Hawaiian Airlines inaugurated thrice-weekly service between HNL and CTS (New Chitose International Airport, Hokkaido, Japan) this morning. Before passengers boarded HAL441, Hawaiian hosted pre-boarding festivities that included: food from Chef Chai, the Hawaiian Airlines Serenaders, singer and kumu hula Robert Cazimero performing a song; the Hanayagi Dance School; an ‘oli by Keone Martin; a prayer and blessing by Kahu Richard Kamanu; and lei given to each boarding passenger. N587HA "Pakalakala" was the 767-33AER that flew HAL441.
The traditional maile lei tied before the entrance to Gate 34, along with the commemorative "Aloha Sapporo" banner.
The Hawaiian Airlines Serenaders hula dancers with "Pakalakala" in the background.
The cabin crew of HAL441 poses for a group shot before attending to their pre-flight duties.
Hawaiian Airlines CFO Peter Ingram unties the maile lei shortly after Kahu Richard Kamanu performed the prayer and Hawaiian blessing.
Mahalo to Hawaiian Airlines for the invitation to this event!