Winter air capacity count: 6% better

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Scheduled airline seats to Hawaii for December, January and February top 2.3 million, up 6.4% from  the same months a year ago, a state tally shows.

The most notable change as the state drops November and adds February to its rolling three-month tally is 17,000 more seats from foreign countries, including 6,000 more from Japan and 10,000 more from Canada. Hawaiian Airlines launched Tokyo Haneda service in November.

The Canadian surge happens every winter. The Japanese increase, despite the much publicized new service from Tokyo Haneda, mostly represents the seasonal increase in seats from Nagoya, though it's smaller this year than last.

The main domestic effect is a shift of seats from Kona, where Japan Airlines no longer flies, to Kauai, which is getting more winter airlift from the West Coast. Neighbor island airlift generally is higher, however.

Biggest sources of visitors from the mainland, based on seat capacity:

1. Los Angeles 521,114, up 13% from last year.

2. San Francisco 261,048, up 4%, plus a combined 120,000 from Oakland, Sacramento and San Jose.

3. Seattle 165,870, up 4%.

4. Phoenix 103.050, up 6%.

5. Portland 81,784, up 14%.

Most of the 64,305 seats from Las Vegas are used by Hawaii residents taking vacations in Vegas rather than the other way around, and the largest originating points after that are Dallas-Ft. Worth, 60,750, down 4%, and Chicago O'Hare, 50,499, up 18%.

Biggest sources of international visitors:

1. Tokyo Narita 254,235, down 13%, plus Tokyo Haneda 60,840, first time.

2. Vancouver 95,537, roughly the same as last winter.

3. Seoul 53,103, up 54%.

4. Osaka 45,720, down 33%.

5. Sydney 39,764, up 10%.

The largest foreign visitor origination points after these are Nagoya, 35,529, down 8%, and Manila, 22,884, down 1%.

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