Following the announcement last month that Malaysia’s AirAsia X would be commencing flights to the US, the low cost carrier has confirmed it will launch a new Hawaiian route starting 28 June 2017, operating four times weekly service from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Honolulu, Hawaii. There’s just one catch: travellers will be sent via Osaka, Japan.
Between 11th to 26th February, AirAsia X will be offering introductory fares from RM499 (about AU$150) for travel between 28th June 2017 to 6th February 2018. Guests are also offered AirAsia X’s celebrated Premium Flatbed from RM2,999 (about AU$880), one of the lowest premium fares to Hawaii from Asia.
Japanese visas are not required for passengers in transit in Osaka (a two-hour layover), and they are able to return to their seats on the flight following security clearance with any carry-on luggage or belongings.
AirAsia’s Fly-Thru service allows travellers a seamless connection to Honolulu from other cities within AirAsia and AirAsia X’s widespread flight network, including Australia, with just one additional stop. Travellers can also opt for the Multi-City option, which lets them spend a few days in Osaka (Japanese visa required) before continuing their travel to Honolulu.
AirAsia X Group CEO Datuk Kamarudin Meranun says, “This is the game-changing destination we have all been waiting for. By connecting Asean and North Asia to the US with our world-class low fares offering, we will make it possible for those who could only dream of a vacation across the Pacific to take that trip”.
Those hoping for a direct service between KL and the USA may be disappointed by the news that the flights will, at first, only operate via Osaka. Nonetheless, Australian travellers who are willing to take the longer journey, could be looking at considerably cheap fares between Australia and Hawaii. Still, the flights shouldn’t prove much of a concern for Jetstar, who operate a direct low-cost service between Australia and Honolulu.
Hawaii has a considerable Asian community. According to U.S. Census data from 2011, Asians make up 38.5% of Hawaii’s population, with Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders making up 10.1%. Caucasians make up 26% of the population. Hawaii has the highest percentage of Asian Americans and multiracial Americans in the USA, and is the only state where Asian Americans identify as the largest ethnic group. Hawaii is also the only US state located in Oceania.