It’s up in the air for Hawaii’s airline industry these days but
not in a negative way. With the addition of go!, mainland route
expansion by Hawaiian, and neighbor island route increases by both
Aloha and Island Air, travelers’ options are sky high in fun and
Digging deeper into the mainland market, Hawaiian Airlines is
expanding its fleet with four new 767s. According to Kirk Smith,
vice president of marketing and sales, the expansion indicates the
carrier’s deepening ties to the Islands.
“Hawaiian continues to be committed to the destination of
Hawaii,” explained Smith. “In September, we’ll be introducing
nonstop service between San Diego and Kahului, Maui in response to
“We’re also upping Maui’s Portland service from three flights a
week to daily, and Maui’s Seattle service from four weekly flights
to daily,” Smith reported. “Based on this increased service, we
expect that our West Coast fares will be very competitive this
Both will begin on Oct. 13.
Hawaiian has also introduced the Hawaiian Airlines Activities
Card, a prepaid card offering unlimited access to several
participating attractions and activities on Oahu, plus discounts at
other venues. Hawaiian plans to add neighbor island activities as
“Activities are part of the overall Hawaiian experience,” noted
Smith. “Once we help travelers reach the Islands, we want them to
experience as much as they can.”
“We’re giving Hawaii travelers more choices to take the hassle
out of vacation planning,” added Ethan Lynette, Hawaiian’s senior
director of partner marketing. “Rather than visiting multiple
travel sites to plan a vacation in the islands, they can save money
purchasing their air, car, hotel and now activities through
Hawaiian’s Web site.”
Hawaiian is the only carrier serving Hawaii to offer visitors
the cost-saving benefits and convenience of the activity card. The
card is available to anyone and can be purchased on Hawaiian’s web
site under the “Activities” button.
Hawaiian Airlines also offers prepaid activity cards for Los
Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle. Through the
airline’s concierge service, travelers choose from a variety of
activities to book in advance.
Hawaii’s new interisland carrier, go!, expanded its service
earlier this summer between Hilo and Honolulu. A division of Mesa
Air Group, go! offers fares as low as $39.
“Hilo is an extremely important addition to our interisland
service,” said Jonathan Ornstein, Mesa Air Group chairman and CEO.
“We’re happy to provide Hilo residents and those who visit Hilo
with affordable interisland travel as we’ve promised.”
Ornstein noted that summer bookings have exceeded the company’s
expectations. “We are optimistic that we will be able to continue
to add additional service in the months and years ahead,” he
Hilo to Honolulu service is covered with six roundtrips daily
starting from 6:10 a.m., with the last flight at 7:48 p.m.
Passengers traveling to Hilo from Honolulu can also fly six
roundtrips each day departing as late as 9:30 p.m.
The carrier operates flights between Honolulu and Lihue,
Kahului, Kona and Hilo. Passengers registering for the go! Miles
frequent flyer program earn mileage redeemable for future travel.
For registering, passengers receive 500 miles.
Aloha Airlines, which recently has operated on a strict
hub-and-spoke system for its interisland flights, has decided to
ease away from that in the fall. Aloha has not flown directly
between any two neighbor island locations since May 2004. Now it
plans to connect Kahului with both Lihue and Kona.
Beginning Sept. 1, Aloha will offer two flights daily from
Kahului, Maui to Lihue, Kauai, and two flights daily from Kahului
to Kona International Airport on the Big Island.
“Aloha is responding to our customers’ wishes, making it easier
and faster to travel between the islands on the only Boeing 737
jets in Hawaii,” remarked CEO David Banmiller.
Kahului flights depart for Lihue at 11:20 a.m. and 1:40 p.m.,
and for Kona at 9:35am and 3:55 p.m. Flights from Lihue return to
Kahului at 12:30 p.m. and 2:48 p.m., while Kona flights bound for
Kahului depart at 10:27 a.m. and 4:50 p.m.
A former Aloha Airlines subsidiary, Island Air is seeing plenty
of activity, from its new frequent flier program to a special hot
tickets program. The commuter airline’s Cloud 9 offers a free
roundtrip ticket to those completing 18 one-way or nine round
trips. Membership is available on the company’s web site.
Island Air has also introduced “The Best Seats in the House”
contest to celebrate its second anniversary. The promotion offers
free tickets to the hottest concerts, plays, movies and community
events in Hawaii. The carrier will award one “Best Seats in the
House” prize package monthly through December.
Those registering must be legal residents of the United States
at 18 years of age. Entries can be filled out online at
islandair.com. Only one entry per month per prize package is
allowed and it must be completed by the last business day of each
Monthly prizes will include two interisland roundtrip tickets
($170 value) plus the “Best Seat in the House” to a concert, play,
movie or community event.