Consumers and travel advisors alike have been hoping for additional flights to Hawaii for years, with the idea that more service would drive down the high cost to fly to the Aloha State.
Well, mark December 14 down in your calendar as the day a massive influx of flights to the Hawaii Islands could give consumers and advisors the competition in the Hawaiian skies they’ve been clamoring for.
Five days later, on December 19, Honolulu welcomes the inaugural flight of air carrier Scoot from Singapore, which will include a stopover in Osaka, Japan, as part of the route. Hawaii is Scoot’s first U.S. destination, with flights being offered four days weekly.
“Confidence in Hawaii as a travel destination is perhaps best reflected by air carriers wanting to add new flights to the islands,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), in a written release. “Consumer travel demand for Hawaii drives added air access, which, in turn, strengthens the economy and, ultimately, benefits communities and residents statewide.
“It’s a winning formula for Hawaii driven by tourism’s success,” said Szigeti, “but one that also gives residents more travel choices when flying abroad to the U.S. mainland and internationally.”
On December 20, United Airlines will begin expanding its capacity to Hawaii by 20 percent overall, adding more nonstop flights to the neighbor islands from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Denver.
“Altogether, the added flights are both a great finish to 2017,” said Szigeti, “and a springboard to further strengthen Hawaii tourism as 2018 begins.”
Southwest Airlines to Sell Tickets to Hawaii in 2018
Southwest Airlines is also moving into the Hawaii market as the carrier announced plans back in October to begin selling tickets in 2018 for service to Hawaii.
The carrier also announced its intention to launch an application process for Federal Aviation Administration authorization for Extended Operations (ETOPS). Service details are expected to be announced at a later date, according to a statement issued by the airline.
The carrier announced it will embark on a process to obtain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for Extended Operations (ETOPS), a regulatory requirement to operate between the mainland and the Hawaiian islands.
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