with our Kiwi guests, and we look forward to serving them with the same warm Hawaiian hospitality and award-winning service they know, love and miss.”

The carrier commemorated its momentous return with live entertainment, gifts, and a Hawaiian Oli and blessing before both HA445 and HA446 departures. Hawaiian Airlines employees and guests on HA445 were welcomed back to Auckland by Māori roopu (cultural group), who performed a traditional Mihi Whakatau (welcome back ceremony) and cultural exchange of hospitality outside the arrival gate.

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