Hawaiian Airlines to fly to Sapporo - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaiian Airlines to fly to Sapporo

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Hawaiian Airlines has decided to add a fourth city to its Japanese network, adding three weekly flights to Sapporo beginning in November, pending final regulatory approvals from the Japanese government.

Sapporo is a city of about 2 million population on the northern island of Hokkaido. Hokkaido is about the size of Ireland with a similar population, about 6 million. It's home to 22 percent of Japan's forests, has a lot of ski resorts, and hosts an annual ice sculpture festival. Adding the Hokkaido service will give Hawaiian direct airlift from all three of Japan's major islands.

"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," CEO Mark Dunkerley said in a statement Wednesday morning.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority estimated that the new flights will add $61 million in additional visitor spending and support 700 new jobs. The service will add 41,000 seats a year to Hawaii international air connections.

Hawaiian Airlines already flew to Sydney and Manila when, in 2010, it accelerated its expansion plans, adding flights to Tokyo, Seoul and Osaka in the space of a few months. Service to Fukuoka on the main southern island of Japan began last month. Hawaiian also launches service to New York JFK in June, and is expected to announce additional expansion as more Airbus jetliners are delivered in coming months.

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