Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. filed an application Monday with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to begin daily, non-stop service this summer between Tokyo International Airport at Haneda (HND) and Kona International Airport (KOA) on Hawaii Island.
The airline’s action was prompted by the U.S. DOT’s decision last month to review the public interest served by Delta’s Seattle-Tokyo route after Delta reduced its frequency from daily to seasonal.
In its application, Hawaii’s flagship carrier urged the U.S. DOT to reallocate Delta’s Haneda frequency based on market data, noting that Hawaiian Airlines’ Honolulu-Tokyo service has been “by far the most, if not only, successful route” of the four Haneda slot pairs granted to U.S. carriers in 2010.
“Kona continues to be a top destination for Japanese travelers, and we are more certain than ever that direct service to West Hawaii is the highest and best use for the scarce Haneda slots that are at stake here,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, in a written release. “This route would provide unmatched public benefit by improving U.S. exports, boosting spending and economic growth within the United States and increasing U.S. jobs.”
The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) estimates that the proposed daily service will generate 531,721 visitor days and $146 million in visitor expenditures. Hawaiian Airlines’ application calculates that service directly to Kona will attract 39,000 additional visitors, result in 1,151 new jobs and $65 million in new direct spending.