Hawaiian Airlines this month celebrates its fifth anniversary of successful service between O’ahu’s Honolulu International Airport (HNL) and its first destination on the Asian continent: Seoul, South Korea. Since launching its four times weekly service on Jan. 12, 2011, Hawaiian has operated more than 2,800 flights and carried nearly 600,000 guests between Honolulu and Incheon International Airport (ICN).
“Korean tourism to Hawai’i has more than doubled since we started service, and flights to Seoul continue to be a vital and important part of our network,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Airlines. “Travelers appreciate our value-for-money offerings, including free checked luggage, premium inflight amenities and the authentic Hawaiian hospitality delivered to every guest. Our employees embody the culture and inherent beauty of our island home, and proudly share the transformative sights, sounds and taste of Hawai’i the moment you step onboard.”
Before Hawaiian’s entry, the Korean market had long been underserved. In 2010, Hawaii received only 81,758 visitors from South Korea, compared to 178,091 visiting Hawaii in 2014. Following strong demand from both U.S. and Korean travelers, Hawaiian up-gauged its service to Seoul in the spring of 2014 from a Boeing 767-300ER to the larger A330 aircraft, seating 294 passengers in a three-class cabin, with 18 in First Class, 40 in Extra Comfort and 236 in the Main Cabin. Operating the larger A330 aircraft added more than 18,300 seats annually to both travel markets. Hawaiian now offers non-stop flights five days a week.