Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) yesterday (November 27) continued its expansion into new international markets, with the launch of nonstop service to Brisbane, Australia, capital city of the State of Queensland.
Passengers on the inaugural flight departing Honolulu enjoyed a festive island-style send-off, featuring live Hawaiian music and hula, a traditional Hawaiian blessing by Kahu Richard Kamanu of Kaumakapili Church, and fresh flower lei upon boarding.
Brisbane is the second gateway city in Australia for the carrier. Hawaiian also offers nonstop daily flights between Sydney and Honolulu using its 294-seat, wide-body, twin-aisle Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Hawaiian is the only U.S. carrier serving Brisbane, giving travelers in Hawai’i and throughout North America a convenient new travel alternative for experiencing the scenic beauty of Queensland – Australia’s “Sunshine State.”
Centrally located on Australia’s east coast, Brisbane is the gateway to a host of appealing sites and attractions for visitors to enjoy, including the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, world heritage listed rainforests, the iconic Outback territory, and the renowned leisure destinations of Australia’s Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
Hawaiian’s Flight HA 443 will depart Honolulu at 10:20 a.m. (1020) every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, cross the international dateline, and arrive in Brisbane at 4:00 p.m. (1600) the following day.
Starting November 28, the return flight HA 444 will depart Brisbane at 6:35 p.m. (1835) every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, cross the international dateline, and arrive in Honolulu at 8:05 a.m. (0805) the same day.
Hawaiian will operate its Honolulu-Brisbane service offering the comfort and roominess of its wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft, seating 264 passengers in a two-class cabin, with 18 in Business Class and 246 in the Main Cabin.
The inaugural flight from Honolulu to Brisbane is also honoring the famed transpacific flight of the Southern Cross, which in June 1928 – the year before Hawaiian was founded – became the first aircraft to fly from Hawai’i to Brisbane.
Originating from Oakland, California, the Southern Cross captured international headlines with its successful completion of the world’s longest journey by air at the time.
Flown by Australian aviation pioneers Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm, the tri-engine Fokker monoplane took approximately 83 hours to fly from Kaua’i to Brisbane’s Eagle Farm airfield, stopping en route in Fiji for the pilots to take a one-day rest break.
In honor of Kingsford Smith and Ulm’s pioneering flight, Hawaiian has placed a commemorative image of the Southern Cross near the cockpit window of the Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft operating the inaugural flight.
Brisbane is the seventh of eight new destinations that Hawaiian has introduced or announced new service to since November 2010, following Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Sapporo, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; and New York City. Hawaiian will launch service to Auckland, New Zealand, on March 13, 2013.
Hawaiian’s continuing growth into new markets and expansion of existing operations in North America has been fueled by its long-haul fleet renewal and expansion program that began in June 2010. Since then, the company has welcomed nine new Airbus A330-200 aircraft to its fleet, and is scheduled to introduce 13 more A330s into service between 2013 and 2015.
Copyright Photo: PRNewsFoto/Hawaiian Airlines. Capt. Todd Mihara flashes a “shaka” sign, signaling ‘all clear’ from the cockpit of Hawaiian Airlines’ inaugural flight to Brisbane, Australia moments before departure from Honolulu on November 27. Below the cockpit window of Boeing 767-3CB ER N588HA (msn 33466) is a commemorative image of the Southern Cross in tribute to the pioneering flight between Hawaii and Brisbane in 1928, piloted by Australian aviators Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm. Sister ship N589HA also wears the special logo.