Hawaii air capacity up, but not from everywhere

Source: MGN Online
Source: MGN Online

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The number of air seats to Hawaii from now through the end of July is up 7.1 percent from last year, or about 200,000 more seats.

But the rolling three-month tally by the Hawaii Tourism Authority shows some cities have fewer connections to the islands even as others get more.

Air capacity is up from Seattle (163,000 seats), Portland (62,000) and San Diego (73,000), three markets served by both Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Together they now account for almost 300,000 seats in the May-June-July period, more than the seats from San Francisco International Airport in the same period.

But while SFO generates 234,000 seats to Hawaii in the three-month period, up 1 percent from last year, capacity is down from Oakland (87,000), San Jose (76,000) and Sacramento (38,000) as the same two airlines retreat from what executives of both carriers described as overcapacity.

Los Angeles is still the biggest single source of tourists to Hawaii, 629,000, up 4 percent, or about 24,000 more seats, from last year at the same time.

From U.S. East cities, capacity is 220,000, up 11 percent, mainly due to the Hawaiian nonstop from New York JFK and the United nonstop from Washington Dulles, both of which are approaching their one-year anniversaries. United has already said its Dulles flight will go from daily to once per week at the end of the summer, a casualty of slashed federal travel budgets. Capacity is down from Chicago O'Hare.

Larger capacity increases can seen from international points of origin - 505,000 seats from Japan, up 9 percent, chiefly on new Hawaiian routes - 114,000 seats from China, Taiwan and Korea combined, up 18 percent - and 107,000 seats from Australian and New Zealand, up 63 percent. Capacity from Canada and from other countries is about the same as last year.

As significant as where the seats come from is where they land. Capacity is diwbn 3 percent to Kauai and down 8 percent to the Big Island, though both islands will get more seats than last summer from LAX.

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