Hawaiian Airlines gets OK from DOT for Tokyo service


(eTN) – The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has given its final approval to Hawaiian Airlines’ application to offer nonstop daily service between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Honolulu International Airport, it was announced Tuesday.

According Hawaiian Airlines, its first-ever commercial service to Japan is scheduled to begin October 31, 2010, and will add approximately 100,000 new air seats annually to Hawaii from its second-largest tourism market. The start date for ticket sales will be announced soon.

“Earning final approval to launch our new Tokyo service represents a huge step forward for the future of Hawaiian Airlines and is terrific news for Hawaii’s tourism industry,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO. “Hawaiian will bring much-needed competition to Tokyo, and we will offer superior service that allows our customers to start their Hawaii experience the moment they board our flights.”

Hawaiian’s nonstop daily flight will be timed to allow visitors to maximize their time in Hawaii. Flights are tentatively scheduled to depart Tokyo shortly before midnight and arrive in Honolulu around noon the same day, allowing travelers in Tokyo’s surrounding metropolitan area to leave after a full day of work and land in time to check in to a hotel and enjoy a first afternoon in Hawaii. The return flight will depart Honolulu in early evening, allowing customers to enjoy a full last day in Hawaii, and arrive in Tokyo in late evening the next day. (Tokyo is 19 hours ahead of Honolulu and the flight crosses the International Dateline.)

Adding to the convenience of Hawaiian’s new service is the central Tokyo location of Haneda Airport in contrast to Narita International Airport, which is 40 miles away, Hawaiian Airlines said.

In addition, passengers on the new Tokyo-Honolulu flights will enjoy the hospitality of Hawaiian’s distinctive and award-winning “Hawaii Starts Here” onboard service, showcasing the culture, music, natural beauty, and people of Hawaii throughout the flight.

Hawaiian’s new Tokyo route also presents HawaiianMiles members with a new opportunity to accrue frequent flyer miles and take advantage of the added-value travel benefits that come with membership in the program. Enrollment is free and available online at HawaiianAirlines.com.

The new Tokyo-Honolulu route is a key step in Hawaiian’s long-term plan to expand its service in Asia and other destinations using up to 27 new Airbus A330s and A350s that the company plans to integrate into its fleet over the coming decade.

The airline also said it will initially serve Haneda Airport with its Boeing 767-300ER aircraft seating up to 264 passengers, before introducing its new and larger 294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft onto the route.