September airline seats: A small increase, Japan down

September airline seats: A small increase, Japan down

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - This month's air capacity to Hawaii will be up from last year by less than 1%, with declines from Japan and Canada offsetting increases from other places.

The official state census of air seats, 882,839, is up 0.9%, with Kahului up 4.1% and Kona up 3.3% while there are fractional changes to airlift to Honolulu, Lihue and Kona.

Maui gets 6,000 more seats; other counties are up or down by hundreds, not thousands. But behind the overall incremental changes are broader trends:

  • September will see about 10,000 more seats from the U.S. mainland, a 1.7% increase from last year. There will be 10,000 more seats from San Francisco, with incremental declines from Oakland and San Jose subtracting about 4,000 from that. Other ups and downs from the mainland are minor.
  • Japan airlift is down by 12,000 seats, or 7.4%, to fewer than 155,000 seats, including 3,000 fewer seats from the two Tokyo airports and 5,000 fewer seats from Osaka.
  • Canada, a minor factor at this time of year, falls 7.8%, from about 18,000 seats to fewer than 17,000, including cancellation of nonstop service to Kona and Lihue.
  • Australia-New Zealand seats are up 6.8%, or about 3,000, for a total of 45,000 seats from these two countries.
  • There is a bigger increase, 25.4%, or 6,000 seats, for a total of 31,000, from Seoul. There are smaller increases, measured in a few hundred seats, from China and the Philippines.

Air capacity is a reliable measure of visitor arrivals so long as load factors remain about the same. Hawaii could get more visitors than air capacity indicates if the airlines fly fuller than last year. Capacity reflects the airlines' best guess of what they stand to book on these routes.

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