Hawaiian Airlines has inaugurated daily service between Honolulu and Osaka in Japan.
The first flight on the route, which Hawaiian Airlines operated on July 12, represented the third time in eight months that the carrier had begun service to a new destination in Asia.
“Demand for our services in Japan has returned to pre-tsunami levels, and we are grateful for the enthusiastic response we are receiving from the people of Osaka. This new daily service reflects our confidence in the Japan market and in the important Kansai region in particular,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO.
Hawaiian Airlines’ daily, nonstop service from Osaka adds approximately 100,000 new air seats annually to Hawaii from Japan, the state’s second-largest market for visitors, and continues an expansion by the carrier into Asia that Hawaiian Airlines says is helping to boost Hawaii’s visitor industry and economy.
The carrier introduced service to Tokyo Haneda Airport in November 2010 and to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport in January 2011.
“The HTA estimates the Osaka route will generate up to $120 million in visitor spending and $18 million in tax revenue annually,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA). “Together, all three routes will provide up to $350 million in visitor spending and $38 million in tax revenue annually for Hawaii’s tourism economy,” said McCartney.
With approximately three million residents, Osaka is a major economic and commercial center and comprises the largest segment of the Keihanshin Area, which also includes Kyoto and Kobe. With more than 18 million residents, the Keihanshin Area is Japan’s second-most populous area after the Tokyo-Yokohama conurbation.
Osaka Kansai International Airport is a regional hub, which Hawaiian Airlines says gives it the capability to attract a broader range of customers from Asia via convenient flight connections from other cities in Japan, China and Asia, as well as same-day ground connections from several major cities in Japan.
Hawaiian Airlines’ schedule on the Honolulu-Osaka flight HA449 will depart Honolulu International Airport (HNL) daily at 2:20 p.m. and arrive at Kansai International Airport (KIX) at 6:00 p.m. the next day, local time. Return Flight HA450 will depart KIX daily at 9:30 p.m. and arrive in Honolulu at 10:50 a.m. the same day, local time. (Osaka is 19 hours ahead of Honolulu and the flight crosses the International Dateline.)
Hawaiian is initially operating the Honolulu-Osaka flights with 264-seat Boeing 767-300ERs, before introducing its new 294-seat Airbus A330-200s on the route.
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