Hawaiian Airlines pips Air NZ with launch fares
Hawaiian Airlines is undercutting Air New Zealand with its introductory-price roundtrip fares to Hawaii.
The airline will match the service offered by Air New Zealand when it starts flying non-stop between Auckland and Honolulu three times a week from March – adding 40,000 seats a year on the route.
Introductory fares for those flights have been released today, starting at $NZ1075 for an economy-class roundtrip and $3316 for business class.
For travel to the neighbour islands of Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island, economy-class return fares from Auckland start at $1081, while business class is just $3322.
The flights are on sale from today until the end of August for travel between March 16 and June 30 next year, with some peak-period exclusions.
An Air New Zealand return economy flight from Auckland to Honolulu, based on seats available on the airline’s website today for travel on the week from March 16, looks likely to be priced around $1382. Business class would be about $5100.
Hawaiian Airlines says Hawaii was an underserved market for New Zealand travellers.
“Our introductory fares are designed not only to launch Hawaiian Airlines into the New Zealand market, but to build awareness of the destination and to reinforce that it is affordable, accessible and ready to greet New Zealanders looking for the perfect holiday,” executive vice-president and chief commercial officer Peter Ingram says.
The number of New Zealand travellers to Hawaii has dropped 30% compared to 1999. This has been attributed to a reduction in capacity and relatively higher fares than flying to the US mainland.
Hawaiian is also offering introductory rates to the US mainland, so New Zealanders can combine their Hawaii escape with a visit to a choice of 11 cities, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York.
Return fares start at $1694 for economy class and $4235 for business-class flights from Auckland to 10 mainland cities (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, San Diego and Phoenix).
Introductory fares also are available from Auckland to New York City from $1894 in Economy class and $4535 in business class.
Hawaii is a more convenient and relaxed arrival point in the US, where security measures have put many off and made Canada a more attractive alternative.
Hawaiian airlines is a full-service airline and will operate its New Zealand flights with wide-body Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, seating 264 passengers – 18 in business and 240 in economy. This is similar to Air New Zealand’s service.
Air New Zealand offers a direct New Zealand to Honolulu service and will increase capacity on the route by 50% to three times a week in October.
Jetstar reinstates Hawaii service
Jetstar is restoring its Melbourne-Honolulu direct service as part of moves that will add 19,000 seats a month to three destination.
The Honolulu service will operate thrice weekly from December 15, using its 310-seat Airbus A330 aircraft. Hawaiian Airlines will start a Brisbane service in November.