Hawaii Airlift Is Looking Up

Announcements of increased air service have been made by several mainland carriers

Hawaii's tourism industry got a boost recently with the announcements of increased air service by several mainland carriers.

On Dec. 4, Continental Airlines stated its plans for new service between Orange County and Maui beginning March 7, 2010. In addition, the company increased to daily previously-announced service between Orange County and Honolulu, also starting March 7, 2010. The new Orange County-Hawaii flights complement Continental's previously-nnounced service between Los Angeles and Maui and a second daily flight between Los Angeles and Honolulu beginning on the same day.

"We continue to see solid demand for travel to Hawaii," said Jim Compton, Continental's executive vice president of marketing. "We are operating the new flights with the right-sized aircraft for the market and are confident this new service will be a success."

On Dec. 2, Delta Airlines said it will introduce nonstop flights connecting Honolulu with Detroit and San Diego beginning in June 2010. The new service marks the first time Delta has served Honolulu from San Diego in nearly 20 years and reinstates nonstop service from Detroit that had been discontinued in 2004.

"The expanded customer base created through Delta's merger with Northwest allows us to bring new service to markets that previously did not have the demand to sustain nonstop flights," said Delta senior vice president Bob Cortelyou. "Detroit to Honolulu nonstop service provides greater access to Hawaii for customers in Michigan, the eastern U.S. and Canada, while our new route between San Diego and Honolulu will expand Delta's extensive flight schedules between the West Coast and Hawaii."

Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines announced the addition of three new direct routes to Hawaii from San Jose and Sacramento in California. Beginning March 2010, flights from San Jose and Kahului (Maui) will operate three times weekly, while flights from San Jose and Kona (Hawaii’s Big Island) will run four times per week. In addition to the San Jose flights, a daily flight from Sacramento and Kahului will strengthen Alaska Air’s presence in the Hawaii transpacific air market.

Not to be outdone, Hawaiian Airlines will begin daily nonstops from Oakland and San Diego to Maui on June 17, and it will add another daily flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu on the same day.