Maui Business

Asian Arrivals Improving in Fourth Quarter

September 2, 2011, 1:16 PM HST
* Updated September 2, 2:20 PM
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Front Street. Courtesy of HVCB.

By Sonia Isotov

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) today reported that Hawaii will see additional flights from Asia beginning in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Flights are expected to be provided by Sun Plus (Tokyo), Delta Air Lines (Fukuoka), and Asiana Airlines (Korea), and an increase in visitor expenditure of as much as $57.5 million is expected, as a result.

Sun Plus, an international charter broker based out of Tokyo, will be providing 21 direct charter flights (6,132 additional air seats) from various cities in Japan to Honolulu from November 13, 2011 through January 3, 2012. The charter flights will mainly operate out of regional cities that do not currently offer direct service to Hawai‘i, including Hiroshima, Sendai and Kumamoto.  The HTA projects that the charter flights, operated by Portugal-based airline Luzair, will provide an estimated $9 million in visitor expenditures.

Beginning December 28, Delta Air Lines announced yesterday that it will launch nonstop seasonal service from Fukuoka and Honolulu. This will be the only direct scheduled flight from Fukuoka, located on Kyushu Island.

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“Following the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March, many airlines temporarily suspended flights from Japan to Hawaii,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA, in a written statement. “These flights are a sign that Japan is recovering and highlights pent up demand for travel to our islands, especially from cities that currently do not have direct flight access.”

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Asiana Airlines will launch direct service from Incheon, South Korea to Honolulu beginning September 18. The flights will operate twice weekly, and will provide an estimated $48.5 million in annual visitor expenditures and $5.3 million in annual tax revenue.

“Korea has been a growing contributor to Hawaii’s tourism economy and we project an increase of 47% in visitor arrivals in 2011,” added McCartney. “There continues to be growing demand to visit the Hawaiian Islands, and we anticipate seeing more flight activity coming out of Asia in the near future.”

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