Hawaiian Airlines looks set to join the growing list of airlines returning to Australian skies once borders reopen and travel restrictions are removed.
After an 18 month absence since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the US carrier's website now shows a restart flights to Sydney and Brisbane on December 15, with the airline yesterday saying on Twitter that flights from Sydney would resume on December 16.
Update: a Hawaiian Airlines spokesman tells Executive Traveller that while these flights are on sale, "we keep our published scheduled available for sale further out but we constantly adjust it based on the likelihood of our ability to serve the market. This has been true throughout the pandemic as conditions evolve in each of our markets. We look forward to returning to Australia soon but don’t have a definitive date to announce."
Hawaiian's flights to Sydney and Brisbane will both be served by the airline's Airbus A330, which features lie-flat business class seats that convert into a lie-flat bed for maximising your rest on the 10+ hour trans-Pacific trek.
That said, the 2-2-2 layout will make the middle seats preferred for direct access to the aisle and no seatmate stepping over you.
Further back are 68 'economy comfort' seats with 36-inch pitch compared to 31 inches in standard economy.
However, by December 2022 the airline hopes to have its newly-delivered Boeing 787-9 jets – and their advanced 1-2-1 business class seats from Adient Aerospace, which is part owned by Boeing – gracing the Hawaii-Australia corridor.
As previously reported, Qantas will restart its Sydney-Honolulu flights on December 20, alongside popular routes such as Singapore, London, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Fiji and Tokyo.
While Australia's revised quarantine arrangements have yet to be detailed, it's expected that fully-vaccinated travellers returning from countries under a 'travel bubble' arrangement will be able to skip quarantine, while those arriving from 'low-risk' countries could spend as little as five days in home isolation.