Virgin America Hawaii

Virgin America Coming to Hawaii?

While not having mentioned them before, I’ve been keeping my eyes on Richard Branson’s SFO-based airline for some time.

Virgin America remains on a mission to expand their unique feel good brand, with top notch service, new planes, and other innovations. They’ve received accolades including “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards for three consecutive years. Virgin currently serves San Francisco, LA, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Toronto.

Virgin has eyes for Hawaii

“Hawaii remains on our prospective destination list. –Virgin America”

Virgin America has had every intention to fly to Hawaii since its inception. There were talks about commencing Hawaii service as far back as 2008 that never came to fruition due to to economic reasons.

Fast forward three years. Virgin’s ability to serve Hawaii is currently limited by its aircraft. The company plans to triple its fleet from 27 to 90 planes over the next five years with an Airbus order placed last year. The new planes are not expected to begin entering  service for another two years. Also, deliveries of the Hawaii-likely A320neo craft, might keep the islands five years out in their thinking. At least that’s where everything stood until last week.

American Airlines cancels SFO-HNL service

American Airlines announced last week that it will terminate this service starting September 7. AA has continued to shrink its less than hub presence in Northern California for a long time. There’s industry speculation that this departure may open the door to SFO-based Virgin’s entering Hawaii’s soon to be shark-filled waters earlier than they’d otherwise planned.

If Virgin does in fact decide that they would like to come to Hawaii sooner than later and fill the void that American is soon to leave, they will need to make other aircraft planes. And as we’ve all learned from Allegiant’s experience, that is easier said that done.

Hawaii competition shaping up

I still expect to see Southwest Airlines Hawaii service starting next year, as well as continued expansion of Alaska Air’s Hawaii flights. Allegiant in my opinion is a definite maybe, depending on just how hot this competition becomes. This can only be construed as positive in terms of future Hawaii travel deals.

4 thoughts on “Virgin America Coming to Hawaii?”

  1. I am so happy that all these airlines are going to give deals from the mainland to here. Unfortunately i am a Kauai resident who likes to travel inter-island but can no longer afford to do so because of the ridiculous price gouging going on. It is the Kama’aina that are suffering since we have no package deals between islands. We need competition for inter-island flights and we need them now. Soon it will cost $300 round trip from Lihue to HNL. Might as well go to the mainland.

  2. We were going to Honolulu for Christmas and stay at the Westin Moana Surfrider. They had our room and we were all set to go. I ended up canceling the trip when I learned that all of the flights from Orange County or even LAX were at least $1800 per person. I will go to Europe for that. This is a great move to get more competition into Hawaii.

    1. Hi Steve,

      I just checked and am finding an abundance of seats from LAX to HNL over the Christmas holiday for a (relatively) reasonable $600-$800 per person including taxes. It is normal for Europe to be inexpensive at that time of year and Hawaii to be more. I know where I’d rather be in December.



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