Hawaii Tourism Authority to Stimulate Regional Travel Demand as Hawaiian Airlines Starts Haneda/Honolulu Service – Also Eying Alternative Flights to Kona
On the occasion of his recent visit to Japan, David H. Uchiyama, Vice President of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) told the trade journals that HTA anticipates attracting travel demand in the Japanese regional markets, commenting on the recent proposed decision on the Haneda/Honolulu route in favor of Hawaiian Airlines. Airlines have pulled out local flights to Hawaii since 2003, said Uchiyama. There has been quite a decline in travel demand for Hawaii observed in the regional markets due to longer traveling time and extra costs involved when routed via Narita and Kansai international airports. The newly proposed Haneda/Honolulu route will be operated by Hawaiian Airlinesâ€™ late-night flight with an excellent connection from and to the local airports. The new service should definitely boost travel demand from the regional cities, anticipated Uchiyama.
When the Haneda/Honolulu route is officially approved for Hawaiian Airlines to start scheduled flights, Hawaiian Tourism Authority (HTA) intends to fully support the airline. Hawaiian Tourism of Japan (HTJ) will also address a new approach to the Japanese travel industry, providing a seminar at different prefectures tailored to the respective regional market need. Seminars will be held targeting those cities previously served by direct flights to and from Hawaii. The very first seminar is slated for May in Hiroshima, HTJ said.
Japan Airlines has unveiled that it will suspend its Narita/Kona service effective from October 31 this year. Commenting on JALâ€™s suspension, Takashi Ichikura, Director of Hawaii Tourism Japan (HTJ) said, while showing his understanding for JALâ€™s ongoing business turnaround plan, that he bitterly regrets the airlineâ€™s withdrawal from Kona, citing that its seat load factor averaged 70 percent throughout the year. Uchiyama added, however, that HTA has urged three to four airlines to consider to starting the Kona route, expecting to receive any definite conclusions hopefully within one month. At Honolulu International Airport, passenger flows at the immigrations are long and congested at certain peak hours, whilst, at Kona International Airport, the immigration flows are smoother for passengers arriving in Kona and departing there from. The airlines concerned have already shown a positive interest in a service to Kona. Some of them are even considering to starting a new service immediately after JAL stops flying, it is reported.