Hawaiian Airlines 789 Dreamliner

Hawaiian Airlines’ Routes On Chopping Block: One Canceled. Others Coming?

Hawaiian Airlines is halting one of its wide-body routes. We can provide some additional details, and also help look at whether other routes are on the Hawaiian chopping block.

The route in question is between Honolulu and Orlando, and the last day we find it flying is on September 4. Ticket holders for flights after that date have been notified. The Orlando route, which is among the longest domestic flights in the U.S., was first announced in December 2020 and began flights in March 2020.

Hawaiian has been using its wide-body, 278-seat, A330 aircraft for the Orlando route. At the time of the announcement, the carrier saw Orlando as one of the biggest domestic travel markets without direct Hawaii flights. It also saw the potential to send “amusement-park-limited” Hawaii residents to Florida. When service was announced, it was the third east coast route for Hawaiian, following New York and Boston.

Are other routes on the chopping block?

We don’t have any inside information, but we see data points that provide a good indication of how well Hawaiian routes are performing. The two other routes we see as potentially being culled are as follows:

1. Austin to Honolulu. The Austin route started in April 2021 and has been operating twice weekly. The problem is that pricing on the route is to a large degree less than $500 roundtrip. That is not a sustainable level in our opinion. By way of comparison, American’s nonstop route from Dallas to Honolulu earns them on average twice as much money. And the same is true of United’s Houston to Honolulu nonstop.

2. Boston to Honolulu. It’s been four years since Hawaiian began nonstop service between Honolulu and Boston, which is the longest domestic route in the U.S., at 5,095 miles. It started five times per week and unfortunately is now down to just three times a week. Rates on average on this route appear to be unsustainably low.

Boston flights started on the airline’s 90th anniversary and were dubbed Flight 90 for that reason. When it commenced, the company said “Boston is the largest U.S. market without nonstop service to Hawaii.”

Beat of Hawaii thoughts.

We said at the time that Boston to Honolulu was announced that “we were surprised to see Boston as the next non-west coast addition for Hawaiian. Frankly, we’d have more expected and still anticipate the likes of Atlanta, Chicago, Montreal, Philadelphia, Toronto, or Washington, among eastern options. On the other hand, part of the decision could relate to the fact that a number of those have direct competition, while Boston does not.”

It isn’t clear how Hawaii plans to utilize the A330 wide-body aircraft that could be freed up. The airline is anxious to fully resume its international routes, where delays post-Covid are still hindering their full recovery.

44 thoughts on “Hawaiian Airlines’ Routes On Chopping Block: One Canceled. Others Coming?”

  1. Hi BOH,

    As we approach the spring and summer season, I reflected back on this post that posed the question about the AUS-HNL route and potential uncertainty that it may continue given the termination of the MCO-HNL route. From a quick search, it appears that Hawaiian is going to bump the AUS-HNL route from 3x weekly to 4x weekly starting the week of May 21, 2023.

    Another interesting note is that the HNL-AUS route will be switching over to a red-eye flight starting May 26, 2023. When we’ve flown this route previously, one of the main complaints from the flight attendants is that they never got to “see” Austin as they would fly in just before 10:00 p.m. and then flight out before 10:00 a.m. the next day.


  2. Worst service ever! Thanks a lot Hawaiian Airlines … terrible customer service after cancelling a flight that people booked seven months ago. Absolutely No help to book other tickets, and now how long will they wait for their refund??? It better come quickly or there will likely be a lawsuit brewing.

  3. As a Florida resident, I am very disappointed that they cut their route from Orlando (MCO) to Honolulu (HNL). It makes it so much more difficult for those of us that live in the southeast to travel to Hawaii. I hope they reinstate this route sometime in the future. We have no non-stop options or options that don’t involve double connections and often an overnight stay in CA.

  4. BOS-HNL is over 5000 mi, not 4095 mi.

    I was so excited to have a direct flight, my family and I use it frequently. I’d be devastated if they canned it. Hopefully they don’t do Atlanta, Chicago, or DC because they are hubs and stay in Boston.

      1. Hi Rich.

        Yes, it was a typo which we corrected. Technology still doesn’t find those kinds of errors. Lol.


  5. When is the Austin flights going to stop? I booked a flight from Oct 27 to the 31st.Hope I can make this. Thank You.

    1. Hi Pedro.

      Nothing has been so indicated. We’ll let you know if that changes.


  6. Hawaiian will use an Airbus 332 on a new route from KOA to HND effective September 7. HA 851 departing KOA at 625pm arriving HND +1 at 1000pm

  7. Well, I knew before your article because we were notified, “Sorry Charlie! You can’t get there from here!” We were planning to go via Boston (January timeframe), but now who the heck knows!

  8. I have flown KOA-HNL-BOS since they started the direct flight HNL-BOS to visit my daughter and family since they began the direct flight every year. My daughter, husband and their four children also come to KOA every year and love it. I understand since Covid they had to cut routes. This will be a big disappointment if they axe this route. This is a most convenient for families with kids. If they end this direct flight I most likely will end my Hawaiian membership as well.

  9. Actually, I checked 4 random weeks in Sept, Ot, Nov, and Dec. BOS-HNL is running 4x per week on Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Sat.

  10. It would be great if Hawaiian Airlines flew out of Dallas. Airport is big enough, and many could like leaving from this area

    1. Not sure they would get volume as American already has 2 widebodies to HNL and 1 to Maui. I think there is a Kona some times.

    2. It does make one wonder why Austin was chosen over Dallas but I imagine part of that decision was based on the number of airlines already flying from Dallas to Hawaii non stop. Nonetheless, after our experience on Hawaiian Airlines last month I would certainly prefer Hawaiian over any other carrier we have flown in the past.

  11. Some of the highest rates are the Midwest it rare to find a low flight to Hawaii! Why not put one here! Michigan.

  12. Rob and Jeff, respectively your article says BOS 1x and AUS 2x? It’s actually BOS 4x and AUS 3x at present.
    I understand It’s because of the delay over the Dreamliner and they are deploying the A330’s elsewhere. For instance in August they are reinstating both Tokyo routes and Osaka. Whatever they are planning it’s likely substantial, they are doing a lot of hiring.
    That said you do a good job of reporting on Hawaii’s airline but do check the sentence you wrote on the current frequency.

      1. Honest mistake for sure as you guys do a great job…I’m guessing it’s google.
        I think it would be a great idea to reach out to Hawaiian as I would think they would want to know. If you guys were misled think what could be happening to those of us less experienced with travel websites! (Btw HA’s website shows 4x a week to BOS… Sun Mon, Weds, Fri non stops)

        1. Hi John.

          Thanks again! We have already reached out to Hawaiian to see what they say. We always start flight searches with Google Flights which we believe is the case for most people. Honestly, it is so prominent that it is hard to avoid. It is of critical importance to airlines, which, with the exception of Southwest, pay for that service.


          1. Aloha Rob and Jeff
            Did you guys here anything from HA about why they were getting bum info on google?
            Particularly since as you say they pay big bucks for that service.
            Sounds like another tech glitch!
            Replies are still working fine now since you fixed it.

          2. Hi John.

            We did reach out to HA and did not get a reply. We’re scratching our heads on this one.

            Thanks again for the heads up on the comment issue, that was caused by a performance upgrade we did.


  13. Please tell Hawaiian Airlines not to cancel Austin to Honolulu. Suggest they raise ticket price a bit. I just bought a ticket to go see my mother in September. I love the direct flight. This will be my third trip to check on Mother.

  14. People have choices, the negative publicity that followed Hawaii, California, NY, NJ and Ill., vis a vis Lockdowns, Masks and a populace that was seemingly no longer welcoming to Tourists, has a Price when there are choices, obviously Florida has Beaches, the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf. Distance, Time and Travel are all considerations, With a West Coast Connection and down time 18+ Hours, the clock is an obstacle, especially if measured against Turks & Caicos, the Bahamas, USVI/BVI, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cayman’s, even Bermuda. Inflationary times, limited purchasing power, Jobs, all impact as well, as the choice in Democrat Managed States to pay people to not work, which in Tourism and Service is the death knell.

    1. Absolutely ridiculous assertions in your comments. First, Hawaii was, and still is, overwhelmed with tourists. These cuts (Orlando is the only confirmed route cut by Hawaiian) are not replicated by other airlines or route pairs. Southwest and United, for example, have increased routes to Hawaii or have added upguaged/larger aircraft.

      1. Hawaiian has said they cut Orlando because they need to deploy that plane elsewhere due to increased demand in other areas of their system. They thought they would have the Dreamliners by now, but don’t. International is ramping up, just spoke to someone very excited about being on the first flight from New Zealand to Hawaii in over 2 years, Hawaiian of course.

    2. If I lived closer to the Caribbean than Hawaii I’d think it would make sense to go there. I have been to the Caribbean only once. From CA it’s a major pain and just not worth the time and hassle.

      We’ll, therefore, continue to make Hawaii our prime vacation destination.

  15. The issue here is the business model. Hawaiian has trued to work with everyone and not joined an alliance or major carrier JBA. In part to maintain cultural heritage and in part to maximize revenue.

    This means that Hawaiian tends to rely on islands residents and people close to mainland destination.

    Hawaiian have an ambition to fly to London; without a deal ut won’t work financially.

    Given their London ambitions and their desire to fly to the East Coast, an alliance with One World would make sense. It would yield AA connections as well as BA connections and does not cannibalize either carriers major revenue streams.

    Hawaiian wants to maintain its independence which JAL has managed in One World.

  16. Aloha! Unfortunately your article is inaccurate. BOS/HNL operates 4-5 time per week; AUS/HNL is 3-4 per week.

      1. The newly available A330 will likely be used by the Seattle Seahawks and other NFL teams during their upcoming season.

          1. A “route” is one flight leg. Not including connections. There is one flight per day from Boston to HNL.

      2. Hawaiian has some bugs in their system. When trying to book flights, sometimes if you adjust dates, it locks into a previous stay length. So if you had searched for a trip of 8 days and either the start or departure falls on a day without direct flights, it will gray out both dates.

        I’ve learned when booking on Hawaiian, to quickly reset trip length. And sometimes I’ll just look at one way prices and start putting pieces together to get the best rate.

        Either way, BOS – HNL does indeed fly 4x per week. Instead of using Google flight search, see on Hawaiian’s own website. I flew BOS – HNL last September and am booked for this November…

        1. Hi James.

          If any airline’s information isn’t correct in Google flights…. Well, we’ll leave it at that, and may reach out to Hawaiian to inquire.


          1. Aloha!

            On the initial HA page, just after the “Price Chart” “Price Calendar” there is “Flight Schedule”. Click on that and then Enter the cities. When HONOLULU and BOSTON are entered, you will see that that route is flown “SM-W-F”, ie., Sun, Mon, Wed, and Fri.”

            Reverse the route and you will see “MT-T-S” ie., Mon Tues, Thurs, Sat.

            I didn’t realize the “Flight Schedules” was on the first page until I had problems booking my HNL-BOS flight. It used to be you had to use the “search” feature to find it. Now it’s at the bottom of the first page which is much more accessible for flights that aren’t daily!


            PS: I only use the airline site to find their flight schedules. I’ve found Google has too many inaccuracies.

          2. Hi Lynn.

            Google flights is highly accurate no matter where in the world you fly. The airlines pay handsomely for the service which is of critical importance to their success. Only SWA doesn’t participate.


          3. Then I wouldn’t trust Google for flight searches if they don’t include airlines that don’t pay. I’ve been booking trips online since the wild wild west days. I used to know all the tricks, Saturday stays, switching up airports for departure and arrival.

            I just don’t use Google AT ALL to find flights. They are also inconsistent in pricing. Meaning you’re not getting the cheapest prices very often.

            No thanks. I use Google so much. Just never for travel. Not worth the incomplete info…

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