Direct Flights to Kauai Postponed

Wo,wo,wo,wo,wo,wo,wo, wo, wooo, do you know the way to Hanalei
I've been away so long. I may go wrong and lose my way
I'm going back to find some peace of mind in Hanalei
They've got a lot of space. There'll be a place where I can stay
I'm going back to find some peace of mind in Hanalei

I've got lots of friends in Hanalei
Do you know the way to Hanalei
Can't wait to get back to Hanalei

Taking a bit of a poetic license here with Burt Bachrach and Dionne Warwick’s classic, but finding your way back to Hanalei may be a bit more challenging over the coming summer. First, there’s the mandatory 14-day quarantine in your vacation rental or hotel accommodation. You cannot leave the premise for any reason over that 14-day period. Oh and by the way, vacation rentals are also currently prohibited from operating at least through May 31, and likely longer.

So, getting back to Hanalei. Current arrivals into Lihue on a daily basis is down to a mere trickle, usually single digit arrivals, sometimes double figures, but not the 3,000 passengers per day directly into Lihue that we have been averaging over the past few years. As an example, on Saturday, May 2, eleven people arrived from out of state to Lihue (four visitors, four residents, and one intended resident). By comparison, Maui had zero arrivals, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

On Thursday, the US Department of Transportation approved American Airlines’ request to temporarily suspend flights to Kona, Lihue and Kahului and is in effect through August 18. American will continue to serve Honolulu daily via a flight from Los Angeles and beginning June 4th, American is scheduled to add a second daily flight to Dallas/Fort Worth.

A few days prior, the US DOT approved United Airlines’ request to temporarily suspend flights to Hilo, Kona, Lihue and Kahului, United’s request goes through September 30.

Hawaiian and Alaska Airlines suspended direct flights to the neighbor islands via mainland routes back in mid-April. Hawaiian Airlines cut most of its mainland routes. For now, routes to and from Honolulu include Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Alaska Airlines filed a service level exemption request and it had suspended all flying to Kauai, Maui and Hawaii Island and are currently operating just two daily flights to Oahu, intended to allow for essential travel, and to carry cargo to our island state. This is a significant decrease from their normal average schedule of thirty daily flights across Kauai, Maui, Oahu and Hawaii.

Only Delta Airlines is currently still flying to Kahului, Lihue and Kona Airports. The flights are three to four times a week. All other airlines had already suspended neighbor island trans-Pacific routes.

Passengers traveling on any other airline will have to go through Honolulu first then fly either Hawaiian Airlines or Southwest Airlines to their neighbor island destination. Due to all these changes, mail delivery and cargo will be impacted by the lack of flights coming to Hawaii and likely be delayed.

With empty planes and a mandatory 14-day quarantine in place, flights to Hawaii have been virtually empty. The only flights coming to Honolulu are from San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Seattle and Guam.

According to the US Department of Transportation; “Service to these points requires long travel distances of several thousand miles and the imposition of Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day quarantine order for all travelers to or within Hawaii severely impacts and discourages such passenger travel.”

So to answer the question about the way to Hanalei... at least for the time being, it’s through Honolulu.
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For more information about local happenings on Kauai, or to inquire specifically about Kauai real estate, you can reach us at:

Sean Ahearn & Jim Karlovsky
[email protected]
(800) 808-6373


Our team of professionals is among the most active, experienced and respected on the island of Kauai. We’d value the opportunity to work with you on your purchase or sale of Kauai real estate. Please reach out any anytime with comments, questions, suggestions or concerns. Mahalo – The Team

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