Hawaiian Airlines celebrates 20 years of flying to Australia

Hawaiian Airlines celebrates 20 years of flying to Australia
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Hawaiian Airlines marked 20 years of flying to Australia at an appropriately themed cocktail party for 150 guests at Hyde Bar, Pullman Quay Grand Circular Quay, featuring hula dancers, Hawaiian musicians, mai tais, mango martinis and leis.

    Among the guests were Sydney Airport Station Manager Kathy Mainerd who was also present for the very first Hawaiin Airlines flight 20 years ago.

    The following day Hawaiian representatives headed to Freshwater Beach, Manly, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches to honour a unique link between that place and Hawaii acknowledging the legacy of Duke Kahanamoku.

    In 2004, Hawaiian Airlines embarked on a new chapter in its history with the launch of nonstop service between Honolulu and Sydney, one of its first long-haul destinations and most travelled international routes.

    Since then, millions of Aussies have chosen the carrier’s five-times-weekly nonstop flight to visit the Hawaiian Islands and experience the authentic hospitality and aloha of Hawaiʻi’s flagship carrier.

    Hawaiian management and employees this week celebrated alongside the local Sydney travel industry and community with events that connected to both people and place.

    “Our Sydney-Honolulu route has always been a special one to serve and connect two very special places to live and visit,” said Andrew Stanbury, managing director of international and North America sales at Hawaiian Airlines, at a celebratory gathering for employees, partners, friends and family in downtown Sydney.

    Two guests enjoying Hawaiian musicians, mai tais and mango martinis and leis.

    Guests enjoyed hula dancers and Hawaiian musicians, mai tais and mango martinis and leis.

    Hawaiian’s commitment to Aussies

    Hawaiian’s Sydney service, which holds the trophy for its longest international flight at 8152km (5,066 miles), has also been a significant and convenient bridge for Aussies connecting to the US mainland. In the past decade, as many as one in four Sydney travellers have headed to US mainland cities aboard the carrier.

    Hawaiian now flies from Honolulu to 16 US mainland cities, including Salt Lake City, the most recent addition to the carrier’s US network.

    Aussies will soon enjoy complimentary high-speed Starlink Wi-Fi as the advanced technology is rolled out on its Airbus A330 fleet beginning this summer. Hawaiian also plans to operate its newest flagship aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Australia.

    Stanbury added, “For decades, Hawai’i has never stopped winning over the hearts of Aussies, and we know that because of their love for the islands, they also hold a particular place in their hearts for Hawaiian Airlines. For that, we are grateful, and it keeps us motivated to put our best foot forward for Australia.”

    Duke honoured at Freshwater Beach 

    Team Kokua in purple shirts honour the legacy of legendary Hawaiian Waterman Duke Kahanamoku in front of his statue.

    Team Kokua honour the legacy of legendary Hawaiian Waterman Duke Kahanamoku.

    With Hawaiian’s extended company Ohana (family) in Sydney, 20 Hawaiian employees from Honolulu, Sydney and Auckland donned their famous purple Team Kōkua shirts this week in a touching tribute to honour the legacy of legendary Hawaiian Waterman Duke Kahanamoku.

    In January 1915, Kahanamoku paddled into the surf at Freshwater Beach and made history. Riding a hand-carved board made of solid sugar pine, his wave riding that day ignited Australia’s passion for the water sport. Today, Freshwater is known as the birthplace of Australian surfing and remains a symbol of the strong ties that bind Hawai’i and Australia.

    Hawaiian’s Team Kokua joined community group Friends of Freshwater and indigenous group Bush to Bowl for a ceremony at the foot of a bronze statue of Duke Kahanamoku, at the beach.

    The morning began with an indigenous smoking ceremony, followed by an Hawaiian oli (chant) from Hawaiian Airline’s Community and Cultural Relations team and remarks on the Duke’s significance to Hawai’i and Australia’s people.

    As a final gesture of aloha and gratitude, staff volunteers climbed atop the rock of the life-size statue to adorn the Duke with a lush red carnation lei – the style of lei he would have worn during his days representing Hawaii’s spirit, culture and people to the world.

    Afterwards, Hawaiian surprised the Friends of Freshwater with a cheque donation to support its community-based efforts, before pitching in to spend several hours working with local bush regeneration volunteers to clean up parkland and walkways adjacent to the Duke Kahanamoku statue.

    After filling a tip truck and 30 giant sugar bags with cuttings, fronds and debris, the collective team finished the afternoon relaxing at Freshwater Surf Lifesaving Club, where Duke’s original hand-carved surfboard still stands today.

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