|Helicopter view of Hawaii Island. // Photo by Joe Pike|
According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, air access to the Hawaiian Islands is forecasted to grow 4.9 percent to more than 3 million nonstop air seats during the third quarter of this year.
The increases are from the U.S. West (up 4.7 percent), U.S. East (up 7.2 percent), Japan (up 3 percent), Canada (up 30 percent) and Oceania (up 13.2 percent). This brings airlift capacity to the state up to 8,930,073 seats (up 6.6 percent) through September 2015.
Hawaii’s core U.S. West market is anticipated to remain strong with an additional 84,000 scheduled seats between July and September, up 4.7 percent compared to the same period last year. The largest increases in inbound seat inventory will be from Los Angeles (up 1.8 percent), San Francisco (up 19.8 percent) and Seattle (up 16.4 percent).
Seat capacity from the U.S. East market will increase 7.2 percent to 242,040 seats, with the largest gains from Chicago (up 28.3 percent, which includes additional United Airlines’ flights to Maui) and Atlanta (up 20.4 percent, including Delta’s seasonal aircraft up gauge from an Airbus A330 to larger Boeing 747).
For the first time this year, air seats from Japan are expected to rise 3.0 percent to 518,465 seats during the third quarter with a second daily flight by All Nippon Airways and increased seat inventory from Delta and Japan Airlines for flights out of Tokyo Narita.
Canada reported the largest increase ( up 30 percent to 57,776) in air seats during the third quarter, typically a slower period for visitor arrivals from Canada, which tend to peak during the winter season. The service change-over from Air Canada to Air Canada rouge, which uses higher capacity aircraft, helped to grow seat inventory for its Vancouver to Honolulu and Kahului routes.