Increased Airlift and New Routes Anticipated to Boost Visitor Arrivals from Emerging Markets
As an island state, airlift is vital to ensuring the success of Hawaii’s visitor industry. In 2014, there were more than 11 million non-stop inbound seats from domestic and international markets servicing the state. This year, the HTA projected reaching a record 11.8 million air seats to the state, a 5.9 percent increase over last year.
Two new airlines, Virgin America and Jin Air, will begin flying to the Hawaiian Islands in 2015. The new routes from San Francisco and Incheon (Seoul), South Korea will help support demand from established routes. Virgin America will begin flying to Honolulu in November and Kahului in December and Jin Air will also begin service in December.
“We are pleased to welcome these carriers to Hawaii and look forward to working with them to promote the Hawaiian Islands in their respective markets,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “These flights will generate an estimated $32 million in annual visitor spending, which will help us continue the momentum we have been experiencing these past few years.”
AirAsia X will also enter the Hawaii market during the first half of 2016 flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Honolulu. This new route from a major Southeast Asian city will help to provide access to a new and developing market for Hawaii’s visitor industry. The HTA will be selecting a contractor for Southeast Asia to increase awareness of the state throughout the region this year and this new route will help to support growing interest from the region.