Southwest Airlines celebrated its inaugural Hawaiian flight from Oakland, California, to Honolulu, with a blessing, hula dancers and more.
Sandy Hooper, USA TODAY
Aloha! Hawaiian Airlines’ service from Boston to Honolulu has officially begun.
The airline’s Flight 90 made history Friday as the country’s longest interstate route, traveling from Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) on Thursday and arriving at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) on Friday morning.
Hawaiian Airlines announced the new route in September.
Boston was the biggest U.S. market that didn’t have nonstop service to Hawaii before today. Going west, from Boston to Honolulu, the flight runs approximately 11.5 hours, and Honolulu to Boston runs about 10 hours. Travelers will fly 5,095 miles.
“On behalf of the Commonwealth, we are pleased to welcome Hawaiian Airlines to Massachusetts,’” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement. “This new service will provide access to new markets for businesses and connect two exciting destinations for travelers in both states.” One such business is the seafood industry. On Flight HA89, which left Boston for Honolulu Friday morning, one-and-a-half tons of live lobster were aboard.
Approximately 127,000 people from New England traveled to Hawaii in 2018, per the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
“Providing nonstop service from one of our largest mainland markets will be a welcomed opportunity for our residents and visitors who will now have more options to travel,” Chris Tatum, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority said in a statement. “We congratulate Hawaii’s hometown airline and look forward to helping make this route successful.”
Flights to Hawaii have been the talk of the industry: Southwest Airlines’ Hawaii service debuted last month, giving the nation’s largest domestic carrier a footprint in the vacation hot spot.
But once the flights went on sale, travelers trying to snag cheap tickets to Honolulu or Maui from cities including Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis turned to social media and the airline’s reservations center in droves to find out why they could book a flight to Hawaii but weren’t finding any flights home.
The issue? Southwest’s initial, limited flight schedule from Hawaii to California doesn’t get passengers into California in time to catch Southwest flights to most cities east of California.
Contributing: Dawn Gilbertson
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