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700,000 New Airline Seats To Be Added in 2012

February 23, 2012, 3:04 PM HST · Updated February 24, 10:19 AM
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Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines.

By Sonia Isotov

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, is forecasting 7.7% growth in total scheduled nonstop air seats to Hawaii in 2012.

The projected growth in air seats to Hawai‘i for 2012, up 7.7% over last year, is outstanding news for Hawaii’s tourism economy and projects the addition of 700,000 more. This includes considerable increases in air seats from Other Asia and Oceania markets which marks a 10-year high.

“We were pleased to see increases across all of our major market areas, with the strongest showing in the Other Asia market (China and South Korea), up 52.2% and providing close to 150,000 additional air seats,” said Mike McCartney, president and chief executive officer of Hawaii Tourism Authority, in a written statement.

“Despite the recent shutdown of Air Australia, the Oceania region (Australia and New Zealand) will also see significant growth, up 21.6% over last year, thanks to Hawaiian Airlines, Jetstar and Air New Zealand increasing their capacity to Hawai‘i.”

The projection is based on flights appearing in OAG and Sabre Airlines schedules as of February 2012. With total scheduled seat count reaching nearly 10 million seats, total capacity to the state is expected to reach 98% of peak 2007 levels by the end of the year.

The US Mainland continues to be Hawaii’s single largest air service market, accounting for 69% of scheduled seats to the state. Scheduled seats from the US West region are expected to rise 4.7%, pushed upwards primarily by the expansion of service by Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.

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Air service additions by both Air Canada and WestJet are expected to grow nonstop seats from Canada to Hawaii by 11.3% in 2012. The expansion in air service from Canada will represent the third consecutive annual increase in Canadian air service to Hawaii, and will bring the total annual seat count to 354,946 seats – a level second only to the 369,886 nonstop seats operated from Canada to the state in 2006.

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