Hawaiian Airlines plans to restore more of its lucrative Japanese network following the relaxation of entry restrictions to the East Asian country.
The carrier, which offered six nonstop routes to Japan prior to the pandemic, will resume daily flights from Honolulu (HNL) to Tokyo Haneda (HND) from Aug. 1, having suspended regular service at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.
Flights from Honolulu to Tokyo Narita (NRT) and Osaka Kansai (KIX)—which currently operate 3X-weekly and 1X-weekly respectively—will also increase to daily during August.
“Japan is the centerpiece international market for Hawaii, and we’re excited to bring back more flights and encouraged by the progressive easing of travel restrictions by the Japanese government,” said Theo Panagiotoulias, SVP of global sales and alliances for Hawaiian Airlines.
“Demand from Japan has been steady, but we anticipate strong interest for leisure travel in the coming months and look forward to welcoming more visitors safely and responsibly.”
Japan has been slow to lift its COVID-19 entry rules but last week announced plans to ease the restrictions for visitors from 98 countries and regions. From June 1, the number of daily foreign arrivals will be increased to 20,000 and from June 10 tour groups will be allowed to enter the country.
However, travelers will be divided into three risk categories to determine whether or not they can bypass quarantine measures. Countries and regions designated as red will still be required to take an arrival PCR test and self-isolate.
Before the coronavirus crisis, Hawaiian was the second-largest operator of capacity between Hawaii and Japan behind joint venture partner Japan Airlines (JAL). All Nippon Airways, Delta Air Lines, Airasia X, United Airlines and Korean Airlines also served the market.
Figures provided by OAG Schedules Analyser for the week commencing Jan. 13, 2020, show that Hawaiian offered some 19,460 two-way seats, accounting for 25% of the market.
As well as flying from Honolulu to Haneda, Narita and Osaka, Hawaiian also served HNL to Fukuoka (FUK) and Sapporo New Chitose (CTS), and from Kona (KOA) to Haneda. Hawaiian has not yet announced dates for service resumption of HNL-Fukuoka, HNL-Sapporo or Kona-Haneda.