Delta Announces New Detroit To Honolulu Route

Filed Under: Delta

It’s cool to see some longer nonstop flights being added from further East in the mainland to Hawaii. A couple of weeks ago Hawaiian Airlines announced that they’d start flying between Boston and Honolulu, which will be the longest domestic US flight.

Now Delta Air Lines has announced that they’ll be launching daily nonstop flights between Detroit and Honolulu as of June 29, 2019. The flight will operate with the following schedule:

Detroit to Honolulu departing 12:00PM arriving 3:43PM
Honolulu to Detroit departing 3:15PM arriving 6:10AM (+1 day)

This new flight covers a distance of 4,475 miles in each direction, and is blocked at 9hr43min westbound and 8hr55min eastbound. As you can see, it looks like they’ll be using different planes for the outbound and return, given that the flight leaves Honolulu for Detroit about 30 minutes before the inbound flight leaves. That’s fair enough, since they obviously design the schedule to maximize connection opportunities.

The flight isn’t yet bookable, but will go on sale as of September 29, 2018.

Delta will use a Boeing 767-300ER for this route, featuring a total of 196 seats, including 25 business class seats each featuring direct aisle access, plus 171 main cabin seats. Business class seats are fully flat and feature direct aisle access, though are very tight.

Delta’s 767 business class cabin

Delta’s 767 Comfort+ cabin

This new flight marks the ninth US gateway Delta has to Honolulu, in addition to their core service from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and Seattle, in addition to seasonal flights from New York, San Francisco, and Portland.

Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian, had the following to say about the new route:

“We’re pleased to add a nonstop link to Hawaii from our Detroit hub as we know it’s a destination our customers in our hub city and beyond have asked for. It will also bring convenient, one-stop connections to Honolulu for many customers in dozens of other cities we serve in the Upper Midwest and Northeast U.S.”

I wouldn’t expect much in the way of saver level award availability on these flights, given how many SkyMiles Delta loves to charge for flights. However, there are often reasonable paid first class fares for travel to & from Hawaii.

What do you make of Delta’s new Detroit to Honolulu route?

  1. Being based out of DTW, this is a great route, but they better refresh the 767 seats to the new suites sooner rather then later.

  2. As an NYC flyer, kind of annoying that all of these airlines are adding longer direct flights from hubs west of New York and aren’t really adding a lot of long-haul capacity to NYC. It would be cook to be able to fly to Hawaii on a nice long-haul plane from NYC on an airline outside of Jet Blue / Hawaiian. Still this is a nice option as it is better than connecting in Atlanta (though I wish the plane was nicer)

  3. In April of 2017 I flew MSP-HNL with my wife but it was on the A330 with delta and it was awesome. When they made the swap to the 767 late last year on the HNL routes both from MSP and ATL I was so bummed, it’s such a downgrade in comfort and experience.

  4. @Andrew — Yes, they are. Delta’s CEO recently stated that all widebodies should have suites by 2021. Just haven’t laid out timeline for 767 refits, yet.

  5. I flew SEA-AMS on DL’s 767 in business. Man, these seats are tight as you write. Seriously felt like a coffin. Service was awesome, though. I’ve only experienced amazing crews in domestic first and business long-haul on Delta, tbh.

  6. @Anthony : ” It would be cook to be able to fly to Hawaii on a nice long-haul plane from NYC on an airline outside of Jet Blue / Hawaiian”

    ehhh … u do know that both UA and DL also fly NYC-HNL nonstop (okie, DL is EXTREMELY seasonal for barely 2 weeks around Xmas/NewYear), but IIRC, UA is year-round daily nonstop from EWR (now here comes “UA-NYC” who insist EWR is so far out it’s GMT-6)

    For the key airport of HNL, both UA and DL are competitive from beyond pacific time zone hubs.
    DL has SLC ATL plus seasonal MSP JFK and soon DTW.
    UA has DEN IAH ORD EWR IAD (wiki doesn’t list any of them being seasonal but i’m slightly skeptical)
    AA is the least impressive with PHX DFW and seasonal ORD.

    what DL needs is actually better interior coverage to more peripheral destinations. Take Maui/OGG. In terms of lower48 hubs from mountain to eastern, AA offers 2 routes (PHX+DFW) and UA also with 2 (DEN+ORD) while DL only has SLC. And forget about Lihue or Kona – DL doesn’t have flights that don’t touch a west coast hub.

    If wiki is accurate, it seems that UA’s DEN has the claim of the most interior hub with year-round nonstops to all 4 key destinations in Hawaii (with a minor bonus that DEN is reachable via 757 unless extreme winter headwinds, but DFW-Hawaii pretty much necessitates 767.)

  7. Yea Delta has a bunch of 767’s that route through Hawaii and usually continues or returns onto a different destination. In the morning they have a 767 that usually goes on to Narita, Nagoya, and Osaka for example that are run by 767’s

  8. EWR is an S-hole but UA does have a lot of flights

    (Henry LAX is still a UA plant on blogs though…the endless fluffing of UA is amusing)

  9. Clear defensive move to keep HA out of their neck of the woods with all the excess capacity they have coming online shortly.

  10. I booked this route several months ago, as soon as it became available for a trip in January 2020. Booked via Virgin Atlantic (coach – didn’t have enough UR points at the time for Delta One). 20,000 miles per seat each way, which was a total steal. Was super bummed when I got the notification that the flight was changed to one with a layover at LAX. Apparently they cancelled this route for flights September 3rd 2019 and beyond. Couldn’t get a straight answer from Delta whether it will come back. Any insider insight into whether it will come back?

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