More flights mean more tourism dollars - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

More flights mean more tourism dollars

Crystal and Jimmy Anderson Crystal and Jimmy Anderson
An Alaska Airlines aircraft An Alaska Airlines aircraft
Keith Vierra Keith Vierra
Wendy Goodenow Wendy Goodenow
Billy Chang Billy Chang

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email 

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Crystal and Jimmy Anderson's dream vacation started with a search on the Internet.

"We usually check through Expedia or Travelocity to see the different prices," Jimmy Anderson said.

The couple chose Alaska Airlines. This year, the carrier started flying from Portland to Kahului, Maui, and Honolulu. And today it announced it'll add a flight to Kona.

"Alaska is flying Kona direct from Seattle. That's going to enable people from the northwest to be able to go right to the neighbor islands and save that stop," said Keith Vierra, Sr. vice president of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

"Adding Hawaii will certainly give them longer distance clientele and more business, and more business for Hawaii," said Wendy Goodenow of HNL Travel Associates.

Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines new Japan route from Haneda airport are welcome additions for Hawaii's tourism base.

More inbound flights mean more seats, more passengers, and more business.

Teddy Bear World is eager for Hawaiian's Korea connection.

"Starting January of next year Hawaiian Airlines will be adding two flights. It's a brand new route from Korea to Honolulu. We're very excited about the visitor increase in Honolulu," the company's director Billy Chang said.

Vierra said Alaska Airlines opens up new horizons.

"They're opening up a lot of secondary markets such as Oakland and Seattle so people don't have to connect," he said. "When you give people a shorter way to get to Hawaii and save time, we see a definite increase in business coming to us."

Just last month, Southwest Airlines mentioned the possibility of it flying to Hawaii in the future.

If that happens, the friendly skies to the 50th state will be even friendlier.

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