United Airlines has now launched service between Orange County and Honolulu, part of its efforts to bulk up service to Hawaii ahead of the summer holidays.
United Airlines Now Operating Orange County – Honolulu Flights
Live and Let’s Fly covered the announcement of this unique route in February, a “point-to-point” route that does not touch a United hub on either end. There was some question three month ago whether the flight would ever take off, but case numbers trending in the right direction in both Hawaii and on the Mainland meant the new service launched as scheduled.
The new service operates daily according to the following schedule utilizing a Boeing 737-700 aircraft with 12 seats in first class and 114 in economy class:
- Depart Orange County (SNA) – 8:30am // Arrive Honolulu (HNL) – 11:30am
- Depart Honolulu (HNL) – 12:50pm // Arrive Orange County (SNA) – 9:10pm
While John Wayne Airport, also known as Santa Ana or simply Orange County, is a fairly small United station, it does have a United Club (currently closed) and is one of the easiest airports in Southern California to park and navigate. With confidence in domestic travel rebounding thanks to a widespread rollout of vaccines, United should do well on this route.
Continental Airlines added service between SNA and both Honolulu and Maui in 2010. The flights did not preform well and were scrapped in 2012.
Patrick Quayle, United’s Vice President of International Network and Alliances, noted:
“This is the first new route we’ve launched from Orange County since before the pandemic, so it’s an exciting day for us and our customers. We know everyone is dreaming of summer getaways and we want United to be their top choice for the most seamless travel experience to Hawaii. Customers traveling from Orange County will not only benefit from saving travel time with this new nonstop service, but with a valid negative COVID-19 test they can be pre-cleared, skip the document screening process in Hawaii and start their vacation immediately.”
To celebrate the launch of the new service yesterday, United held a gate ceremony with goodie bags (including a first flight certificate) and Polynesian dancers.
United Airlines has now launched its service between Honolulu and Orange County. The new service comes at an opportune time as domestic travel is rebounding and interest in Hawaii is surging as Americans look inward in light of mixed signals on the re-opening of Europe and other international destinations.
As for me, I prefer widebody service from Los Angeles, which is even closer to my house than Orange County, but I certainly hope this new route does well and expect that it will.
Fond memories of this airport. I have family in Huntington and Newport so SNA is my go-to airport. For many years, I’ve enjoyed the easy drive up through Costa Mesa often stopping at South Coast Plaza to grab some dim sum at Din Tai Fung before flying out. Now I want to go back lol Thanks for that.
At what point does HNL become an official hub for United? It is far more active than their actual hub in Guam.
I’m surprised they have not launched inter island flights via UAX
Not an official hub (?) but HNL has long held quasi-hub status with UA
The amount of coverage of UA is ridiculous.
Given his appalling statements on race, calling this airport “John Wayne” is a microagression.
United used to be the big airline in HNL during the days of Hawaii Five-O in the 1960’s.
Now they need to operate SNA-OGG.