HONOLULU (KHON2) — It last operated in the ’90s but returned just in time for summer travel in 2023, Hawaiian Airlines has relaunched its service between Hawaii and Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
The airline celebrated the nonstop weekly flights between HNL and RAR at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Saturday afternoon.
The commemoration included a special gate-side event that included live music and entertainment from the Hawaiian Airlines Serenaders and a local Cook Islands performance group.
Special remarks were made by the airlines, the Hawaii Department of Transportation and the Cook Islands government followed by a traditional blessing.
“Our Honolulu-Rarotonga flight bridges Hawaiʻi with another South Pacific neighbor and connects two archipelagos that share Polynesian roots, rich culture and endless tropical beauty,” said Lokesh Amaranayaka, vice president of airport operations at Hawaiian Airlines.
According to Amaranayaka, the launch of HA495 will operate with one-stop connections to the Cook Islands from Hawaiian Airlines’ 15 United States gateways.
Hawaiian Airlines said the route was previously operated from 1987-1993.
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Flight HA495 is scheduled to fly out of Honolulu on Saturdays with return flights on Sundays in Rarotonga.
Departure from Honolulu is 4 p.m. and arrival in Rarotonga is 10:25 p.m. the same day. Return flights depart Rarotonga at 11:35 p.m. and arrive in Honolulu on Monday at 5:50 a.m.