In October, look for more visitors from San Francisco, Seattle - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

In October, look for more visitors from San Francisco, Seattle

Honolulu International Airport Honolulu International Airport
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaii has air capacity of 936,086 seats from the rest of the world in this new month, up almost 45,000 seats, or 5%, from last year.

The biggest change from last year appears to be large increases in capacity from San Francisco and Seattle, according to the official count of scheduled passenger seats on flights to Hawaii by the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

Capacity from SFO will be 90,311, up almost 25,000 seats, or 19%, without any offsetting decline in capacity from Oakland, San Jose or Sacramento. United Airlines (353 flights, 46 more than a year ago) and Hawaiian Airlines (62 flights this month) fly to Hawaii from SFO while Oakland is also a hub for Alaska Airlines (88 flights this month from Oakland; Hawaiian has another 60).

Capacity from SeaTac will be 67,019, up about 8,000 seats, or 14%. SeaTac is the headquarters hub of Hawaiian Airlines and also served by Hawaiian (Alaska Airlines will have 154 flights this month from Seattle; Hawaiian, 62; Delta, 58.). Both also fly here from Portland (Alaska, 85 flights; Hawaiian, 31) which will account for 23,077 seats, up about 1,000, or 5.7%. Capacity will also be higher from San Diego (Alaska, 80 flights; Hawaiian 31).

Capacity from LAX, by far the largest single source of visitors to Hawaii, will be 194,974 seats, down 1.1%, or about 2,000 seats. For comparison, October will see 166,368 from all airports in Japan, up 0.7% from October 2014. Capacity will be mostly flat from U.S. East airports except for about 1,500 more JFK seats.

Fewer from Beijing, more from Brisbane

October air capacity from other countries will reach 303,232, up more than 15,000 from last year, or 5.6%, despite only about 1,000 more seats from Japan. Even those new seats are all from Tokyo Narita, where some non-Japanese airlines have service to Hawaii. Seats from all other Japanese cities are down.

October will see a pause in the growth of air capacity from China: about 13,000 seats, with a few hundred more seats from Shanghai offsetting a few hundred fewer seats from Beijing. Air China has 17 flights from Beijing this month; Hawaiian has 13. Capacity from Taiwan will be down a little as well. There will be almost 28,000 from Seoul, about 1,000 more than last year. These, and 1,500 more seats from Manila, work out to 50,000 seats from Asia other than Japan.

Australia will have 38,000 seats to Hawaii this month (New Zealand: another 7,800) with Sydney still accounting for most of them, almost 24,000, but most of the extra seats are from Brisbane, where Outrigger manages resorts. Qantas Airways, Jetstar and Hawaiian Airlines link Australia and Hawaii. Jetstar is a discount carrier owned by Qantas but separately managed.

There will be 23,000 seats from Canada, almost 6,000 more than last year and all of the extra seats from Vancouver – partly offset by cessation of flights from Bellingham, Wash., where 2,000 seats last year were mostly filled by Canadians. It’s still enough capacity to bring about a third more Canadians than last year. Westjet has 69 flights to Hawaii this month; Air Canada has 41, all but two of them its new Rouge discount division.

September arrivals were higher

Air capacity is a good predictor of actual visitor traffic going forward. In September, when capacity was up 3.4% from last year, actual arrivals were up 3.4% despite slightly lower traffic on flights from Japan.

The state estimates mainland traffic to Hawaii was up 4% from September of last year with 3,000 more to Honolulu, 2,000 more to Kona, a small decline to Kauai, and 14,000 more to Maui, a 13% increase.

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