Hawaiian Airlines launched non-stop flights between Orlando and Honolulu in March 2021. The MCO-HNL route is the second-longest flight from Orlando, with only the MCO-DXB flight on Emirates covering a farther distance. I was thrilled to see the route because getting from Florida to Hawaii is a major pain, usually consisting of two 5+ hour flights in a narrowbody jet with limited service.
Hawaiian flies an A330-200 with lie-flat seats in business class and a 2-4-2 economy layout between the two cities. We flew on this route in February, paying 30,000 Hawaiian Miles for economy seats. While it was a long red-eye flight, the plane wasn’t very full, and Sharon was able to use an empty middle row of seats to sleep during the flight.
Apparently, ours wasn’t the only partially full flight, as Hawaiian is stopping the route as of September. The last flight out of Orlando International Airport is scheduled for September 7, 2022, and its final arriving flight will be the following day, September 8.
I’m sad to see this route go away as it was the easiest and most comfortable way to get to Hawaii. In addition, the non-stop flight from Hawaiian put fare pressure on the other carriers, resulting in lower prices if you were willing to take a connecting flight.
With limited international travel in 2021, using this long-haul plane for a domestic leisure route made sense for Hawaiian Airlines. With the world opening up in 2022, I’m sure they can use this plane to fly to a more lucrative international destination. It was nice while it lasted.
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HA from HNL to MCO did not make any sense to operate. Why fly 10 hours to go from one beach to another beach to get a tan.
It did make sense when there was no other use for the plane. Sure, they could have flown to MIA or ATL but there was less competition flying to MCO and they’d be able to set the price. HA even said in the announcement that while they appreciated MCO, there are better places to use the plane for domestic and international itineraries.