The previous routes are based on Great Circle Principles. One
of the Great Circle principles is to avoid east west travel near the Equator.
This is due to the increased bulge of the planet near the Equator.
For this reason the main east west travel of these routes is
either a great distance north of the Equator via the Majuro route or a great
distance south of the Equator via the Pago Pago or Nadi routes.
The non-stop B747.400 route that passes to the south of the
Hawaiian Islands is the commercial [Qantas / United / Air New Zealand] version
of the Great Circle route. The other routes are also based on the Great Circle
principle with refuelling at Honolulu.
There is no real difference via Majuro or Pago Pago / Nadi.
The usual non-B747.400, eg B767, airline route is via Nadi or Pago Pago as more
passengers would stop off in these tourist regions. Some B767-300ER or similar
planes may track direct Australia / Honolulu. Freight planes or private planes
sometimes use the Majuro route.
Many small aircraft have flown the long Pacific Ocean stages
on their delivery flight to Australia or New Zealand. These aircraft, like
Smithy's planes, were fitted with extra fuel tanks.
These extra tanks were of the metal variety in the baggage
compartment or main cabin. Other types of temporary fuel tanks could include the
bladder bag variety.