Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to begin daily, nonstop service this summer between Tokyo International Airport at Haneda (HND) and Kona International Airport (KOA) on Hawai’i Island. The airline’s action was prompted by the U.S. DOT’s decision last month to review the public interest served by Delta Air Lines’ Seattle/Tacoma-Tokyo route after Delta reduced its frequency from daily to seasonal.
In its application, Hawai’i’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.
The Hawai’i 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 and result in 1,151 new jobs and $65 million in new direct spending.
The application has the full support of Governor David Ige and Hawai’i Island Mayor Billy Kenoi.
If approved, this would be Hawaiian Airlines’ fifth Japan route and third daily nonstop flight between Japan and Hawai’i, joining daily service to Honolulu from Tokyo and Osaka and thrice-weekly service between Honolulu, Sendai and Sapporo. Hawaiian Airlines anticipates it will begin service on or about June 1, 2015, utilizing its fleet of 20 294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The departure and arrival times will vary depending on time of year.
In other news, Hawaiian Airlines announced its system-wide traffic statistics for the full year, fourth quarter and the month of December 2014. The airline set a new annual record in its 85-year history with 10,195,145 passengers transported in 2014, 2.6 percent higher than the previous year.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N381HA (msn 1114) approaches the runway at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.
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