Opening a gateway on islands of opportunity

Opening a gateway on islands of opportunity

United now operates from Los Angeles to Kauai daily, and runs a Saturday service from San Francisco; twice-daily to Kona on Hawaii; and threetimes daily to Maui from both LA and San Francisco.

Following the introduction of a four-times-weekly Seattle-Maui service last year, Hawaiian recently introduced a daily non-stop flight from LA to the island.

But Honolulu, on Oahu, gets the lion's share of capacity from both carriers, with United operating four daily flights from both LA and San Francisco; and Hawaiian four daily from LA and one daily service each from Seattle, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

United has increased frequency with greater use of smaller aircraft and the airline is adding a fifth daily LA-Honolulu B757 flight in mid-December, departing at 5.30pm and arriving at 9.17pm.

It is timed to offer good connections both from and to the UK, leaving Honolulu at 9am and landing in LA at 4.25pm.

LA and San Francisco are the major connecting points for Hawaiian's service, but there are also options of daily flights from Seattle and Las Vegas.

Hawaiian Airlines regional director Ronnie Simpkins said: "We don't get great volumes out of Seattle, but with British Airways operating there daily from London, it does give another choice for the UK market to build on. The US Pacific Northwest region is an interesting combination with Hawaii that can be developed."

He said a number of UK operators were using the daily Las Vegas-Honolulu service, especially tailor-made clients travelling from the West Coast into Nevada for the US mainland part of their holiday.

Simpkins added that due to more passengers wanting to fly first class across the Pacific on Hawaiian's DC-10 fleet, the airline has introduced an eight-seat premium cabin on all its DC-9 inter-island services.

"This market has developed considerably so we felt passengers would want to continue to have that little bit of extra privacy and service, even though these flights usually take only about 30mins."

Hawaiian operates 26 daily shuttle flights each way between Honolulu and Maui and another 20 daily to Kauai, offering a service almost every 30- 40mins.

Single fares cost up to £55 per flight but the airline offers unlimited inter-island travel passes costing from £173 for five days and £183 for seven days. Ten and 14-day passes cost £214 and £237 respectively. Children and over-60s get 10% reductions.

Simpkins said fare levels from the US West Coast to the islands have remained fairly consistent over the last two to three years, with low-season prices remaining around £240 return for that sector of the journey.

He added: "We have tried to hold the prices to develop the UK market. We targeted every operator with a California programme to expand into Hawaii, and it has worked."

However, one operator claimed there is now less scheduled capacity available to Hawaii than there was five years ago, which means fares are unlikely to come down significantly.

Transpacific Holidays chief executive Malcolm James said: "Unlike the US East Coast and Florida, which also has charter competition, most scheduled airlines to Hawaii don't have to dump capacity at discounted fares during the low seasons.

"United is still the dominant carrier and has boosted frequencies, but it has also downsized equipment on theroute."

PASSENGERSflying from the USWest Coast to Hawaii now have a greater choice of gateways to the islands thanks to new direct services from United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.

Honoluluis the traditional gateway to Hawaii but the two carriers have both increased the number of direct flights to sister islands.

United now operates from Los Angeles to Kauai daily, and runs a Saturday service from San Francisco; twice-daily to Kona on Hawaii; and threetimes daily to Maui from both LA and San Francisco.

Following the introduction of a four-times-weekly Seattle-Maui service last year, Hawaiian recently introduced a daily non-stop flight from LA to the island.

But Honolulu, on Oahu, gets the lion's share of capacity from both carriers, with United operating four daily flights from both LA and San Francisco; and Hawaiian four daily from LA and one daily service each from Seattle, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

United has increased frequency with greater use of smaller aircraft and the airline is adding a fifth daily LA-Honolulu B757 flight in mid-December, departing at 5.30pm and arriving at 9.17pm.

It is timed to offer good connections both from and to the UK, leaving Honolulu at 9am and landing in LA at 4.25pm.

LA and San Francisco are the major connecting points for Hawaiian's service, but there are also options of daily flights from Seattle and Las Vegas.

Hawaiian Airlines regional director Ronnie Simpkins said: "We don't get great volumes out of Seattle, but with British Airways operating there daily from London, it does give another choice for the UK market to build on. The US Pacific Northwest region is an interesting combination with Hawaii that can be developed."

He said a number of UK operators were using the daily Las Vegas-Honolulu service, especially tailor-made clients travelling from the West Coast into Nevada for the US mainland part of their holiday.

Simpkins added that due to more passengers wanting to fly first class across the Pacific on Hawaiian's DC-10 fleet, the airline has introduced an eight-seat premium cabin on all its DC-9 inter-island services.

"This market has developed considerably so we felt passengers would want to continue to have that little bit of extra privacy and service, even though these flights usually take only about 30mins."

Hawaiian operates 26 daily shuttle flights each way between Honolulu and Maui and another 20 daily to Kauai, offering a service almost every 30- 40mins.

Single fares cost up to £55 per flight but the airline offers unlimited inter-island travel passes costing from £173 for five days and £183 for seven days. Ten and 14-day passes cost £214 and £237 respectively. Children and over-60s get 10% reductions.

Simpkins said fare levels from the US West Coast to the islands have remained fairly consistent over the last two to three years, with low-season prices remaining around £240 return for that sector of the journey.

He added: "We have tried to hold the prices to develop the UK market. We targeted every operator with a California programme to expand into Hawaii, and it has worked."

However, one operator claimed there is now less scheduled capacity available to Hawaii than there was five years ago, which means fares are unlikely to come down significantly.

Transpacific Holidays chief executive Malcolm James said: "Unlike the US East Coast and Florida, which also has charter competition, most scheduled airlines to Hawaii don't have to dump capacity at discounted fares during the low seasons.

"United is still the dominant carrier and has boosted frequencies, but it has also downsized equipment on theroute."

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