(Star Advertiser) Hawaiian Airlines begins service to Boston

HAWAII NEWS

Hawaiian Airlines begins service to Boston

(Source: Honolulu Star Advertiser)

  • Video by Craig T. Kojima / ckojima@staradvertiser.com

    Hawaiian Airlines launched nonstop service from Honolulu to Boston on Thursday.

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Gov. David Ige and Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram untied the maile lei during Thursday’s festivities at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

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Hawaiian Airlines on Thursday celebrated a milestone in its 90-year history by becoming the only carrier to offer nonstop flights between Honolulu and Boston.

In a festive event at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, the state’s largest airline took off on its scheduled nearly 10-hour inaugural flight at 1:55 p.m. with 238 passengers aboard its 278-seat Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft. The return flight today from Boston Logan International Airport is expected to take 11 hours and 25 minutes. The Boston- Honolulu route is the longest regularly scheduled domestic route in U.S. history at 5,095 miles.

“We’re going to start off with five flights each direction per week and in summertime expect to pick that up and add a sixth flight,” Hawaiian President and CEO Peter Ingram said in an interview. “Over time, one of our goals as we grow the market, we think there’s a great opportunity to have a daily flight to Boston.”

The new route to Hawaiian’s 13th U.S. gateway city is expected to give a boost to Hawaii tourism, whose largest visitor market is from the U.S. West. Last year about 127,000 people from New England — more than half of them from Massachusetts — visited Hawaii, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Hawaiian’s only other route to the East Coast is to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, with the flight to Hawaii taking 11 hours and 10 minutes.

“Boston is really something we’ve been thinking about for a long time,” Ingram said. “If you go back to how we’ve expanded our network since 2010, we’ve always got a list of routes we’re looking at, and even back when we started New York in 2012, Boston was something that was in our imagination at that time. It’s great to be able to launch it today and offer an opportunity for even more East Coast visitors to come and explore Hawaii and an opportunity for folks in Hawaii who want to go visit Boston either for leisure or because they’ve got business or kids in school there.”

In commemoration of Hawaiian’s 90th year of operation, the airline numbered its Honolulu-to-Boston flight as HA90. Flight HA89 was scheduled to depart Boston this morning for Hawaii with nearly 1-1/2 tons of live lobster. Hawaii fish and produce also will be regularly flown to New England.

“On behalf of the Commonwealth, we are pleased to welcome Hawaiian Airlines to Massachusetts,’’ Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement. “This new service will provide access to new markets for businesses and connect two exciting destinations for travelers in both states.’’

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