HONOLULU, May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaiian Airlines today announced it will add the northern city of Sapporo to its growing network of destinations in Japan. The airline is set to begin service between Honolulu International Airport and New Chitose Airport on the island of Hokkaido three times per week in November 2012, pending Japan government approval.
Sapporo will be the fourth Japanese destination that Hawaiian has introduced recently to its route network, following the launches of service to Tokyo in November 2010, Osaka in July 2011 and Fukuoka in April 2012. It will be the airline's sixth new destination in two years, including the launch of service to Seoul, South Korea in January 2011 and the upcoming June 4 inauguration of service to New York City.
"This new service builds on our strategy to diversify our revenue base and strengthens Hawaiian's presence in one of our most important visitor markets," said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and CEO. "The addition of Sapporo to our network will allow our customers in Japan to fly directly to Hawaii from Japan's three largest islands and, at the same time, give our customers in Hawaii a convenient connection to one of Japan's largest inbound tourist markets."
Sapporo is Japan's fifth-largest city, with a population of 1.9 million. The capital city of Hokkaido, it is known for its ski resorts and world-famous Sapporo Snow Festival, an annual event showcasing breathtaking snow and ice sculptures. "Sapporo is already a popular vacation destination for residents of Hawaii, and we expect this new service to help introduce the wonders of Sapporo to many more of our customers," said Dunkerley.
Hawaiian's Sapporo flights will add approximately 41,000 new air seats annually to Hawaii from Japan, and restore non-stop service between the islands of Hokkaido and Oahu that was discontinued by other carriers in 2003.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority estimates that the new flight will provide $61 million in direct visitor spending, $6.7 million in tax revenue and support 700 jobs for Hawaii residents annually.
"Today's announcement is outstanding news for our visitor industry and we are proud to see Hawaii's hometown airline expand service to Sapporo," said Mike McCartney, HTA president and CEO. "Direct flight access from additional regional cities, like Sapporo, increases convenience and access to the Hawaiian Islands, and enables Hawaii to build momentum for continued growth in international travel."
Subject to Japan government approval, starting November 1, Hawaiian Flight #441 will depart Honolulu International Airport Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2:45 p.m. and arrive at New Chitose Airport at 7:00 p.m. the next day. Starting November 2, Flight #442 will depart New Chitose on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 9:00 p.m. and arrive in Honolulu at 9:15 a.m. the same day. (Japan is 19 hours ahead of Honolulu and the flight crosses the International Dateline.)
As with its service to Honolulu from Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka, Hawaiian's customers from Hokkaido will enjoy a customized presentation of its signature "Hawaii Flies With Us" inflight hospitality, combining its celebration of the culture, natural beauty, and people of Hawaii with entertainment options and special onboard products designed for the Japanese traveler.
Tickets for the new Honolulu-Sapporo service are available on Hawaiian's English-language website, www.HawaiianAirlines.com and on its Japanese-language website at www.HawaiianAirlines.co.jp. Hawaiian will operate the new Honolulu-Sapporo flights with its wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER aircraft that seat 264 passengers.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past eight years (2004-2011) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian as the top domestic airline serving Hawaii.
Now in its 83rd year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawaii's biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its 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, along with service to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. Hawaiian also provides approximately 170 daily jet flights between the Hawaiian Islands. Daily nonstop service between Honolulu and New York City will begin in June 2012.
Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com. Follow updates on Twitter about Hawaiian (@HawaiianAir) and its special fare offers (@HawaiianFares), and become a fan on its Facebook page (Hawaiian Airlines).
SOURCE Hawaiian Airlines