Which airport serves as the primary hub for Hawaii?

Air Travel

By Kristy Tolley

Hawaii’s Primary Hub Airport

Hawaii is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. The state’s geographic location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean makes air travel the most convenient way to get there. With 8 major airports, Hawaii has a well-developed aviation infrastructure, but which airport serves as the primary hub for the state?

Honolulu International Airport: A Brief History

Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is Hawaii’s primary hub airport. It is located on the island of Oahu and was opened in March 1927. The airport was originally called John Rodgers Airport, in honor of the naval officer who became the first American to fly across the Pacific Ocean. The airport was later renamed Honolulu Airport and in 2017, it was officially renamed Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

Airlines Operating at Honolulu Airport

Honolulu Airport serves as a hub for Hawaiian Airlines, which is Hawaii’s largest carrier. Other airlines that operate at the airport include United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Japan Airlines. In addition to these major carriers, several international airlines also operate flights to and from Honolulu Airport, including Air Canada, Air New Zealand, and Qantas.

Honolulu Airport’s Passenger & Cargo Traffic

Honolulu Airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States, serving more than 20 million passengers annually. The airport also handles a significant amount of cargo traffic, making it an important economic hub for the state of Hawaii. In 2019, the airport handled over 400,000 metric tons of cargo.

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport: A New Name

In 2017, Honolulu Airport was officially renamed Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in honor of the late senator who represented Hawaii in Congress for more than 50 years. Senator Inouye was a strong advocate for the state’s aviation industry and played a key role in securing funding for the airport’s expansion and modernization projects.

How Inouye Airport Changed Hawaii’s Aviation

The renaming of Honolulu Airport to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport marked a significant milestone for Hawaii’s aviation industry. The airport has undergone extensive renovations and modernization projects in recent years, including the construction of a new Mauka Concourse and the expansion of the Diamond Head Concourse. These improvements have not only enhanced the airport’s capacity to handle more passengers, but have also improved the overall passenger experience.

Inouye Airport’s Airlines and Destinations

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport is a major hub for Hawaiian Airlines, with the carrier operating flights to destinations throughout Hawaii, the mainland United States, and international destinations in Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific. Other airlines that operate at the airport include United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Japan Airlines.

Kona International Airport: The Second Busiest

Kona International Airport (KOA) is the second busiest airport in Hawaii. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, the airport serves as a gateway to popular tourist destinations such as Kailua-Kona, Waikoloa, and Hilo.

Kona Airport’s Airlines and Destinations

Kona International Airport is served by several major airlines, including Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, and American Airlines. The airport offers nonstop flights to destinations throughout Hawaii, as well as to the mainland United States and international destinations in Canada and Japan.

Kahului Airport: Maui’s Main Gateway

Kahului Airport (OGG) is the main gateway to the island of Maui. Located in central Maui, the airport is served by several major airlines, including Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines.

Kahului Airport’s Airlines and Traffic

Kahului Airport handles more than 7 million passengers annually, making it the second busiest airport in Hawaii after Honolulu. The airport offers nonstop flights to destinations throughout Hawaii, as well as to the mainland United States and international destinations in Canada and Japan.

Lihue Airport: Serving Kauai and More

Lihue Airport (LIH) is located on the island of Kauai and serves as a gateway to popular tourist destinations such as Poipu, Princeville, and Hanalei. The airport is served by several major airlines, including Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines.

Lihue Airport handles more than 2 million passengers annually, making it one of the busiest airports in Hawaii. The airport offers nonstop flights to destinations throughout Hawaii, as well as to the mainland United States and international destinations in Canada and Japan.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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