Hawaiian Airlines will connect the Hawaiian Islands with the Cook Islands starting in May 2023 with a weekly flight between Honolulu (HNL) and Rarotonga (RAR). The service, which launches May 20, in time for the U.S. summer travel season, will provide travelers from Hawaiian’s 15 U.S. Mainland gateway cities convenient one-stop connections to the Cook Islands.
“We are delighted to grow our South Pacific network by offering our guests access to the Cook Islands, an archipelago that shares Hawai’i's Polynesian roots and natural beauty,” said Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines president and CEO. “This service greatly expands travel opportunities between the Cook Islands and the United States, thanks to our well-timed connections and robust network, including service between Hawai’i and eight California cities.”
“As a 93-year-old destination airline committed to sustainability, Hawaiian Airlines is a perfect partner for the Cook Islands,” said Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown. “We welcome this timely announcement from Hawaiian Airlines, as we look to rebuild our tourism industry and strengthen access to our northern hemisphere markets. Inbound tourism is a key economic driver for our nation, and to reach our potential we need access from the larger international markets. Hawaiian’s Honolulu-Rarotonga service connects us to Los Angeles, the Pacific Northwest, and many other large U.S. Mainland cities.”
Ticket sales for the Honolulu-Rarotonga service will begin Dec. 7 on HawaiianAirlines.com and other third party distribution channels. Flight HA495 will depart Honolulu at 4 p.m. on Saturdays and arrive in Rarotonga at 10:25 p.m. the same day. The return flight, HA496, will depart Rarotonga at 11:35 p.m. on Sundays with a 5:50 a.m. Monday arrival in Honolulu.
Guests will enjoy Hawaiian’s award-winning onboard hospitality in the comfort of its Airbus A321neo, the most fuel-efficient and quietest aircraft of its kind. It features 16 luxurious leather recliners in the Premium Cabin, 45 Extra Comfort Premium Economy seats, and 128 Economy seats. Textiles and other materials throughout the cabin pay homage to traditional Hawaiian crafts including bark cloth (kapa) and fishing nets. Other details range from sand-inspired wall panels to Hawaiian language signage and LED mood-lighting evoking Hawaii’s soothing sunrises and sunsets. Guests will enjoy access to wireless streaming entertainment, USB outlets, and large overhead stowage space.
Hawaiian previously served the Cook Islands from 1987 through 1993.