Air travel to Hawaii set to ease in August following strict quarantine


Travel to the nation’s most isolated state is set to become much, much easier in August.

Hawaiian Airlines said Wednesday it will add hundreds of weekly flights to its schedule between Hawaii and the US mainland as the state government eases a strict quarantine. The restrictions have mandated a 14-day quarantine for nearly all travelers in and out of the state, as well as for travel between the state’s islands.

Those rules made travel into the state “almost nonexistent” since April, according to a major airline industry group.

Starting August 1, the state will allow travelers to avoid the quarantine by testing negative for coronavirus ahead of their travel, and presenting proof of that test upon landing. The state said it will not provide testing for travelers at the airport. Travelers will still be required to undergo temperature checks.

Some background: Since late-March, Hawaiian has been operating only a handful of flights between the mainland west coast and Hawaiian islands to “support essential flights and critical cargo transportation,” the airline said.

But as the new state policy rolls out, the airline will resume regular service between Hawaii and several non-west coast cities, including Boston, Las Vegas, New York and Phoenix, as well as Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. The airline is also adding service this month between the islands and Portland, San Diego, and Sacramento.

The airline said it will ultimately be operating 252 weekly flights between Hawaii and the mainland, and 114 daily flights among the islands.

American travelers have been showing interest in two of Hawaii’s key features: sun and sand. Officials at United Airlines told reporters on Wednesday that it is “seeing strength in beach markets,” including the Caribbean.

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