HONOLULU, Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaiian Airlines today announced it will add daily nonstop flights between Honolulu and Fukuoka, its third destination in Japan, beginning in April 2012, pending Japan government approval. Fukuoka will be the fourth destination in Asia that Hawaiian has introduced recently to its route network, following the launches of service to Tokyo in November 2010, Seoul in January 2011, and Osaka in July 2011.
"Demand for our services in Japan from Tokyo and Osaka has been extremely strong, and we are responding to similar demand for Hawaii from the travel community in Fukuoka," said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and CEO. "Our new Fukuoka flights will expand Hawaiian's reach into an entirely new region of Japan, while providing a substantial boost to Hawaii's visitor industry."
Travelers from Fukuoka will enjoy the authentic presentation of Hawaiian's award-winning "Hawaii Flies With Us" inflight hospitality service, which evokes Hawaii's friendly culture and natural beauty. The new flights will also feature Hawaiian's exclusive pan-Asian inflight cuisine, Japanese entertainment options and special onboard products designed for travelers from Japan.
Fukuoka is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture and the economic center of Kyushu, the third largest and most southerly of Japan's four main islands. Altogether, Kyushu has approximately 13 million residents, of which approximately five million residents live in Fukuoka Prefecture.
Japan's oldest city and the closest major Japan city to mainland Asia, Fukuoka is known for its vibrant culture, entertainment and nightlife, easy accessibility in and around the city, and its natural attractions, including some of Japan's best beaches. Fukuoka consistently ranks high in quality of life surveys for cities worldwide.
Hawaiian's new Fukuoka flights will add approximately 100,000 new air seats annually to Hawaii from Japan, the state's second-largest market for visitors. In addition, Fukuoka Airport's proximity to Korea, China and other Asian countries will enhance Hawaiian's ability to attract customers from other regions of the Asian continent, as well as other cities in southern Japan via high-speed rail transportation.
"Congratulations to Hawaiian Airlines on its announcement of direct service between Honolulu and Fukuoka," said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawai'i Tourism Authority. "The new direct flight is outstanding news for Hawaii's visitor industry. This will be the only year-round daily scheduled service to Hawaii from Fukuoka, our sister state. It is another sign that Japan is on its way to recovery and there is increasing demand for travel to Hawaii. The HTA estimates the flight will provide $154 million in visitor spending and $16.8 million in tax revenue annually. The HTA is committed to supporting Hawaiian Airlines to ensure the long-term success of this new route."
Subject to Japan government approval, starting April 16, 2012, Hawaiian Flight #453 will depart Honolulu International Airport daily at 1:20 p.m. and arrive at Fukuoka Airport at 6:40 p.m. the next day. Starting April 17, Flight #454 will depart Fukuoka daily at 9:00 p.m. and arrive in Honolulu at 10:00 a.m. the same day. (Fukuoka is 19 hours ahead of Honolulu and the flight crosses the International Dateline.)
The start of ticket sales for the new Honolulu-Fukuoka route will be announced in the coming weeks on Hawaiian's Japanese-language website at www.HawaiianAirlines.co.jp, and its English-language website, www.HawaiianAirlines.com.
Hawaiian will initially operate the new Honolulu-Fukuoka flights with its wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER aircraft that comfortably seats up to 264 passengers, before introducing its new and larger wide-body, twin-aisle 294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft onto the route.
Hawaiian is on schedule to welcome its fifth new A330 to the fleet next month and will take delivery of four more A330s in 2012.
Hawaiian has already begun hiring to fill the more than 400 new staff positions being added to accommodate its expansion plans for 2012. Over the next six months, the company expects to hire 56 additional pilots, 275 additional flight attendants, 38 additional airport customer service agents and 40 additional maintenance personnel to be based in Honolulu. Applications can be submitted online at HawaiianAirlines.com.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past seven years (2004-2010) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In addition, consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the top domestic airline offering flights to Hawaii. Hawaiian was also the nation's highest-ranked carrier for service quality and performance in the prestigious Airline Quality Rating (AQR) study for 2008 and 2009.
Now in its 82nd year of continuous service in Hawaii, Hawaiian is the largest provider of passenger air service to Hawaii from the state's primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities (10) than any other airline, as well as service to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. Hawaiian also provides approximately 150 daily jet flights between the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com.
SOURCE Hawaiian Airlines