Where will Hawaiian Airlines expand next? - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Where will Hawaiian Airlines expand next?

By Howard Dicus - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As Hawaiian Airlines launches its first-ever service to Korea, the airline's chief executive officer has given a hint of where Hawaiian might expand next.

CEO Mark Dunkerley told Bloomberg News he hopes to announce "in some months" Hawaiian's next destination. And in a hint of what that announcement might be, he said Hawaiian's plan over the next two years is to strengthen its presence in Japan and Korea.

Two months ago, Hawaiian started its first Japan service, from Tokyo Haneda. Haneda, the closest airport to downtown Tokyo, had just opened a new runway, allowing it to expand beyond its recent focus on flights within Japan. Japan Airlines and All-Nippon Airways both launched Honolulu service from Haneda just weeks before Hawaiian did.

Most Hawaii flights from Japan start at Tokyo Narita, the busiest airport in Asia, more than an hour's bus or train ride from downtown Tokyo. JAL, ANA, United and Delta all serve this corridor. Other Hawaii flights begin in Osaka and Nagoya.

Seoul's Incheon airport is the busiest in Asia after Narita and can be used as a transfer point for travelers trying to get to Hawaii from other places in Asia.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority forecasts a 25% increase in Korean visitor traffic this year as a result of Hawaiian's new service. Korean Air also flies Seoul-Honolulu.

The tourism authority thinks 115,000 will fly to Hawaii from Seoul this year, or about 10,000 per month. Hawaii gets that many visitors on flights from Japan in three days.

Copyright 2011 by HawaiiNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly