Hawaiian Airlines to restart Australia flights in December 2021

Hawaiian Airlines has become the latest airline to announce its return to Australia, following the planned relaxation of international borders next month.

The airline announced on Monday it would restart Sydney-Honolulu flights on December 15, offering five flights a week to the US island state.

"Hawaii is a hugely popular holiday destination for Australians, and we know many people have been keenly waiting to visit Hawaii again," said Andrew Stanbury, regional director for Australia and New Zealand at Hawaiian Airlines.

"We are looking forward to safely welcoming our guests back on board to enjoy the authentic hospitality that we know our guests love, and have missed."

The airline will operate a 278-seat Airbus A330 on the route, featuring 18 lie-flat business class seats and 68 "extra comfort seats".

Hawaii has become one of America's leading states for COVID-19 vaccination rates, with 78 per cent of the state's overall population having received at least one dose.

The state also has some of the country's strictest COVID-19 rules (which vary wildly from state to state in the US). Visitors from other states must be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test in order to be allowed into the state without having to undergo 10 days' quarantine.

As recently as August, Hawaii's governor, David Ige, urged tourists not to visit the islands amid surging case numbers, as the state's hospitals became overwhelmed.

But now the state is keen to get tourists back, with cases trending lower.

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"Because of this, it is now safe for fully vaccinated residents and visitors to resume nonessential travel to and within the state of Hawaii," Ige told the Washington Post.

"Beginning November 1, we want to invite and encourage fully vaccinated visitors and residents to travel for business or leisure, trans-Pacific and inter-island.

Details of the requirements for international arrivals are yet to be announced, but Hawaiian Airlines hopes the state will have the same requirements announced by the US federal government from November 8, which will require visitors to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of departure. The governor's office said the state would have a plan in place for international tourists before November 8.

See gohawaii.com/travel-requirements for details.

Hawaiian Airlines joins Air Canada and Fijian Airways in announcing the resumption of flights to Australia after the announcement international borders would be relaxed. Qantas has brought forward its resumption of international flights to November 1, the day the ban on Australians leaving the country without special permission is removed. Qantas will also resume flights to Honolulu from December 20.

Other carriers that have continued to fly to Australia during the pandemic, such as Singapore Airlines, have announced the release of thousands of additional seats on flights.

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See also: Airline review: The Hawaiian Airlines excels in service

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