HONOLULU, HI (September 12, 2008) – There is no shortage of airline seats to or between the Hawaiian Islands despite the closure of Aloha Airlines and ATA Airlines in April this year.
That is the message from Hawaii tourism officials concerned over misinformation in some media that the number of air seats between the US mainland and Hawaii has dropped in excess of 25 percent since the two carriers ceased operations in April.
“That simply is not the case,” said John Monahan, president and CEO of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) (http://www.gohawaii.com/). “There were ample seats on flights from the US mainland to Hawaii during summer, and the same is true going forward into the fall.”
Airline schedule data provided by Sabre Airport Consulting Services, a leading airline industry research firm, shows that transpacific capacity dropped about 15 percent following the closure of the two airlines and has remained stable in the five months since.
“That number carries even less impact because when those carriers were flying, there was an oversupply of capacity from the US mainland,” said Monahan. “Getting to and from Hawaii is not an issue.”
In fact, even more seats to Hawaii will be available October 1 when Delta Airlines resumes several flights to the Hawaiian Islands that had been cancelled earlier in the year. The flights from Los Angeles to Kauai and Hawaii’s Big Island, and from Atlanta to Honolulu, contributed to an 8 percent year-over-year increase in Delta’s Hawaii schedules and are being reinstated because of increased demand.
HVCB also reports that Hawaiian Airlines (http://www.hawaiianair.com/), go! Airlines (http://www.iflygo.com/), and Island Air (http://www.islandair.com/) have added service and aircraft to replace the interisland seats lost as a result of Aloha’s closure. Travel around the islands will become even more convenient in the next few months as Hawaiian Airlines adds 36 percent more seats to its fleet with the purchase of four more 123-passenger Boeing 717 aircraft. The aircraft will be introduced into service at the rate of one a month beginning October 1.