Hawaiian Airlines Creating Maui Hub

January 12, 2012, 4:55 PM HST · Updated January 12, 5:53 PM
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Hawaiian Airlines, photo by Wendy Osher.

By Sonia Isotov

Hawaiian Airlines is expanding its operations to create a Maui hub that will offer improved connections between The Valley Isle and other points within the Hawaiian islands as well as flights to and from the West Coast.

“This investment in our core business here in Hawaii will increase service between Maui and other neighbor islands by 25%, and answer a need identified by our kama‘aina travelers. We appreciate the support of our state lawmakers, the Department of Transportation, and Maui County in helping us to move this project forward to the benefit of Hawaii’s air travelers,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and chief executive officer, in a written statement.

Hawaiian is increasing its daily neighbor island schedule by an additional 23 to 25 flights over the next several weeks.

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More than half of the added flights will serve the new Maui hub with one-third providing additional nonstop service between Maui and both Hawaii Island and Kauai.

In addition, Hawaiian is reintroducing nonstop service to Maui from Los Angeles in June, which will bring to five the number of US mainland gateway cities that Hawaiian is providing nonstop service to Maui, along with Seattle, Las Vegas, Oakland, and San José.

State Sen. J. Kalani English. File photo.

Hawaiian is also re-timing the arrival of its twice-weekly nonstop flights to Maui from Las Vegas in order to accommodate neighbor island flight connections. It is also adjusting other neighbor island flight schedules to increase connectivity with its nonstop mainland services to and from Maui.

Three Maui legislators supported the new Maui hub. “Hawaiian’s expansion plan for Kahului Airport is good news for neighbor island residents and will make air travel between our islands easier while also increasing opportunities to showcase Maui as a visitor destination,” said State Senator J. Kalani English (Senate District 6-Maui), chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs.

State Senator Roz Baker, file photo courtesy Senate Communications.

“It’s nice to see a local company growing, hiring and adding services in our community,” said State Senator Rosalyn Baker (Senate District 5-Maui), chair of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee.

“I support Hawaiian’s new concept of a Maui hub. It will help satisfy the air transportation needs of our growing population and increased visitor arrivals on Maui, plus it adds more of a focus on the neighbor islands and the importance of their role in our state’s economy,” said State Representative Joseph Souki (House District 8-Maui), chair of the House Committee on Transportation.

Hawaiian is in the process of increasing its neighbor island service statewide to 180 flights daily from 157 flights on peak travel days, and to 168 flights from 143 flights on off-peak travel days giving residents and visitors more schedule options for flying between the islands.

Daily service to Maui will increase to 36 roundtrip flights from 29 roundtrip flights on peak travel days and to 34 roundtrip flights from 27 roundtrip flights on off-peak travel days. Hawaiian is also adding daily flights between Honolulu and Kauai, Hilo and Kona to boost its service during busy periods of the day.

State Rep. Joe Souki. Photo by Wendy Osher.

As part of its expanded neighbor island schedule, on March 11 Hawaiian is introducing daily nonstop roundtrip flights between Maui and Kauai, and adding flights between Maui and Hilo and Kona on Hawaii Island, offering new options for neighbor island commuters and to eliminate stopovers in Honolulu.

Under the new schedule, Hawaiian will offer two daily roundtrip flights between Maui and Kauai, one each in the morning and afternoon. Previously, only a one-way flight from Kauai to Maui was offered.

For its Maui-Hawaii Island service, Hawaiian will increase to two daily roundtrip flights between Maui and Hilo and to three daily roundtrip flights between Maui and Kona, adding one more flight daily to each route. The added Maui-Hilo flight will be offered in the early evening, providing morning and evening flights for day trips, while the added Maui-Kona service will result in roundtrip flights being offered in the morning, mid-day, and afternoon.

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