MIAMI – Today, Hawaiian Airlines (HA) began its Orlando service, connecting the Aloha state to the airline’s third East Coast destination.

The flight, operated by one of the airline’s 24 Airbus A330-200s, was greeted in Orlando with a water salute, as is customary with inaugural flights. N383HA arrived at 7 am after a long 8 hour, 25-minute flight. HA uses terminal A at MCO.

The new route complements the airline’s existing services to Boston and New York City on the East Coast. The twice-weekly service will bring travelers from one of the largest markets of travelers with no other direct flights to Hawaii.

Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A321neo | Photo: Andrew Henderson/Airways

Expansion from the Aloha State

Hawaiian Airlines has been progressively growing to mainland US airports on both the East and West coasts using their Airbus A330 fleet for long haul flights and new Airbus A321neo aircraft on shorter flights.

On Wednesday, HA also began service connecting Maui and Long Beach in California. The service is the second flight from Long Beach to Hawaii, and will be operated using Airbus A321neos with a flight time of roughly six hours.

Commenting on the new route to Long Beach, Brent Overbeek, senior vice president of revenue management and network planning at Hawaiian Airlines stated, “Long Beach has been an incredibly popular gateway for our visitors and Hawai‘i residents traveling to Southern California, and we are pleased to make it even more convenient for our guests to travel between Long Beach and Maui with our new daily nonstop service,”

Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 | Photo: Luca Flores/Airways

Trouble in Paradise

Despite HA’s continuous growth this year, the airline struggled significantly last year during strict lockdowns by the Hawaiian state government. 

The airline was forced to suspend most long haul flights in March as lockdowns ensued. Service to its mainland US destinations and international destinations including Tokyo, Osaka in Japan and Seoul in South Korea only resumed in October.

HA reported a 72% downturn in capacity during Q4 of 2020 compared to the same period in the previous year. 

In addition, HA was forced to temporarily suspend operations of its subsidiary, ‘Ohana by Hawaiian, in early November due to the extreme downturn in travel. 

Featured Image: Justin Cederholm