By Howard Dicus
HONOLULU and WASHINGTON D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) - United Continental intends to launch nonstop service from Washington, D.C., to Honolulu beginning in June, the same month Hawaiian Airlines begins nonstops from New York JFK.
It will be the only nonstop service in the region between New York, where Continental has nonstops to Hawaii taking off from Newark Liberty, and Atlanta, where Hawaii nonstops are flown by Delta. Washington, D.C., has long been a fertile market for Hawaii tourism but residents of the region always had to change planes, sometimes twice, to get to the islands.
A well-placed source in Hawaii tourism told HawaiiNewsNow of the decision after hearing that an official announcement had gained corporate approval, and the flight appeared on the United Web site for anyone asking for nonstop tickets between Honolulu and the nation's capital in July.
The Web site shows that the service will be flown by the Continental side of the house - United Continental Holdings has yet to fully integrate the services of its two airlines and they continue to fly on separate FAA certification tickets for now.
The Washington, D.C., end of the service will be Dulles International Airport, located in the Virginia suburbs west of the capital. United has a major hub at Dulles, which is minutes from a technology corridor that includes the global headquarters of AOL.
United always had some of the best connections between Washington, D.C., and Honolulu, but passengers would change planes in Chicago or Denver, and sometimes again at San Francisco or Los Angeles. On other carriers, Hawaii visitors from Washington could expect to change planes in Atlanta (Delta) or Dallas-Ft. Worth (American) or Phoenix (US Airways) and often again in Los Angeles, especially if their final destination was a neighbor island.