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With its iconic beaches, volcanoes, and lush rainforests, Hawaii is one of the world’s top vacation destinations. If you’re planning a trip to the Aloha State, you’ll likely fly into one of Hawaii’s main airports.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The major airports in Hawaii include Honolulu International Airport on Oahu, Kahului Airport on Maui, Hilo International Airport and Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport on Hawaii Island, and Lihue Airport on Kauai.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll outline the major airports across the Hawaiian islands, detailing the airlines and destinations served from each location. We’ll also provide key facts and figures on passenger traffic and airport amenities to help you determine the best option for your Hawaiian getaway.

Honolulu International Airport (HNL)

Overview and Airlines

Honolulu International Airport (HNL), also known as Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, is the largest and busiest airport in Hawaii. Located in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, it serves as the main hub for Hawaiian Airlines and the primary gateway for most visitors flying into the Hawaiian Islands from mainland United States and international destinations.

In 2022, HNL handled over 18 million passengers and offered nonstop flights to major cities in North America, Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific. Some of the major airlines operating out of HNL besides Hawaiian Airlines include Delta, United, American, Southwest, Alaska, Air Canada, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, and Qantas.

As Hawaii’s principal airport, HNL has two parallel runways capable of handling wide-body aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 747. The airport serves both domestic and international flights and features all major terminal amenities.

It’s also known for its iconic Hawaiian-themed architecture featuring open-air concourses with palm trees and hula dancers.

Terminals and Amenities

Honolulu International Airport has two main passenger terminals – the Diamond Head Concourse and the Ewa Concourse – which are spread across 6 concourses labeled A through E and the Interisland Terminal.

  • Diamond Head Concourse houses Gates 1-34 across Concourses A, B, and C. Main carriers here are Hawaiian Airlines, Delta, and American.
  • Ewa Concourse houses Gates 35-48 across Concourses D and E. Main airlines here are United and Southwest.
  • Interisland Terminal is located west of the main terminals and handles inter-island flights on smaller turboprop aircraft.

In terms of amenities, HNL offers dozens of retail stores and restaurants, currency exchange booths, rental car agencies, free WiFi, nursing stations, and baggage storage. Business services like fax, internet, copiers, computer workstations, and conference rooms are also available.

HNL also features outdoor gardens, fish ponds, and historical exhibits celebrating Hawaiian culture. Artwork, live music, and hula dancing make waiting for your flight a uniquely Hawaiian experience.

In 2022, HNL was recognized by J.D. Power as the Best Major Airport in North America based on customer satisfaction across key performance factors like accessibility, check-in efficiency, food & retail options, terminal facilities, and baggage handling. With its extensive air service and world-class amenities tailored to showcase aloha spirit, Honolulu International Airport lives up to its reputation as the gateway to paradise.

Kahului Airport (OGG)

Overview and Airlines

Located in central Maui, Kahului Airport is the main airport serving the island of Maui. It handles flights from major domestic and international carriers including Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, WestJet, Air Canada, and Japan Airlines.

In 2022, Kahului Airport served over 7.4 million passengers, making it the 2nd busiest airport in Hawaii after Honolulu Airport. As Maui’s primary airport, Kahului offers nonstop flights to destinations within Hawaii, the US mainland, Canada, Japan, and occasionally other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The airport has a single two-story terminal building with 34 gates. Airlines with significant operations and market share at Kahului Airport include:

  • Hawaiian Airlines – Up to 36 daily flights to Honolulu, Kona, Līhuʻe, and Hilo.
  • United Airlines – Nonstop flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago.
  • Alaska Airlines – Nonstop flights to Oakland, San Jose, San Diego, Portland, Seattle.
  • American Airlines – Nonstop flights to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth.
  • Delta Air Lines – Nonstop flights to Los Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake City.

In recent years, Kahului Airport has seen steady passenger growth, reflecting Maui’s popularity as a leisure and vacation destination. The airport serves as an important gateway not only for tourists but also for locally grown agricultural exports.


As the main airport serving Maui, Kahului aims to provide essential services and amenities for travelers. The terminal building houses various restaurants and shops, including local Hawaiian food outlets, coffee shops like Starbucks, souvenir stores showcasing Made-in-Hawaii products, and convenience stores.

Restaurants & Cafes Local Plate Lunch, Sam Sato’s, Starbucks, Kalaheo Cafe
Shops Maui Hands Gallery & Store, Honolua Surf Co., Paradise Found Gallery, Duty Free Shoppers

Free WiFi access is available throughout the airport. Other amenities include money exchange services, baggage carts and strollers, nursing rooms for mothers, automated external defibrillators (AEDs), wheelchairs, public phones and rideshare pick-up areas.

Kahului Airport also features a business center lounge called Plumeria Lounge by GH SmartClubs. This airside lounge near Gates 15-16 offers comfortable seating, free snacks and drinks, flight information screens and tarmac views for a paid entry fee.

Hilo International Airport (ITO)

Overview and Airlines

Hilo International Airport (ITO) is the main airport on Hawaii’s Big Island, located just outside Hilo. This conveniently located airport serves residents and visitors traveling to the eastern side of the island.

The airport has a single runway and offers flights from Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest Airlines to Honolulu, Kahului, and Kona.

In 2021, Hilo International Airport served over 800,000 passengers, making it the state’s third busiest airport after Honolulu and Kahului. It offers easy access to popular Big Island attractions like Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Akaka Falls, and Hilo town.


Although smaller than some other Hawaiian airports, Hilo International provides several useful amenities for travelers. The airport has an open-air courtyard with plantings and artwork by local artists. Free WiFi is available, and passengers can charge devices at the courtesy charging stations.

Dining options in the airport include Hilo Burger Joint, which serves local grass-fed beef burgers, and the Paradise Pub, which offers craft beer and pub fare. Travelers can also browse made-in-Hawaii products at the extensive gift shop.

Car rental agencies like Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, and National are located onsite. Taxis, private shuttles, and rideshare services are available for airport transportation.

Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport (KOA)

Overview and Airlines

The Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport, commonly known as Kona International Airport (IATA code: KOA), is the main commercial airport on Hawaii’s Big Island. Located in Kailua-Kona, it serves over 2 million passengers annually with flights from major US carriers and international airlines.

The airport has two runways and operates 24 hours a day. Major airlines flying into KOA include Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Japan Airlines.

Destinations include popular routes to Honolulu, Maui, Oahu as well as major US hub cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Seattle.

In 2021, Kona International Airport serviced 2.27 million passengers and had 27,322 aircraft operations, making it the 2nd busiest airport in Hawaii after Honolulu (DOT statistics). Passenger traffic has seen steady growth over the past decade as the Big Island emerges as a leading tourist destination.


Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport offers standard amenities you would expect at a mid-sized regional airport. Services and facilities include:

  • Free WiFi access
  • Charging stations throughout the terminals
  • Food and shopping options like restaurants, cafes, and duty-free stores
  • Banking services and ATMs
  • Rental car counters for all major agencies like Hertz, Avis, Budget, etc.

Additionally, the airport has a business center, nursing rooms for mothers, pet relief areas, and baggage carts. There is ample parking in the nearby lots, including disabled parking access and EV charging stations.

While Kona is not as massive as Honolulu International Airport, it has upgraded amenities and services to accommodate the growing volume of visitors flocking to the Big Island’s sunny paradise! 🏖️😎⛱️

Lihue Airport (LIH)

Overview and Airlines

Located just 3 miles from downtown Lihue on the island of Kauai, Lihue Airport is the main airport for the Garden Isle. This busy little airport serves over 1.5 million passengers annually with flights from major carriers like American Airlines, Delta, United, Alaska, and Hawaiian Airlines.

Visitors can find direct flights to Lihue from several major west coast hubs like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland.

In addition to commercial flights, Lihue Airport has an active general aviation community with private and chartered flights frequently coming and going. The airport has a single runway and single terminal building with 12 gates capable of handling wide-body aircraft like 767s and A330s.


Although small in size, Lihue Airport offers many of the same amenities found in larger airports. Services and facilities include:

  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal
  • Charging stations for phones/electronics
  • Food/beverage options like Starbucks, Subway, and Hudson News
  • Gift shops with local Hawaiian items
  • Car rental desks for all major companies
  • Currency exchange
  • Payphones and ATMs

The airport also offers pre-arranged lei greetings for arriving visitors in partnership with charitable organizations. With its convenient location and island hospitality, Lihue Airport provides an authentic aloha welcome to Kauai.


With its tropical climate and stunning scenery, Hawaii remains a dream destination for many. By understanding the major airports and the airlines and amenities offered at each, travelers can better plan their ultimate Hawaiian vacation.

Whether you’re looking to relax on Oahu’s famous Waikiki Beach, gaze into Kilauea volcano on Hawaii Island, or go snorkeling off Maui, knowing your airport options is key to crafting the perfect Aloha State itinerary that best fits your style and budget.

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