Hawaiian Airlines // © 2011 Hawaiian Airlines
Because of the importance of airlift to Hawaii, the Hawaii Tourism Authority recently conducted an updated analysis of its airlift projections for the second quarter of 2011 to account for any changes following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.
HTA's projections showed that despite an anticipated decrease in airlift from Japan, the overall number of air seats should be relatively flat compared to the same period last year.
"This is an indicator that interest in travel to Hawai'i remains strong and mirrors our strategy of driving increased demand, and particularly from destinations such as the U.S. West, Korea and Australia," said HTA president Mike McCartney.
HTA's projections are based on flights appearing in OAG and Sabre airline schedules as of March 2011 and include adjustments for air service additions and suspensions following the events in Japan.
"We understand that the situation in Japan is constantly evolving, and we will continue to evaluate the impact on airlift and provide this information to our marketing partners, Hawaii's tourism industry and the entire state," said McCartney. "This is one way that HTA can support businesses and other organizations in our community as they develop their plans to address the market conditions over the coming months."
Scheduled air seats from Japan are expected to decrease 10.5 percent in the second quarter, resulting from Japan Airlines (JAL) downsizing of its aircraft in the Hawaii market from B747-400s to B767s, along with temporary reductions in JAL and Delta Air Lines flights following the recent earthquake and tsunami.
The report noted that the reduction in service from Japan not only negatively impacts Japanese visitor traffic to Hawaii, but also impedes travel to Hawaii from other Asian markets, such as China, which travel to Hawaii via Japan.