By Wendy Osher
Hawaiian Airlines announced the addition of a new daily, nonstop route between Honolulu and Osaka, Japan. The flight is the third new Asia destination added by the airline in recent months. The new flights are expected to add approximately 100,000 new air seats annually to Hawaii from Japan, the state’s second-largest market for visitors.
Hawaiian will initially operate the Honolulu-Osaka flights with iBoeing 767-300ER aircraft, which seats up to 264 passengers. The airline plans to later transition to the new and larger 294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
The inaugural flight from Honolulu International Airport to Osaka’s Kansai International Airport is scheduled for July 12, with the inaugural return flight from Osaka to Honolulu on July 13, 2011. The flight is still subject to Japan government approval.
“Our new service will help meet strong travel demand from Osaka, and provide a welcome boost to Hawaii tourism,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO.
“The response to our new Haneda service has been stronger than expected, and we have accelerated our plans to offer our authentic Hawaii travel experience to Osaka and Japan’s second most populous region,” said Dunkerley.
Customers coming from Osaka will be treated to the airline’s “Hawaii Starts Here” in-flight service program that celebrates Hawaii’s culture, people and beauty. There’s also pan-Asian cuisine, Japanese entertainment options, and special onboard products.
As part of the Hawaiian Airlines expansion into Asia, the carrier began service to Seoul in January 2011, and Tokyo in November 2010.
The start of ticket sales for the new Honolulu-Osaka route will be announced in the coming weeks online via the Hawaiian Airlines website.