Western agents who grumbled at the beginning of 2002 about limited
flights to Hawaii now are finding it relatively simple to book
their clients on planes to the islands, thanks to an increase in
airlift in the past 10 months.
“There’s been a real upswing in the availability of seats to
Hawaii and, believe me, it’s not because demand is down,” said
Candy Monarrez of Candy’s Carefree Travel in Modesto, Calif. “We
have more flights and more airports to choose from.”
Many of Monarrez’s clients are taking advantage of Hawaiian
Airlines’ new daily nonstop flights between Sacramento and
Honolulu, which have been available since June 7.
Also on June 7, Hawaiian launched daily nonstop service between
Ontario and Honolulu, a big plus for Bob Romano of AMX/Canyon Crest
Travel in Riverside, Calif.
“We’re located 25 minutes from the Ontario airport,” Romano
said. “I can offer my clients the option of not having to drive to
LAX. That level of convenience can make the difference between
someone booking Hawaii or not.”
Hawaiian’s new daily nonstop service to Honolulu from Phoenix,
available since Oct. 11, has had a positive effect on Jim Kroll’s
business at Desert Travel in Casa Grande, a one-hour drive from
“Clients on their way to Hawaii used to have to collect their
luggage and change carriers in Los Angeles,” Kroll said. “Now they
get on that big bird in Phoenix, and it’s smooth sailing all the
way to Honolulu.”
Kroll’s Hawaii business is holding up well, he said. “We almost
can’t keep up with it.”
Hawaiian wasn’t the only carrier adding service to Hawaii in
2002. United, which launched nonstop flights between Denver and
Honolulu in mid-February, is adding a Denver-Kona route on Dec.
While it is cutting service from San Francisco to Kona and Maui
from Jan. 7 to Feb. 12, a United spokesman said the service will
resume after Feb. 12. In June 2002, Aloha Airlines commenced daily
nonstop flights to Honolulu from Burbank, Calif., and Vancouver,
And on Oct. 28, Continental started flying new, larger 777
aircraft on one of its two daily nonstops between Houston and
On the wholesaler front, Pleasant Holidays once again will offer
weekly nonstop flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Kauai
beginning April 12 and running through the summer of 2003.
One region that would like more airlift to Hawaii is the Pacific
Northwest, where just two carriers Hawaiian and Northwest fly
direct to Honolulu. Although Hawaiian introduced daily nonstop
service from Seattle to Maui in March, increased demand for Hawaii
is keeping seat availability tight, according to Steve Pomranz of
AAA Washington in Bellevue, Wash.
“Airlift isn’t a significant problem for us yet, but based on
our trend of steady double-digit growth in Hawaii business in the
past year, I believe there will be a need for more lift out of the
Northwest in the coming year,” Pomranz said.