According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), air seat capacity in Hawaii continues to grow into the fourth quarter with 12 new routes launching this month, servicing secondary cities in Japan and the West Coast of the U.S.
In November, air seat capacity for the West Coast will increase 12.8 percent with eight new routes by Alaska Airlines and Allegiant Air. Each flight will connect Hawaii to secondary West Coast cities including Anchorage, Bellingham, Eugene, Portland, Santa Maria and Stockton, four of which will offer direct service to the neighbor islands.
Capitalizing on the growth in travel demand from Oceania, Hawaiian Airlines will launch their inaugural nonstop flight from Honolulu to Brisbane on November 27, offering service three times per week. Jetstar will also return direct service between Melbourne and Honolulu twice a week starting December 15. These two routes open up new gateway cities in Australia, which currently offers direct service to Hawaii only through Sydney. Oceania is the second fastest growing market for Hawaii’s tourism economy, with a 30.3 percent growth in total visitor arrivals for 2012 year-to-date.
Hawaiian Airlines introduced new service between Honolulu and Sapporo on October 30 that will operate three times a week offering the only direct service between Hokkaido and Hawaii. This new flight will strengthen Hawaii’s tourism economy by an estimated $61 million in direct visitor spending, $6.7 million in tax revenue and will support 700 jobs for Hawaii residents annually.
WestJet will also reintroduce their seasonal flights between Canada and Hawaii from Dec. 13 to April 21. The flights will service Hawaii from Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta providing economic options to new travelers by incorporating low-cost package options. Year-to-date, the Canada market contributed a growth of 4.9 percent in visitor arrivals and 10.2 percent in total expenditures. The HTA anticipates these new flights to further stimulate Hawaii’s tourism economy by creating airlift access to secondary and gateway cities.
The expansion of service to Japan will help the HTA in reaching the target of 2 million Japanese visitors in 2016, deemed by a Memorandum Of Understanding between the HTA and the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA).
“Airlift is the lifeline for our tourism economy, so we are pleased to welcome these new routes that will connect secondary cities to our Hawaiian Islands,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA, in a written release. “Together with our airline partners, the HTA is committed to supporting service that will help stimulate growth for our tourism economy and create more travel opportunities for residents. We look forward to sharing our people, place and culture with visitors traveling on these new routes.”