Hawaiian Airlines will drop service between Honolulu (HNL) and Orlando (MCO), severing the lone nonstop air connection between the two popular US resort destinations.
With Hawaiian’s Asia-weighted international network largely grounded during much of the COVID-19 pandemic, the carrier added two longer-haul domestic routes from HNL in spring 2021: Austin (AUS) in Texas and MCO.
The HNL-MCO route has been operated 2X-weekly by Hawaiian using an Airbus A330 aircraft for just over a year. At a flight time of around 9 hr. 30 min., the route is one of the world’s longest domestic routes, just about 350 km short of the around 8,000-km Hawaiian routes from Boston (BOS) and New York Kennedy (JFK) to HNL.
Hawaiian is the only carrier operating the HNL-MCO route, but will end the service from Sept. 8.
“We have made the decision to suspend our Orlando service after more than a year of serving the central Florida market,” a Hawaiian spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Routes. “This is a result of realigning our network to better meet strong demand in North America and resurgence of international travel. We are grateful for the support from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and the residents of central Florida who warmly welcomed us.”
The airline pointing to the “resurgence of international travel” is likely an indicator that the A330 used on the HNL-MCO route will be switched to more lucrative transpacific flying. For example, the airline is set to return to Tokyo Haneda (HND) with daily A330 service from HNL from Aug. 1. Also during August, Hawaiian will increase HNL-Tokyo Narita (NRT) A330 service from 3X-weekly to daily and HNL-Osaka Kansai (KIX) A330 flights from 1X-weekly to daily.