Hawaii to see additional flights from Asia in fourth quarter 2011

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii Tourism Authority announced Friday that additional flights from Asia will begin in the fourth quarter of 2011.

According to HTA, Sun Plus -- an international charter broker based out of Tokyo -- will be providing 21 direct charter flights from various cities in Japan to Honolulu from Nov. 13, 2011 to Jan. 12, 2012.

The charter flights will mainly operate out of regional cities that do not currently offer direct service to Hawaii, including Hiroshima, Sendai and Kumamoto.

HTA believes the charters flights will provide an estimated $9 million in visitor spending.

In addition to the charter flights, Delta Air Lines announced Thursday that it will launch nonstop seasonal service from Fukuoka and Honolulu starting Dec. 28, 2011. This will be the only direct scheduled flight from Fukuoka.

"Following the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March, many airlines temporarily suspended flights from Japan to Hawaii," HTA president and CEO Mike McCartney said. "These flights are a sign that Japan is recovering and highlights pent up demand for travel to our islands, especially from cities that currently do not have direct flight access."

Hawaii will also see an increase in air service out of Korea soon. Asiana Airlines is launching direct service from Incheon, South Korea to Honolulu starting Sept. 18.

The flight will operate twice a week and provide as estimated $48.5 million in annual visitor spending and $5.3 million in annual tax revenue.

"Korea has been a growing contributor to Hawaii's tourism economy and we project an increase of 47 percent in visitor arrivals in 2011," McCartney said. "There continues to be growing demand to visit the Hawaiian Islands, and we anticipate seeing more flight activity coming out of Asia in the near future."

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