US carrier, Hawaiian Airlines has outlined plans to introduce a second daily flight between Honolulu and Tokyo from July next year, introducing a split airport offering in the Japanese capital in the process. The airline’s existing service to Haneda Airport will be complemented by a new link to Narita International Airport, adding some complexity to its business but providing enhanced flight options for travellers to and from the Greater Tokyo region.
The airline first introduced non-stop flights into Japan in November 2010 when it launched its daily link between Honolulu International Airport and Tokyo Haneda and it also currently provides links into Osaka in July 2011 and Sapporo in October 2012. The new daily Tokyo Narita service will commence from July 22, 2016 and will be flown using a 294 seat Airbus A330-200 with 18 Business Class, 40 Extra Comfort and 236 Economy seats.
"We've had the pleasure of carrying more than 800,000 visitors between Haneda and Honolulu since the launch of our daily A330 service more than five years ago," said Mark Dunkerley, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hawaiian Airlines.
"With average load factors routinely exceeding 90 per cent, it is clear Japanese travellers have chosen Hawaiian as their carrier of choice when visiting our beautiful islands and we are now excited to offer even more options for service between Honolulu and the Greater Tokyo region with the launch of a second daily flight from Narita."
Japan is Hawaii's largest international market with arrivals from the market making up 18 per cent of total arrivals to the state in 2014. The new daily flight is projected to contribute an annual $130 million in visitor spending and $14.7 million in state tax revenue, according to George D Szigeti, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hawai'i Tourism Authority.
"With the recent announcement that the US Department of Homeland Security is looking to expand pre-clearance operations at Narita, this flight will provide additional service from one of our core markets," he added.
Narita will be the airline's eleventh international destination and alongside Japan the carrier also provides flights into South Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tahiti.
Hawaiian’s Narita flight will operate with an earlier departure time to the existing Haneda link. It will depart Honolulu daily at 3:30pm, cross the international dateline, and arrive at Narita International Airport at 7pm the following day. The return flight will depart from Tokyo at 9pm, cross the international dateline, and arrive at Honolulu International Airport at 9:55am the same day.
There are currently up to 13 flights a day between Honolulu and Tokyo and alongside the existing Hawaiian service, All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) offer daily flights to/from Haneda, while ANA, China Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JAL and Korean Air and United Airlines all offer at least daily flights to/from Narita with the Japanese carriers offering multiple frequencies.
Hawaiian Airlines has been recording stable demand on its flights between Honolulu and Tokyo and in each of the last three full calendar years carried around 165,000 annual passengers on the route with average loads in the high 70 per cents. This has seen it secure a market share of around 8.2 per cent.