It has been a rough few years for the Hawaiian Islands due to both the nationwide economic issue and an airline availability problem as well. In 2008, there was a huge decrease in travelers to Hawaii, 10.5% to be exact, which accounted for almost one million less visitors entering the state. With the demise of Aloha Airlines, a dramatic increase in fuel cost, and fewer passengers, many airlines decreased or simply eliminated their Hawaiian Islands’ routes.
Since 2010, the airline industry has increased flight operations to Hawaii, adding additional flights from the continental United States along with some recent international routes, all of which help Hawaii’s local economy.
Companies such as Alaska Airlines added daily service between Portland and Honolulu, and seasonal operations between Portland and Kona during the latter portion of 2010. This year, Alaska Airlines also added a direct flight from San Diego to Honolulu. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, this once daily flight brings our local economy over $58 million in visitor expenditures for the year.
Delta also added daily flights from San Diego to Honolulu in June of 2010. Delta Airlines offers about one hundred weekly flights between Hawaii and nine worldwide destinations. They also offer an average of five daily round-trip departures from Los Angeles International Airport to four of the Hawaiian Islands including Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii.
China Eastern Airlines just added a regularly scheduled flight from China to Honolulu at the beginning of August 2011. This fall, a proposed addition by Asiana Airlines, from Incheon, South Korea (a recent leading market), to Honolulu, is also planned.
In November 2010, Hawaiian Airlines began direct flight service between the islands and Tokyo-Haneda, Japan. In 2011, they created new routes between Hawaii and South Korea. Most recently in July of this year, the airline operator began flight service between the islands and Osaka, Japan as well.
As Waikoloa Vacation rentals expressed in a recent article, tourism is on the rise for the state of Hawaii and certainly the vacation rental industry. With additional flights, more interested travelers, and overall availability, the future does look promising for the state and the industry.