Most of Maui is open for visitors, and there’s much to see. But confusion over whether or not to come has reduced visitor traffic significantly. Airlines are in the process of assessing the situation and are beginning to reduce their flights to Maui.
That comes in light of the short-term prospects of significantly reduced tourism to the Valley Isle following the tragic wildfires earlier this month. As we said earlier, arrivals on Maui are down up to 80% after the confusing messaging from the State of Hawaii and social media.
You will want to take notice no matter which route you’re flying to Maui. In addition, airlines that have different aircraft types may choose to downguage the planes to fit the reduced visitor demand better this fall.
We checked with Hawaiian Airlines late today, and they did not address any planned reduction that we suspect is likely to happen. Spokesperson Alex DaSilva said, “Yes, we’re continuing to update our guidance to travelers to align with messaging from HTA and the state. We haven’t reduced flying and can’t comment on future schedule plans.”
Significant route cuts on Maui flights
1. Los Angeles to Maui flights reduced.
American Airlines and Delta Air Lines will reduce from two flights daily to one flight daily but will keep these routes going during the traffic lull. Alaska is also reducing its number of flights weekly. On this most popular of all Maui routes also remains Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.
2. San Francisco to Maui flights see planes downsized.
Flights to Maui from San Francisco continue at a slightly reduced pace of three to four daily from Alaska, Hawaiian, and United, which will fly once or twice. However, one of the two flights on United is being downsized from a 777 aircraft seating 364 passengers, including lie-flat seats, to a Boeing 737 with about 154 seats. On other days United will fly just once.
4. Seattle to Maui flights reduced.
Alaska, Delta, and Hawaiian all have nonstops on that route. Alaska is the most prominent, with typically three flights a day. In September, however, Alaska is pruning the flights to two a day and will undoubtedly watch with the other airlines to see if demand picks up.
3. Chicago to Maui flight is gone until October 29.
The popular flight on United Airlines, which typically operates 5 to 7 days a week, has been removed effective this week. When it returns in late October, it will operate five days a week, and in December, it will return seven days a week.
3. Denver to Maui flight is also gone until October 29.
The popular daily route from Denver to Maui on United Airlines is also off the schedule through October 28. When it returns, it is again planned as a daily service. Previously it flew daily with even some additional flights.
How long will this reduction of flights last?
It isn’t clear to anyone, including the airlines, how long this could go on for. But we have a few hints. West Maui will be closed to visitors until October 17, based on the latest guidance from the Governor. Messaging is also now emanating from all sources that Maui is, with the exception of West Maui, open for business. That hasn’t been entirely clear until now.
What should Maui bound travelers should do?
Continue to monitor your flights to Maui for the foreseeable future. We will also continue to update you on any significant changes we learn of.