Hawaiian adding flight service to Sapporo

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Airlines is expanding its services to Japan. The company announced Wednesday it will add the northern city of Sapporo to its route network.

Service between the Honolulu International Airport and New Chitose Airport on the island of Hokkaido three times a week is scheduled to begin in November, pending approval from Japan's government.

Sapporo will be the fourth Japanese destination Hawaiian added to its route network. Hawaiian launched service to Tokyo in November 2010, Osaka in July 2011 and Fukuoka in April.

Sapporo will also be the airline's sixth new destination in two years.

"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," Hawaiian Airline's president and CEO Mark Dunkerley said. "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."

According to the Hawaiian Tourism Authority, the new flight will provide $61 million in direct visitor spending, $6.7 million in tax revenue and support 700 jobs for Hawaii residents each year.

The flights to Sapporo will also add approximately 41,00 new air seats annually from Japan to Hawaii.

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