Flying between the islands of Hawaii: What are your airline options?
HAWAII Magazine reader Larry Clark wrote to us with a question about interisland passenger airlines in Hawaii:
I am planning a cruise to Hawaii in January and then a stay on one of the islands for the week after. Please tell me about the local airlines that fly from Honolulu, where my cruise ends, to the other islands and back.
You ask, we answer.
Many Hawaii vacationers schedule daylong visits or multi-night stays on multiple Islands while here. And who can blame them? With relatively short flight times between all Island airports and often competitive pricing, the only hassle in getting from, say, Honolulu on Oahu to Hilo on the Big Island, is your time at the airport.
There are three main air carriers accommodating much of the travel between the Islands: Hawaiian Airlines, Go! Mokulele Airlines, and Island Air. Pacific Wings, a smaller commuter airline, is also an option.
Here’s a breakdown of each Hawaii interisland airline, where each flies and links to route maps and websites:
Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaii’s largest interisland air carrier, with the most extensive schedule of flights. In business since 1929, Hawaiian offers direct jet service between Oahu and Maui, Kauai and Kailua-Kona and Hilo on the Big Island. Hawaiian Air also offers direct flights between the Big Island and Maui, and Maui and Kauai. Flights to Molokai and Lanai can be booked through Hawaiian, but are actually flown by partner carrier Island Air (see below).
Go! Mokulele Airlines
Founded as two individual interisland carriers, Mokulele Airlines and Go! Airlines joined forces in October 2009. Now Hawaii’s second-largest interisland carrier after Hawaiian Airlines, Go! Mokulele Air offers multiple daily jet and turboprop service between Honolulu and the Big Island (Kailua-Kona, Hilo), Maui (Kahului, Kapalua), Lanai, Kauai and Molokai. The carrier also offers direct flights between Maui and Lanai, the Big Island and Maui (including Hana), and Maui and Molokai.
Island Air offers multiple daily flights between Honolulu and Kahului and Kapalua on Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kauai and Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Island Air also offers direct flights between Kahului and Kailua-Kona and Molokai, Kapalua and Molokai, and Molokai and Lanai. The carrier’s fleet is composed entirely of turboprop aircraft, which fly at lower altitudes, offering passengers more close-up views of the Islands. Island Air also offers private charter services.
Pacific Wings is a commuter airline offering turboprop service between Honolulu and Maui (Kahului, Hana), Lanai, Molokai (Kaunakakai, Kalaupapa) and the Big Island (Kamuela). It currently does not fly to Kauai. Flight availability can be spotty because Pacific Wings is a small carrier with a limited schedule and limited seating. But the carrier flies to the bulk of the Islands’ more remote airports (Kalaupapa, Molokai; Hana, Maui; Kamuela, Big Island). Pacific Wings also offers private charter flights to Hawaii airports not served by its commercial flight schedule.
Reservations may be made at www.pacificwings.com.