Hawaiian Airlines announced this week that it’s expanding its Pre-Clear Program, allowing quarantine-free travel to international travelers from Japan and South Korea. The airline plans to offer the pre-clearance program to more global markets in due course.
Hawaii Reopening to Tourism
Hawaii is a prominent, all-season leisure and holiday destination, a popular travel spot for those looking for an exotic escape and a taste of paradise. Its most significant industry is tourism, and before the pandemic struck in 2020, it welcomed over 10 million people to its sunny shores, contributing almost US$ 18 billion to the local economy.
As the state is far away from the U.S. mainland, it offers an excellent alternative for those who cannot travel abroad. Due to Hawaii being a popular choice with U.S. travelers, the airline announced at the end of last year that it was expanding its operations by offering new routes from the continental U.S.
Hawaii’s most significant international market is Japan, with around 1.6 million Japanese travelers visiting Hawaii in 2019. The expansion of its Pre-Clear Program to Japan and South Korea will play a pivotal role in attracting its key markets back to Hawaii.
Hawaii’s Pre-Clear Program
In mid-October 2020, Hawaii began its pre-testing program for passengers to travel around the islands without mandatory quarantine. Currently, 16 airports in the U.S. mainland cater for Pre-Clear Program passengers.
Hawaiian Airlines is now rolling out the Pre-Clear Program internationally to passengers traveling from Japan – Narita International Airport (NRT) and Kansai International Airport (KIX) and South Korea – Incheon International Airport (ICN).
The move will allow international visitors to avoid a 10-day quarantine after arriving in Hawaii. Participation in the Pre-Clear Program enables inbound passengers to skip health screening and quarantine on arrival, as long as they provide a negative Covid-19 test from an approved provider 72 hours before arrival in Hawaii.
Theo Panagiotoulias, senior vice president for global sales and alliances at Hawaiian Airlines, said:
“Expanding our Pre-Clear Program to Japan and South Korea simplifies the travel experience for our international guests so they can spend less time at the airport and more time vacationing or doing business in Hawai‘i. We look forward to working with the State of Hawai‘i to expand the program to more markets, and to continue building back travel to Hawai‘i in a way that is safe for visitors and our community.”
It’s been a tough time for the airline, which is due to receive US$ 167 million in government aid. Nevertheless, Hawaiian Airlines is now in its 92nd year of service and continues to be Hawaii’s most prominent and longest-serving airline. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaiian Airlines has temporarily suspended service in Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, and Tahiti. However, by reopening to Japan and South Korea, Hawaii can restart its recovery and look forward to a brighter 2021.
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