First Free Story (1 of 3)Join Skift Pro
The popularity of Hawaiian destinations has intensified competition to transport passengers to the islands in style and comfort, setting the Hawaiian holiday mood from the moment passengers board the aircraft.
JetBlue and Hawaiian airlines have strengthened ties to expand codeshare service from the East Coast to the Hawaiian Islands and beyond.
“JetBlue and Hawaiian have been consistently strengthening our relationship since we first partnered nearly four years ago so that we can offer the best travel benefits to our customers,” said Scott Laurence, senior vice president airline planning, JetBlue. “This latest step makes it easier than ever to book seamless travel, connect across our diverse networks of destinations and earn loyalty points anywhere our airlines fly.”
Hawaiian offers flights between Hawaii and 11 U.S. mainland airports, including non-stop service to JFK at JetBlue’s T5 terminal. With the expanded code share agreement, the two airlines will offer non-stop service from New York to the Hawaiian islands and connections through, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas to Hawaii.
Customers will travel on a single ticket for both Hawaiian and JetBlue-operated flights with one-stop check-in and baggage transfer. Frequent fliers can also redeem their points or miles for travel on either carrier’s network.
“We are pleased to expand our partnership with JetBlue to create more choices for travelers coming to the Hawaiian Islands or those seeking easy connections to destinations beyond our key gateways on the Mainland,” said Peter Ingram, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for Hawaiian Airlines.
Virgin America started serving the Hawaiian Islands at the end of last year, with flights from San Francisco to Honolulu and Maui. The airline serves the islands on A320 aircraft which have been specially equipped for overwater flights and offers a First Class service with ‘cradle sleeper’ reclining seats with a massage function, extra legroom Main Cabin, and Main Cabin Select service along with free food and cocktails, and the airline’s RED in-flight entertainment.
Hawaiian Airlines introduced highly-stylized modern premium cabins for its A330 aircraft, with a unique Hawaiian flavor at the end of last year, designed by the West Coast-based consultancy of Paul Wylde.
The airline’s new premium seats fold into 76-inch beds, a decorative privacy screen, and telescoping adjustable large-format in-flight entertainment console. Hawaiian is also increasing the number of Extra Comfort seats onboard and the legroom on its main cabin seats. The first of the aircraft with these new products will enter the airline’s long-haul network in the second quarter of 2016.
“We have designed an experience that will usher in a new era in premium service to Hawaii, one that resulted from a thorough review of guest feedback and intensive research to develop a best-in-class product for our long haul aircraft,” said Mark Dunkerley, President and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines at the time of the announcement.
On its flights, JetBlue offers premium Mint Cabin service, Even More Legroom seats, and comfortable legroom throughout the Main Cabin, as well as complimentary snacks, drinks, on-demand inflight entertainment, and high-speed FlyFi connectivity.
More Growth Abroad
Demand for Hawaiian vacations isn’t just booming in the U.S.. This week, Hawaiian Airlines also announced growth in its five times weekly Seoul service between Honolulu and Incheon International Airport.
“Korean tourism to Hawaii has more than doubled since we started service [in 2011], and flights to Seoul continue to be a vital and important part of our network,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Airlines.
In 2010, Hawaii received only 81,758 visitors from South Korea, but that number had increased to 178,091 by 2014.
Responding to strong demand from both U.S. and Korean travelers, Hawaiian upgraded the fleet serving the route to a higher-capacity Boeing 767-300ER and larger A330 aircraft. The airline offers a 3-class cabin, accommodating 18 passengers in First Class, 40 in Extra Comfort and 236 in the Main Cabin. Hawaiian Airlines will introduce its new cabins to this route starting next summer.