HONOLULU, Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaiian Airlines will add its fifth Japan gateway in June with the launch of new service three times a week to Sendai, Japan, starting June 25, pending Japan government approval.
The new flights will be the first scheduled service between Sendai and Hawai'i since another carrier left the market in 2004, and among the first new services to be introduced at Sendai Airport since it was closed for more than a month in 2011 due to damage caused by the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
"We are delighted to be bringing the aloha of our island home to a region being rebuilt after massive devastation two years ago," said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and chief executive officer. "Hawai'i is a place for relaxation, healing and rejuvenation, and we look forward to making visitors from Tohoku feel as though they are in Hawai'i from the moment they board our flights."
Hawaiian's new Sendai service will connect with and complement its existing service to Sapporo, operating nonstop from Honolulu to Sendai, with one-stop service returning to Honolulu via Sapporo.
"We have been interested in providing service to Honolulu from Sendai for some time. The city's airport draws travelers from throughout the Tohoku region, and its peak travel periods complement those of Sapporo to the north. Our new service will take advantage of these fluctuations by offering each market the majority of available seats when local demand for travel to Hawai'i is highest. This allows us to make the most efficient use of our fleet," Dunkerley said.
Starting June 25, Hawaiian's Flight HA 441 will depart Honolulu International Airport on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 12:15 p.m., cross the international dateline, and arrive at Sendai Airport at 4:00 p.m. the following day.
The return Flight HA 442 will then continue to Sapporo's New Chitose Airport at 5:55 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving at New Chitose at 7:10 p.m. before departing to Honolulu at 9:10 p.m., crossing the international dateline, and arriving in Honolulu at 9:50 a.m. the same day.
Hawaiian will operate the Honolulu-Sendai-Sapporo flights using its fleet of roomy wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER aircraft that seat up to 264 passengers. Travelers will enjoy a customized presentation of Hawaiian's signature inflight hospitality program, combining its celebration of the islands' culture, natural beauty, people, cuisine, and Aloha Spirit, with entertainment options and special onboard products designed for the Japanese traveler.
The start of ticket sales for Hawaiian's new Sendai service will be announced at a later date.
Sendai is the largest city in the Tohoku region of northern Honshu, which has a population of more than 9 million. Sendai is known in Japan as "Mori no Miyako," or Forest City, for its many green spaces in its city center. It is also known for its high quality rice and for its summer Tanabata Festival, which draws thousands of visitors from across Japan.
Sendai will be the tenth new destination that Hawaiian has introduced or announced in less than three years, following the launches of service to Tokyo in November 2010, Seoul in January 2011, Osaka in July 2011, Fukuoka in April 2012, New York in June 2012, Sapporo in October 2012, and Brisbane in November 2012. The company has previously announced new service to Auckland, New Zealand commencing on March 13, and to Taipei, Taiwan in July 2013.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past nine years (2004-2012) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the highest of all domestic airlines serving Hawai'i.
Now in its 84th year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawai'i's biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawai'i from more U.S. gateway cities (11) than any other airline, along with service from Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. New nonstop service will begin between Honolulu and Auckland, New Zealand on March 13, 2013, and between Honolulu and Taipei, Taiwan in July 2013. Hawaiian also provides approximately 160 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. Follow updates on Twitter about Hawaiian (@HawaiianAir) and its special fare offers (@HawaiianFares), and become a fan on its Facebook page (Hawaiian Airlines).
SOURCE Hawaiian Airlines
Keoni Wagner, +1-808-838-6778, Keoni.Wagner@HawaiianAir.com