Hawaiian Airlines Celebrates Third Anniversary of Auckland Service

Honolulu-based employees treated to a taste of Kiwiana in quirky cultural exchange

HONOLULU – Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii’s largest and longest-serving airline, this week celebrates its third anniversary of service between Auckland and Honolulu International Airports. Since March 2013, the airline’s employees have shared their signature Hawaiian hospitality with more than 180,000 guests on nearly 1,000 direct flights between the two destinations.    

”We are extremely proud of the impact Hawaiian Airlines has had on the market and pleased with the double-digit growth in tourism that we’ve seen in visitors from New Zealand,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. “We’ve played a significant role increasing competition and lowering fares, making Hawai῾i and the United States more accessible for Kiwis and making New Zealand more accessible to Americans.  We are looking forward to the years ahead.”

Hawaiian Airlines offers a three-times weekly direct service from Auckland to Honolulu departing on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and brings mainland USA closer with its offering of easy onward connections to 11 destinations, including Las Vegas and New York.

To toast the carrier’s success, New Zealand-born Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant Mika Bailey spent a day with her Honolulu ‘ohana (family) to share a taste of a classic Kiwiana treat: Marmite. 

Russell Williss, Hawaiian Airlines’ country director for New Zealand, says the link between the two Pacific cultures is incredibly strong in areas of art, language and hospitality, though a Kiwi institution such as Marmite might take a while to catch on in Hawai῾i. 

“Hawaiian has shared the Aloha spirit with Kiwis over the past three years, so we thought it was only fair we shared a bit of classic Kiwiana with the Honolulu team. It’s hard to say whether or not it went down a treat – the crew were good sports but I think they’ll be sticking to traditional Hawaiian fare like poi and poke,” says Williss. 

Reactions to the country’s favourite spread might have been mixed, but Hawaiian Airlines’ commitment to the New Zealand market is as positive as ever, with the number of Kiwis travelling to the Aloha State more than doubling since 2013 from 25,000 to 63,706 .

Hawaiian Airlines serves the market with its A330 aircraft, offering popular amenities including personal high-resolution LCD touch-screen monitors in each seatback, increased legroom, and a roomy interior. The A330’s state-of-the-art entertainment system lets customers choose from a wide range of movies and TV programs; music; and video games; while also offering a USB port for personal media players.    

By 2017, Hawaiian will further enhance the travel experience aboard the A330 by introducing 180-degree lie-flat seats and adding 28 more Extra Comfort seats for a total of 68. Extra Comfort features five more inches of legroom; priority boarding at the gate; complimentary on-demand in-seat entertainment; and a personal power outlet. The first newly outfitted aircraft will enter Hawaiian’s long-haul network in the second quarter of 2016.     

Flight HA446, the Hawaiian Airlines anniversary flight, departed Auckland on March 13 and arrived in Honolulu on March 12. In celebration of the Polynesian connections between Hawaii and New Zealand, guests on board were treated to complimentary passes to Honolulu’s Bishop Museum to see  historical Hawaiian artefacts loaned by the Te Papa Museum in Wellington. The items, a royal feathered cloak and helmet that belonged to Hawaii Island Chief Kalaniōpu‘u, were also transported aboard flight HA446. More information can be found at www.HawaiianAirlines.com/Hawaii-Stories.