Airlift to Hawaii is increasing. // © 2012 Alaska Airlines
Flights to Hawaii are on the upswing in 2012 and that’s good news not only to tourism officials but to visitors who are looking for more options for travel to the 50th state.
Beginning June 29, Allegiant Air — a Las Vegas-based low-cost carrier — is launching direct service from Las Vegas to Honolulu. Starting June 30, it is offering flights from Fresno, Calif., to Honolulu. In mid-November, the airline is adding flights to Honolulu from Bellingham, Wash.; Eugene, Ore.; Santa Maria, Calif.; and Stockton, Calif., plus flights to Maui from Bellingham.
“Allegiant’s entry to the Hawaiian Islands is good news for the state,” said Hawaii Tourism Authority president Mike McCartney. “The U.S. west is the largest market for Hawaii’s tourism economy. Allegiant’s entrance into Hawaii will help open doors to many new travelers by providing low-cost travel package options and stimulating airfare repositioning.”
Alaska Airlines, an increasing presence in Hawaii’s skies, has been adding nonstops to various Hawaii islands from Anchorage, Bellingham, Portland Ore., Sacramento, San Diego and Seattle. In April 2012 it launched flights to Honolulu out of the San Francisco Bay area, flying direct from Oakland and San Jose.
Not to be outdone, Hawaiian Airlines has continued its own flight expansion by increasing its service between the Bay Area and Maui by 70 percent for summer 2012. From early July through mid-August, the carrier is flying to Maui from Oakland daily and from San Jose five days per week, on top of its extensive schedule of flights to Honolulu. Hawaiian has also extended its seasonal service between Los Angeles and Maui, now available from June 21-Oct. 31.
Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines has hinted at entering the Hawaii market in 2013.
The projected growth in air seats to Hawaii bodes well for Hawaii's tourism economy, said McCartney.
“As an island state, airlift and access are essential for a thriving tourism economy,” McCartney said. “The addition of more seats into our state represents our collective efforts with industry partners to stimulate demand to the islands. HTA remains committed to working with our marketing partners and the airline industry to drive demand and support healthy airlift for Hawaii.”