Hawaiian Airlines has said over the past couple of years that it is going to start to expand to more areas of the world. It looks like Asia is their number one priority, as Hawaii’s largest airline carrier will inaugurate service to its third Japanese destination and fourth Asian city in the last 17 months when it begins daily, nonstop flights between Honolulu and Fukuoka in April.
Hawaiian said service will begin April 16, subject to Japanese government approval.
This new route will mark the only daily, year-round scheduled flight from Fukuoka to Hawaii. This latest Asia destination move by Hawaiian Airlines may be due to the fact that Earlier this month, Delta Air Lines said it would begin nonstop seasonal service between Fukuoka and Honolulu beginning Dec. 28.
Hawaiian President and CEO Mark Dunkerley said Monday that the airline is targeting Asia, and more specifically Japan, “because that’s where the growth is.”
“What’s important to us is to have a view where the growth in tourism to Hawaii is going to come from in the next decade, and all the economics and demographics point to Asia at the moment,” Dunkerley said. “We intend to be at the forefront of the increase in tourism to Hawaii from Asia.”
About 13 million people live on Kyushu, with 5 million of those in Fukuoka Prefecture.
“We saw an opportunity in Fukuoka,” Dunkerley said. “We worked tirelessly with the local community in Fukuoka to make this possible.”
This new Asia flight will give Hawaii and Hawaiian Airlines yet another outlet to and from Asia. This is important for both economies, especially Hawaii’s, as we need to bring as many people as possible right now to sustain our tourism industry.
The airline’s new Fukuoka flights will add about 100,000 new seats annually to Hawaii from Japan, the state’s largest foreign tourism market. The Hawaii Tourism Authority estimates the flights will generate $154 million a year in visitor spending and $16.8 million in annual tax revenue.
Hawaiian Airlines has already stated that they will be hiring more than 400 people at various levels to accommodate the upcoming expansion to Asia and beyond. During the next six months, Hawaiian said it expects to hire 56 pilots, 275 flight attendants, 38 airport customer service agents and 40 maintenance personnel to be based in Honolulu.
If you are interested, then you can fill out an application or inquire about positions through the Hawaiian Airlines Website.
The inaugural flight will depart Fukuoka at 9 p.m. on April 17 and arrive in Honolulu at 10 a.m. the same day. Hawaiian will initially operate the flights with a 264-seat Boeing 767 before using its new 294-seat A330.
The airline said ticket sales for the new route will be announced in the coming weeks on its English-language website, www.HawaiianAirlines.com, and its Japanese-language website at www.HawaiianAirlines.co.jp. Continue to visit these two sites daily if you are interested.