Even in this spring off-season, between spring break and summer, it is unmistakable. Visitors are back, and it hasn’t really even started yet. Here’s what you can expect this summer.
How does this impact you?
If you can avoid summer travel and visit us in the fall, that will be so much better in terms of crowding and all other travel costs. See our tips on when to buy Hawaii airfare which was just updated yesterday.
Not only will summer be busy in terms of flights, but vacation rentals and hotels are selling like pancakes, and regarding Hawaii car rentals, well you know the situation there is grim for now.
Car rental prices have shot through the roof. Expect to find Hawaii car rentals starting at $100-$200 per day on the neighboring islands, and they go up from there! Honolulu prices are somewhat lower at times. See details in Hawaii Car Rentals: What You Need To Know in 2021.
More Hawaii flights and bigger planes.
Here’s the list of recent HA, UA, AA, SW flight additions. More demand has translated to the quick onboarding of both new and resurrected Hawaii routes. Earlier this week, Hawaiian Airlines launched their service between Honolulu and Austin. That makes four new Hawaiian Airlines routes starting in recent weeks.
During the peak of summer, which officially begins mid-June, the airlines together will provide a record-breaking number of seats between the mainland and Hawaii. We expect in total well over 1,000 weekly flights to Hawaii. And it isn’t just more flights. Airlines (Delta and United, for example) have up-gauged planes, including larger widebodies and newer, spiffier models we normally expect to see on international routes. For now, you’ll see some of those flying instead to Hawaii. Carriers who have aircraft options are using them. Other airlines, like Alaska and Southwest, are, of course, limited by their fleets.
United is doubling down on Hawaii and will fly a new nonstop route, four times each week between Chicago and Kona. They are also adding four times weekly service between Newark and Maui. United said at the time of the route announcements, “Now is the right time to take a bold step…”
United Airlines will jump into the summer lead with up to nearly 300 weekly flights each way. That translates to about 57k seats, while Hawaiian Airlines will have 51k seats. Those two are followed at 37k by American Airlines, 35k by Alaska Airlines, and 25k by Delta Airlines.
Increased load factors to Hawaii.
Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram said their planes are fast becoming more occupied, which is no surprise. He said they now have some days where loads factor percentages are up to the 80s.