Hawaiian Airlines to Launch Nonstop Service to Auckland, NZ

It seems we can't go a month without Hawaiian Airlines announcing a new nonstop destination: Over the weekend, the airline revealed that it will open a new international gateway to New Zealand with new nonstop service between Honolulu and Auckland three days weekly beginning March 13, 2013. This gateway will make Hawaiian the only U.S. carrier flying into Auckland.

The company’s market research indicates that Hawaii is an underserved market for New Zealand, as tourism figures show there are currently 30 percent fewer visitor arrivals coming from New Zealand than in 1999 when more nonstop flights were offered between the two destinations. In addition, New Zealand residents made more than one million trips to the South Pacific and Asia in 2011.

Hawaiian’s new service will add more than 40,000 seats annually between Auckland and Hawaii.

“Hawaiian Airlines’ entry into the New Zealand market is more positive news for Hawaii’s tourism economy, with the potential to bring in up to an estimated $50 million in annual visitor expenditures and $5.4 million in tax revenue,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).

According to HTA, the New Zealand market is a strong source of visitors for Hawaii. In 2011, Hawaii received 20,730 arrivals from New Zealand—an increase of 15.4 percent compared to 2010—which were responsible for generating $38 million in visitor expenditures. Year-to-date through May 2012, arrivals from New Zealand have increased by 5.1 percent year-over-year.