There’s a reason Japan was Travel + Leisure’s 2018 Destination of the Year — from the snow-laden north to Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing to the tropical islands in the south — the country is as diverse as it gets for a small island nation. And Hawaiian Airlines is hoping to further tap into the popular destination with a new flight between Honolulu and Tokyo.
If all goes as planned, the nonstop flight, which would transport passengers between Honolulu International Airport and Tokyo Haneda Airport, would start next March. The airline was tentatively awarded the possibility of one additional daily flight to Haneda by the U.S. Department of Transportation in May.
Hawaiian Airlines already offers flights between the two destinations — departures from Honolulu are at 4:05 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. and flights leaving Haeda are at 9:20 p.m. and 11:55 p.m. However, according to reporting by The Points Guy, not all of these flights are daily. Currently, Hawaiian holds just one daytime and one nighttime frequency at Haneda, allowing the airline to offer 11 weekly flights from Honolulu and an additional three from Kona.
If the airline’s new flight receives final approval, it would increase their frequency allowance under the U.S.-Japan open skies agreement. In addition to Hawaiian’s new flight, the DOT tentatively awarded American Airlines two new flights to Haneda, Delta Air Lines five, and four for United Airlines.
Hawaiian Airlines’ hope is to grow capacity by 1.5 to 2.5 percent in 2019. The airline is also involved in a pending joint venture with Japan Airlines, which would essentially allow the two airlines to act as one carrier between Japan and Hawaii. Already, Hawaiian’s tentative new flight will allow travelers to travel domestically within Japan via a codeshare with JAL.