Continental Airlines is launching daily nonstop service to Hilo, Hawai’i, from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and once-weekly service to Hilo from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on June 9, 2011.
The new flights will complement Continental’s and United’s extensive existing service to Hawai’i, according to United Continental Holdings, parent of the two gradually merging carriers. United Airlines – which has served the islands since 1947 – and Continental Airlines say they collectively provide more mainland service to Hawai’i than any other carrier from their hubs at Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Houston, Chicago and Newark/New York.
“We are excited to provide customers the only direct flights to Hilo from the mainland,” says Jim Compton, executive vice president and chief revenue officer of United Continental Holdings, Inc. “These flights will offer customers convenient, nonstop service to the Big Island without having to connect in Honolulu.”
“The addition of the two routes is welcome news for Hawai’i Island and the entire state, and a result of the momentum established by our tourism industry to lead Hawai’i’s tourism recovery. Based on initial Hawai’i Tourism Authority projections, the flights could bring nearly 40,000 more visitors to the island [each year] and generate $50.6 million in direct visitor spending and $5.52 million in tax revenue,” says Mike McCartney, Hawai’i Tourism Authority’s president and CEO.
Continental will operate 160-seat Boeing 737-800s on the new routes, the aircraft configured with 16 seats in first class and 144 seats in economy. Its flight schedule for the daily Los Angeles-Hilo service will see the aircraft departing Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at 5:00 p.m. and landing at Hilo International Airport (ITO) at 7:40 p.m. local time. In the other direction, the flight is timed to leave ITO at 8:55 p.m. and reach LAX at 5:15 a.m. the following morning, local time.
On its Saturday-only San Francisco-Hilo service, Continental’s flight is scheduled to push back from the gate at SFO at 4:20 p.m. and to reach ITO at 6:40 p.m. local time. The return flight is timed to leave ITO at 9:20 p.m. and arrive at SFO at 5:20 a.m. the next day, local time.
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