Old way: fly from Hawaii to Japan and land at night.
Apparently if you wanted to fly from Honolulu, Hawaii to Japan on Hawaiian Airlines you ended up landing 9pm or later in Haneda (according to schedules for August 2016) with some flights landing near midnight. Nothing wrong with that of course unless you don’t like getting home really late.
New way: fly from Hawaii to Japan and land in the morning.
Starting on October 29, 2016, you can fly from Honolulu, Hawaii and arrive in Haneda, Japan at 9:45am according to Hawaiian Airlines’ website.
Apparently, this is considered a “coveted” route. I can understand why. You essentially land in the beginning of the day which for some might mean you can spend an extra day in paradise. This presumably gives Hawaiian Airlines a competitive advantage, right?
I mean, if all things are equal and you had to choose between airline “J” that lands at 10pm vs. airline “H” that lands at 10am, it would seem that airline H would get the nod.
From the Hawaiian Airlines Press Release website:
Hawai’i’s largest and longest serving carrier was among the first three U.S. airlines granted authority to operate at Tokyo’s Haneda airport in 2010. For the last six years Hawaiian has successfully provided its daily nighttime service between Tokyo and Honolulu, flying more passengers out of Haneda than any other U.S. carrier.
Hawaiian’s Honolulu to Haneda service served as a springboard for an expanded Japan network that today includes: Osaka (July 2011) and Sapporo (October 2012). This Friday, July 22, the airline will start service to its fourth destination in Japan, with daily nonstop service between Tokyo’s Narita Airport (NRT) and Honolulu.
I suppose one’s preference on what time to land would depend on how you typically feel after landing. If you prefer to crash, then arriving at night makes sense. If you land feeling amped up and want to keep going, then of course the morning arrival makes more sense.
Great to see more flight options from Japan, and yes – landing in the morning does mean an extra day which for visitors is a great option. Personally, I prefer to fly during the day and try for a good night’s sleep, but with great coffee and plenty of daylight in Hawaii the overnight is an option :)