HONOLULU, Nov. 18, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Hawaiian Airlines reached a new milestone today in its expansion into Asia markets, launching daily, nonstop service between Honolulu and Tokyo's Haneda Airport.
Hawaiian's inaugural flight today to Haneda was preceded by festivities at the boarding gate at Honolulu International Airport featuring Hawaiian music and hula, a Japanese cultural dance performance called Utage, a traditional Hawaiian blessing, and the giving of fresh flower lei to the passengers.
"This is a momentous day for our company and a huge step forward into a region that offers tremendous potential for new growth opportunities for both Hawaiian Airlines and Hawaii tourism," said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and CEO.
"We have devoted months of planning and preparation into our new Haneda service and added some special touches that will make travel to Hawaii an even more enjoyable experience. I am confident travelers on our Haneda-Honolulu route will embrace this special presentation of our unique brand of Hawaiian-style service that has earned the loyalty of customers everywhere we fly," added Dunkerley.
Haneda represents the most significant international expansion ever for Hawaiian and starts the company on a course for future growth to other major Asia markets, as it begins to add new and longer-range Airbus A330s and A350s to its fleet. In January, Hawaiian will launch nonstop service, four times weekly from Honolulu to Seoul-Incheon in South Korea.
To meet the service expectations of Japanese travelers on its new Haneda service, Hawaiian is offering a customized, culturally designed presentation of its inflight service, featuring new pan-Asian cuisine, Japanese entertainment options, and special onboard products in combination with its award-winning "Hawaii Starts Here" inflight service program celebrating Hawaii's culture, people, and natural beauty.
Earlier this year, Hawaiian was one of only three U.S. airlines to win government approval to service Haneda Airport with international flights, and is launching its operations months ahead of the other two. In addition, Hawaiian is the only U.S. carrier offering flights between Haneda and Hawaii.
Centrally located in Tokyo, Haneda Airport offers travelers' superior accessibility to Japan's largest metropolitan area in contrast to Narita International Airport, which is located 40 miles away.
Hawaiian's new Haneda service will also provide a boost to Hawaii's visitor industry with the addition of approximately 100,000 new air seats from the state's second-largest tourism market.
Beginning today, Hawaiian's Flight #457 departs Honolulu International Airport daily at 6:05 p.m. and arrives at Tokyo's Haneda Airport at 10:05 p.m. the following day. Starting November 19, Return Flight #458 will depart Haneda daily at 11:59 p.m. and arrive in Honolulu at 12:05 p.m. the same day. (Tokyo is 19 hours ahead of Honolulu and the flight crosses the International Dateline.)
Hawaiian will initially serve the Haneda-Honolulu route using its wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which comfortably seats up to 264 passengers with 18 in Business Class and the rest in Economy Class. Hawaiian plans to introduce its new and larger 294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft onto the route at a later date.
Tickets for the Haneda flights can be purchased online via Hawaiian's English-language website at www.HawaiianAirlines.com, its new Japanese-language website at www.HawaiianAirlines.co.jp, or by calling toll-free in the U.S. through its reservations center at 1-800-367-5320 or through its sales office in Japan at 03-5405-8761.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian is the nation's highest-ranked carrier for service quality and performance in 2009 in the 20th annual Airline Quality Rating study, having earned that distinction in three of the past four years. Hawaiian has also led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past six years (2004-2009) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the top domestic airline offering flights to Hawaii.
Now in its 82nd year of continuous service for Hawaii, Hawaiian is the state's biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service to Hawaii from the state's primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities (10) than any other airline, as well as service to Japan, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, Tahiti, and, starting in January 2011, South Korea. Hawaiian also provides more than 150 daily jet flights between the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com.
SOURCE Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.