According to a statement issued by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), Virgin America will begin serving Hawaii for the first time this fall.
"This announcement is exciting news for Hawaii," David Uchiyama, vice president of brand management for the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said in the statement. "We have been working together with Virgin America for more than five years to make these new flights and their entry into our market a reality."
Uchiyama said beginning November 2, Virgin America will fly new Airbus 320 aircraft with 149 seats on daily non-stop service between San Francisco and Honolulu and anticipates launching direct service from San Francisco to Kahului, Maui on December 3.
"These new flights will increase access to the Hawaiian Islands from both our core U.S. West and U.S. East markets through Virgin America's extensive nationwide flight network," said Uchiyama. "We estimate that flights will generate $138.6 million in visitor spending and $14.8 million in tax revenue for the state on an annual basis."
By year end 2015, scheduled airlift to Hawaii is expected to top 11.8 million seats, an increase of six percent over last year, said Uchiyama.
"Air access is a critical component to the health and sustainability of our tourism economy," he said, "and the HTA will continue to work with our airline and industry partners to create and maintain demand for travel to the Hawaiian Islands."