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Hawaiian Airlines and Virgin Australia expand codeshare agreement

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 1, 2019
Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330-200 H380HA takes off from Brisbane. (Aaron Taylor)
Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330-200 H380HA takes off from Brisbane. (Aaron Taylor)

Virgin Australia will add its VA airline code on Hawaiian Airlines’ Brisbane-Honolulu nonstop flight as part of an expanded partnership between the two carriers.

The codeshare on Brisbane-Honolulu will be effective April 17 and adds to Virgin Australia’s existing codeshare on the US carrier’s Sydney-Honolulu service, Hawaiian said on Monday.

Meanwhile, Hawaiian will add its HA airline code on Virgin Australia-operated flights from Brisbane and Sydney to Cairns, Mackay, Melbourne and Townsville from April 3, as well as on select trans-Tasman services, including Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown and Wellington.

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“We’re pleased to announce an expansion to our existing codeshare agreement with Hawaiian Airlines, one of our first codeshare partners, which means guests of both airlines will now enjoy more opportunities to travel between our wonderful destinations in Australia, New Zealand and Hawai’i,” Virgin Australia general manager of alliances Phil Squires said in a statement.

The two carriers established a codeshare partnership in 2011, when Virgin Australia added its VA airline code on Hawaiian’s Sydney-Honolulu nonstop flight and on connecting services beyond Honolulu to three Hawaiian islands – Maui, Kauai and The Big Island.

Meanwhile, Hawaiian offered interline connections beyond Sydney on Virgin Australia-operated flights.

There are also reciprocal frequent flyer benefits for members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity and Hawaiian Airlines’ HawaiianMiles.

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Hawaiian has served Sydney from its Honolulu hub since 2004. It added Brisbane-Honolulu in November 2012, followed by Auckland-Honolulu in March 2013.

Currently, Brisbane has between three and four flights a week, depending on the time of the year, while Auckland has between four and five flights a week and Sydney is either six times weekly or daily, according to schedules on the Hawaiian website.

“We are delighted to expand our relationship and look forward to sharing our Hawaiian hospitality with more Virgin Australia passengers aboard our aircraft,” Hawaiian Airlines regional director in Australia and New Zealand Andrew Stanbury said in a statement.

“Hawai’i is a hugely popular destination with Australians and New Zealanders and we are excited to extend our reach and provide a seamless travel experience to the Hawaiian Islands.”

All its services to Australia and New Zealand are operated by Airbus A330-200s configured with 18 first class seats, 68 extra comfort economy seats and 192 standard economy seats for a total of 278.

In March 2018, the airline announced an order for 10 Boeing 787-9s and purchase rights for a further 10 aircraft.

First delivery was expected in early 2021.

Qantas (Sydney-Honolulu) and its low-cost carrier Jetstar (Melbourne-Honolulu and Sydney-Honolulu) are the only two other airlines offering nonstop flights between Australia and Hawai’i. Meanwhile, Air New Zealand has nonstop flights between Auckland and Honolulu.

Hawaiian has spoken publicly of being keen to forge closer ties with Virgin Australia for some time.

In 2014, the airline’s then chief executive Mark Dunkerley said when in Australia for an aviation conference that Virgin Australia made a “tremendously important contribution” to Hawaiian’s flights to this part of the world.

“I think we are always interested in working more closely with Virgin Australia. We have a good relationship with them and we do talk to them periodically,” Dunkerley said.

And 2018, current chief executive Peter Ingram said on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting in Sydney: “We’d like to find more opportunities to cooperate with them. Hopefully we will have a chance to do that.”

An artist's impression of a Boeing 787-9 in Hawaiian Airlines livery. (Hawaiian Airlines)
An artist’s impression of a Boeing 787-9 in Hawaiian Airlines livery. (Hawaiian Airlines)

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7 Comments

  • Harrison

    says:

    Hawaiian Airlines when will you start Melbourne flights its time for a change i’m sick of seeing Jetstar being the only airline on the Melbourne-Honolulu route their is lots of demand here for Hawaiian Airlines here in Melbourne

  • Mike

    says:

    @Harrison, sorry to read that you’re “sick of seeing Jetstar” the only carrier operating Melbourne to Honolulu. A quick check of Jetstar’s schedule shows MEL-HNL flights on Wednesday and Friday, and sometimes on Sunday. That does not seem to indicate “lots of demand” for flights from Melbourne to Honolulu. Perhaps Hawaiian doesn’t fly the route simply because there isn’t sufficient demand? Poor passenger loads would certainly make Hawaiian’s bean-counter’s sick! Mike

    • Harrison

      says:

      Mike I’m sorry I read what you wrote and Jetstar don’t fly Melbourne-Honolulu more due to lack of aircraft not demand

  • Peter Ritty

    says:

    Yes, but are you prepared to pay the additional fare, as Jetstar is budget. Be thsnkful. Mel is not a gateway.

  • Craigy

    says:

    @ Harrison what evidence do you have to support your ‘lots of demand’ statement? Is this demand currently flying to Sydney or Brisbane to specifically fly Hawaiian?

  • Dane

    says:

    I wonder if Hawaiian would ever add a VA code to their AKL – HNL services. Could be another option for people flying from Melbourne or the Gold Coast to connect through to Hawaii

  • Mike

    says:

    Hi Harrison, so, just to clarify, Jetstar flies twice and sometimes three times a week from MEL to HNL and is currently the only airline operating the route nonstop….and that makes you sick?! Shouldn’t you instead be asking why it is Hawaiian doesn’t get in on the action if there is so much demand, as you seem to know? Running an airline is a finely tuned business. We all have emotive wishlists for routes we’d love to see operated by our favourite airlines, but history is littered with the memories of so many airlines which no longer exist. Reality more than emotion determines airline operations. Or perhaps it’s just that Hawaiian lacks sufficient aircraft to operate HNL-MEL-HNL, as you suggest is the reason for Jetstar’s limited weekly flights on the route? Whatever, there’s no reason to bag Jetstar for actually providing the service!! (And no I don’t work for Jetstar.) Mike.

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