Hawaiian Airlines will offer the first-ever non-stop service between Los Angeles and the islands of Kaua'i and Hawai'i, in response to growing demand during next summer's peak travel period. The new summer service will commence between Los Angeles and Lihu'e, Kaua'i four times a week, and Los Angeles and Kona, Hawai'i Island three times a week from June 26, 2014 until September 19, 2014.
The two new services will add more than 22,000 seats to both island travel markets over 12 weeks of service, and complements the new Oakland service that will also start next summer with direct flights to Lihu'e and Kona for 10 weeks. The Oakland link from the islands was announced in August this year when Hawaiian also revealed it would boost its four times weekly link to the Californian airport to a daily operation from January 2014.
"We are offering more options for Southern California travelers to book their vacation and experience Hawai'i's Big Island and Garden Isle," said Peter Ingram, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Hawaiian Airlines. "We are pleased to be supporting both Kaua'i and Big Island's visitor industries with this new summer service and offering island residents direct access to Los Angeles."
The new Los Angeles services will be operated by Hawaiian Airlines' wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. With the addition of these flights both Lihu'e Airport and Kona International Airport will have a Hawaiian Airlines wide-body aircraft arriving every day of the week next summer.
In 2012 an estimated 1.54 million O&D passengers flew between Los Angeles and the Hawaiian islands, according to MIDT data. Hawaiian Airlines help the greatest share of the traffic with a 27.7 per cent share, followed closely by American Airlines (22.6 per cent) and Delta Air Lines (22.4 per cent). More than half of this O&D demand, partly due to the availability of more flights, is between Honolulu and Los Angeles, but over 300,000 passengers travelled between Kahului and Los Angeles, while approximately 195,000 and 135,000 flew between the Californian gateway and Lihu'e and Kona, respectively.
Meanwhile, Hawaiian has made an application to the US Department of Transportation to introduce non-stop flights between Tokyo International Airport at Haneda and Kona International Airport on Hawai'i Island, utilising operating slots at Haneda airport being returned by American Airlines later this year. The airline plans to operate a daily service using a 294-seat Airbus A330 and has already secured 175 letters of support from members of the Kona community.
"Our enthusiasm for this service and the benefits it would provide to Hawai'i and to the United States is as strong as it has ever been," said Mark Dunkerley, president and chief executive officer, Hawaiian Airlines. "Kona is Hawai'i's second-largest destination market for Japanese visitors, and daily non-stop service from Tokyo would generate a substantial amount of foreign spending that will invigorate the local, state and national economies."
Hawaiian has been connecting Hawai'i and Japan since November 2010, when it launched daily service between Haneda and Honolulu. The airline quickly followed with service between Honolulu and Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo and Sendai, and now provides 6,700 seats per week between Japan and the Hawaiian Islands. Kona has been without a non-stop flight from Japan since October 29, 2010, when Japan Airlines discontinued direct service to West Hawai'i from Narita International Airport.