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Hawaiian Airlines, Air New Zealand resume service to Auckland

Hawaiian airlines flight arrives in auckland new zealand
Courtesy Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines employees and guests were welcomed back to Auckland with a traditional Mihi Whakatau, or welcome back ceremony.

New Zealand is the latest international market returning to the islands.

The country was one of the most restrictive in its response to COVID-19, shutting down nonessential travel and implementing strict quarantine protocols.

Hawaiian Airlines and Air New Zealand resumed service from Auckland to Honolulu this week after a two-year hiatus. Both airlines will operate three flights a week.

Hawaiʻi Tourism Oceania’s manager Darragh Walshe says there is demand among New Zealand travelers to come to the islands.

"The positive news is if we look over the next two or three months, that the flights are looking very healthy both with Hawaiian Airlines and Air New Zealand. Hopefully, New Zealand adds value," Walshe said.

"You’ll find that New Zealanders, you know, we’re not like everyone else, every other visitor. We definitely like to engage, and we really like to feel that close connection that we have with Hawaiʻi," Walshe told HPR.

Nearly 74,000 New Zealanders came to the islands in 2019 for an average stay of nine days. Nearly a quarter of them visited other islands.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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