HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Airlines announced today new daily, non-stop service between Honolulu and New York City starting in June of 2012. It's the first time the company has offered scheduled flights beyond its West Coast routes, tapping into Hawaii's second largest tourism market.
Hawaiian Airlines President/CEO, Mark Dunkerley, made the announcement during an investors conference in New York.
"New York is unquestionably an under served market, said Dunkerley. "With the announcement of our service, we'd actually be the first airline operating from JFK to Hawaii."
Hawaiian Airlines is capitalizing on its national marketing efforts, featuring its plane in the well known opening of hit CBS show, Hawaii Five-O.
"It's the right time because the brand of Hawaiian Airlines has gained traction in the continental part of the United States," said Dunkerley. "People now know who we are and in air travel, flying with somebody you know is actually a very important consideration."
Starting June 4, 2012, Hawaiian Air Flight 50 (5-0) will leave Honolulu around 3 pm and arrive in New York City around 7 o'clock the next morning. Flight 51 departs the Big Apple at 10 a.m. bringing New Yorkers to Hawaii by 3 in the afternoon, just in time to take in the beach and a Hawaiian sunset.
"We've gone from being a little know small regional airline into being a much larger airline with terrific service and an authentic Hawaiian experience," added Dunkerley.
"I think its just fantastic. I congratulate them," said Ewa Beach resident Mike Akiona.
The new route has locals kids excited.
Jorden Nakano, has been to New York and enjoys seeing the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.
"Now I don't need to stop at Utah and wait there for about 3 hours," said Nakano.
His and his friend Sterling Sakuma say they understand the new routes economic impact.
"I think that's cool, because more people will be coming back and forth and that means more economy for Oahu. We can make more money," said Sakuma.
To promote the new route which competes with Continental Airlines flight to Newark, New Jersey, today thru November 20th, Hawaiian Airline is offering half price, one way fares for travel from June 4 - June 30, priced by the two cities' area codes. One way economy costs $212, while first class is $808.
Hawaiian officials are banking New Yorkers would rather start their vacation aboard Hawaii's flagship carrier.
Former airline pilot, Al Gardner, of Phoenix, Arizona agrees and believes Hawaiian Airlines will be successful at luring the New Yorker to Hawaii.
"They've had the best food so, and they do serve food. And first class is exceptional. Better than any other carrier really," said Gardner.
Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said, "Hawaiian's new service will generate an estimated $156 million in direct visitor spending and $17 million in state tax revenue annually for our tourism economy and will provide much desired direct air service to New York City making it more convenient and accessible for travelers from the East Coast. This flight is of strategic importance to promoting the Hawaiian Islands brand to our second largest market, and we look forward to welcoming our guests."
And Hawaiian could be "landing" more opportunities for the state with more East Coast routes expected in the future.
Special fares include:
- One-way economy: $212
- One-way first class: $808
- Travel dates: June 4 - June 30, 2012