A new route launching from Honolulu-based Hawaiian airlines is set to take the record for the longest, continuous nonstop flight in the United States. With an in-flight time of around 10 hours and 15 minutes (or 11 hours 40 minutes when flying west) the new route will operate between Honolulu and Boston, Massachusetts, a new destination for the airline.
Service, which was announced by the carrier on Thursday, will operate five times each week on the carrier’s fleet of Airbus A330s, a widebody aircraft capable of flying nearly 300 passengers over the 5,095 mile journey.
Hawaiian’s new route is unique in that it ferries passengers between two of the nearly farthest opposing points on a map of the 50 United States. According to the Great Circle Mapper, an online tool that maps flight distances “only a few airports in northeastern New England are farther, but the only commercial airport in that area which could handle a long A330 flight is Bangor which lacks the demand to support such a flight.”
Indeed, the new route from Massachusetts to Hawaii will be longer than many international flights departing out of the United States. A flight from Boston to London, for example would only take about 7 hours and 20 minutes traveling west, while a flight from San Francisco to Tokyo would take 11 hours and 15.
To accommodate the longer flight time, Hawaiian is expanding the number of economy plus (branded as Economy Comfort) seats that it operates on each A330 aircraft up from 40 to 68 to allow travelers to buy more leg room. Economy seats, however, still have the same seat pitch as much of the domestic U.S. fleet at 31″. Lie flat, first class seats are also available for those on more of a luxury budget.
Beyond the prestige, it’s clear that Hawaiian’s new route is indicative of strong demand that it sees for flights between the mainland United States and the islands of Hawaii. Over the course of 2018, Southwest Airlines has been teasing news of its own flights opening between hubs in California and a handful of Hawaiian destinations. With Hawaiian’s continued expansion and Southwest’s entry into the market, vacationers may soon have a whole new set of competitive fares to look forward to.
The new route will officially start on April 4th; tickets for the first flights have already gone on sale.