Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Hawaiian Airlines today commenced nonstop flights between Brisbane and Honolulu, flying three times weekly to Hawaii and beyond to eleven U.S. mainland cities.
In doing so, Hawaiian also will become the only U.S. airline to operate flights to the Queensland capital.
The airline's inaugural flight from Honolulu to Brisbane, flight HA 443, departed early this morning (Wednesday), and is due to touch down in Brisbane at 4:00 p.m. Hawaiian's first flight from Brisbane, HA 444, is scheduled to depart at 7:35 p.m. after a launch ceremony which includes hula dancing and a traditional Hawaiian blessing of the aircraft.
Hawaiian's inaugural flight also recalls the famed transpacific flight of the Southern Cross, which in June 1928 – the year before Hawaiian Airlines was founded – became the first aircraft to fly from Hawai'i to Brisbane. Originating from Oakland, California, the Southern Cross captured international headlines with its successful completion of the world's longest journey by air at the time.
Flown by Australian aviation pioneers Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm, the tri-engine Fokker monoplane took approximately 83 hours to journey from Kaua'i to Brisbane's Eagle Farm airfield, stopping en route in Fiji for the pilots to take a one-day rest break.
Today's Inaugural flight to Honolulu is expected to take nine hours and 15 minutes.
In honour of Kingsford Smith and Ulm's feat, Hawaiian has placed a commemorative image of the Southern Cross near the cockpit window of the Boeing 767-300ER aircraft operating today's flight.
Mark Dunkerley, president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Airlines, noted the historic flight of the Southern Cross occurred just over one year before Hawaiian's own first flight – a much shorter journey from Honolulu on the island of Oahu to Ma'alaea on the neighbor island of Maui.
"The flight by Kingsford Smith and Ulm was a pioneering journey, which not only proved the capabilities of the Southern Cross but demonstrated to the world the whole concept of long distance air travel" said Mr. Dunkerley.
"Today, more than 84 years later, I am delighted to be in Brisbane to welcome our own inaugural flight from Hawaii to the Queensland capital, and to celebrate the commencement of our new scheduled services from Brisbane to Honolulu," he said.
"Not only do we now offer the only nonstop flights between Brisbane and Hawaii, we offer authentic Hawaiian service, enabling our customers to start their Hawaii holiday the moment they set foot aboard our aircraft."
Hawaiian Airlines Commences Brisbane – Honolulu flights, P 2 of 2
Hawaiian Airlines already operates daily flights between Sydney and Honolulu, with connections from throughout Australia with partner airline Virgin Australia. Mr. Dunkerley said continued strong growth in demand for travel from Australia to Hawaii convinced Hawaiian to introduce more flights.
"Last year, 189,000 Australians visited Hawaii – more than double the number who visited before we started flying to Australia in 2004," Mr. Dunkerley said. "We selected Brisbane as our second Australia gateway not only because of the high number of Queenslanders visiting Hawaii, but also because Brisbane Airport is perfectly positioned as a gateway for passengers from throughout Australia," he said.
Hawaiian's flights will depart Brisbane at 6.35 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, crossing the international dateline and arriving in Honolulu at 8:05 a.m. the same day, enabling travellers to check into their Waikiki hotels mid-morning or to continue on connecting Hawaiian Airlines flights to Hawaii's neighbor islands or to 11 U.S. mainland cities, including Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York and Seattle.
The Brisbane flights will depart at a convenient time for residents of south east Queensland, and will enable travellers from regional Queensland and interstate destinations to make same-day connections to Hawaii. As well, Hawaiian's 4:00 p.m. arrival back into Brisbane enables passengers from regional and interstate destinations to connect with early evening flights to their home ports.
In addition to the three services each week from Brisbane, Hawaiian also will operate 18 supplementary flights between March and May, 2013, to explore new schedule options which enable travellers from the U.S. mainland to fly to Brisbane via Honolulu.
"Brisbane is a gateway not only to south east Queensland but to the rest of the Sunshine State, from the Great Barrier Reef to the legendary outback, both of which are iconic and popular drawcards for visitors from the United States," Mr. Dunkerley said. "Our Brisbane services will add more than 41,000 seats annually between Australia and Hawaii and increase our total capacity from Australia by 38 percent."
Hawaiian's Brisbane flights will be operated with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, seating 264 passengers in a two class cabin – 18 in Business Class and 246 in Economy Class. In addition to authentic Hawaiian hospitality in flight, Hawaiian's air fares from Brisbane will include meals, refreshments, blankets and mainscreen video entertainment. As well, all passengers flying Hawaiian Airlines from Australia are entitled to a free checked baggage allowance of two items, each weighing up to 32 kilograms – one of the most generous checked baggage allowances in the airline industry.
In addition to its own HawaiianMiles loyalty programme, Hawaiian Airlines is a partner in Velocity, the Virgin Australia frequent flyer programme, enabling Velocity members to earn or redeem mileage points on Hawaiian Airlines flights.
For more information about Hawaiian Airlines or to book contact travel agents, call Hawaiian Airlines on 1300 669 106 or visit www.hawaiianairlines.com.au
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past eight years (2004-2011) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the highest of all domestic airlines serving Hawaii. Now in its 84th year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawaii's biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland.
Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities (11) than any other airline, along with service from Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. New nonstop service between Honolulu and Auckland, New Zealand will begin in March 2013. Hawaiian also provides approximately 170 daily jet flights between the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA).