Hawaiian Airlines brings new flights and jobs to Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaiian Airlines brings new flights and jobs to Hawaii

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The new non-stop service will fly direct to Auckland, New Zealand three times a week starting in March of 2013, adding 40,000 new seats per year to and from Honolulu.

In June of 2010 the airline embarked on an expansion program which has since added destinations to Japan, Korea, New York city and Australia.

Airline expert Peter Forman attributes careful decision making in the airline's growth strategy.

"It is a fairly aggressive expansion plan, but what you don't see is any mistakes. You don't see them retreating in markets, in fact what you see is them expanding in markets," said Forman.

Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley says those key strategies include starting each market with three to four flights per week to help develop the markets, then working with the tourism offices to help build demand. "As demand builds and as people begin to understand that we're in the market place and begin to value our brand and our product we've been able to raise our frequencies up to daily service," said Dunkerely.

In tandem, Dunkerely also announced flights to Seoul, Korea will now be offered daily.

Forman weighed in on the risks of the company's rapid growth. "Normally when an airline expands that quickly you would be cautious and concerned but in this particular case take a look at their load factor carrying very heavy loads, the economy isn't really robust right now, it's likely to improve rather than get worse so all things considered their expansion program looks like it's making a great deal of sense," Forman said.

The airline's success promises to contribute to Hawaii's economy with more than tourist dollars, "We're going to be hiring a total of about 500 more people in the course of 2012, which is an increase of about ten percent in our total workforce," Dunkerely said.

Flight schedules and the start of ticket sales for the new Auckland service will be announced at a later date.

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