Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) yesterday (October 30) launched its inaugural flight from Honolulu to Sapporo, Japan, and restored nonstop service between the two cities that had been discontinued by other carriers nine years earlier.
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 (see above).
The capital city of the island of Hokkaido, Japan’s second-largest and northernmost island, Sapporo is Japan’s fourth-largest city with a population of 1.9 million. Sapporo is renowned for its ski resorts – the city hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics – and the world-famous Sapporo Snow Festival, which annually attracts millions of visitors each February to see its spectacular snow and ice sculptures.
Hawaiian’s Honolulu-Sapporo service is adding 41,000 new air seats to the market annually and the benefit to Hawai’i’s visitor industry will be significant, according to the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.
Hawaiian’s Flight HA 441 departs Honolulu International Airport on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 2:45 p.m., crosses the international dateline, and arrives at Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport at 7:00 p.m. the following day.
The return flight HA 442 departs Sapporo on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 9:30 p.m., crosses the international dateline, and arrives in Honolulu at 9:55 a.m. the same day.
Hawaiian will operate its Honolulu-Sapporo flights offering the comfort and roominess of its wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft (see below) seating 264 passengers, with 18 in Business Class and 246 in the Main Cabin.
Travelers will enjoy a customized presentation of Hawaiian’s signature inflight hospitality program, combining its celebration of the islands’ culture, people, and Aloha Spirit with entertainment options and special onboard products designed for the Japanese traveler.
Sapporo is the fourth city in Japan that Hawaiian has introduced nonstop service in the past two years following Tokyo (November 2010), Osaka (July 2011), and Fukuoka (April 2012).
Top Copyright Photo: Guests of Hawaiian Airlines’ inaugural flight today from Honolulu to Sapporo, Japan were treated to hula and Hawaiian music before boarding. Photo Credit: Anthony Consillio. (PRNewsFoto/Hawaiian Airlines)
Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Boeing 767-33A ER N581HA (msn 28141) taxies to the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.