Hawaiian Airlines will add its fifth Japan gateway in June when it launches service three times a week to Sendai on June 25, pending approval from the Japanese government.
According to Hawaiian Airlines, the new flights will represent the first scheduled service between Sendai and Hawai’i since another carrier left the market in 2004, and among the first new services to be introduced at Sendai Airport since it was closed for more than a month in 2011 due to damage caused by the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Hawaiian’s new Sendai service will connect with and complement its existing service to Sapporo, operating non-stop from Honolulu to Sendai, with one-stop service returning to Honolulu via Sapporo.
“We have been interested in providing service to Honolulu from Sendai for some time,” says Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and chief executive officer. “The city’s airport draws travelers from throughout the Tohoku region, and its peak travel periods complement those of Sapporo to the north.”
Adds Dunkerley: “Our new service will take advantage of these fluctuations by offering each market the majority of available seats when local demand for travel to Hawai’i is highest. This allows us to make the most efficient use of our fleet.”
From June 25, Hawaiian’s Flight HA441 will depart Honolulu International Airport (IATA code HNL) on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 12:15 p.m., cross the international dateline, and will arrive at Sendai Airport (SDJ) at 4:00 p.m. the following day, local time.
The return flight, HA442, will then continue on to Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport (CTS) at 5:55 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, landing at CTS at 7:10 p.m. before departing for Honolulu at 9:10 p.m. The flight will then cross the international dateline and touch down at HNL at 9:50 a.m. the same day, local time.
Hawaiian will operate the Honolulu-Sendai-Sapporo flights using its fleet of twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER jets, which seat up to 264 passengers.
The airline will announce the start of ticket sales for its new Sendai service at a later date, after receiving approval from Japan’s government for the service.
Sendai is the largest city in the Tohoku region of northern Honshu, which has a population of more than 9 million. Sendai is known in Japan as “Mori no Miyako,” or Forest City, for the many green spaces in its city center.
The city is also known for its high-quality rice and for its summer Tanabata Festival, which draws thousands of visitors from across Japan.
Sendai is the 10th new destination that Hawaiian has introduced or announced in less than three years.
The planned new Sendai service follows Hawaiian’s launching service to Tokyo in November 2010, Seoul in January 2011, Osaka in July 2011, Fukuoka in April 2012, New York in June 2012, Sapporo in October 2012, and Brisbane in November 2012.
Hawaiian Airlines has also previously announced it will launch service to Auckland in New Zealand on March 13, and to Taiwan’s capital Taipei in July.