Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) yesterday (June 25) launched its inaugural flight from Honolulu to Sendai, its fifth gateway in Japan and 10th new international destination it has introduced or announced in less than three years.
Passengers of the inaugural flight enjoyed a festive island-style send-off at Honolulu International Airport before boarding, featuring Hawaiian music and hula, a traditional Hawaiian blessing, presentation of fresh flower lei, and a special performance honoring the Japanese culture.
Copyright Photo: Hawaiian Airlines Customer Service Agents Starlynn Kuaana (left) and Charael Perry (right) greet passengers with lei as they board the inaugural flight from Honolulu to Sendai today. Sendai is Hawaiian Airlines’ fifth gateway in Japan and 10th new international destination it has announced or introduced in less than three years. (PRNewsFoto/Hawaiian Airlines).
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 its many green spaces in its city center. It is also known for its high quality rice and for its summer Tanabata Festival, which draws thousands of visitors from across Japan.
Hawaiian’s Honolulu-Sendai service is 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 flight HA 441 departs Honolulu International Airport on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 12:55 p.m. (1255), cross the international dateline, and arrive at Sendai International Airportat 4:30 p.m. (1630) the following day. The return flight HA 442 will then continue to Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport at 5:45 p.m. (1745) on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving at New Chitose at 7:00 p.m. (1900) before departing to Honolulu at 9:10 p.m. (2110), crossing the international dateline and arriving in Honolulu at 9:50 a.m. (0950) the same day.
Hawaiian operates the Honolulu-Sendai-Sapporo flights using its fleet of Boeing 767-300E R aircraft that seat up to 264 passengers.
The addition of Sendai to Hawaiian’s international network follows the launches of 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, Brisbane in November 2012 and Auckland in March 2013. Hawaiian previously announced new service to Taipei, Taiwan in July 2013. New nonstop service will begin between Honolulu and Beijing, China in April 2014, subject to government approvals.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-33A ER N591HA (msn 33423) arrives in Los Angeles.