Hawaiian gets Manila green light

Hawaiian Airlines has received approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide nonstop flights between Honolulu and Manila in the Philippines.Hawaiian will be the only U.S. carrier providing nonstop services between Hawaii and the Philippines.

Hawaiian will launch the Manila service in March 2008 using its wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER aircraft that seat up to 264 passengers. The new flights will more than double the current capacity on the route.

Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s President and CEO, said, “Hawaiian is expanding its service into Asia for the first time and we couldn’t have chosen a better destination than Manila. Considering the deep cultural and historic ties that exist between Hawaii and the Philippines, we are confident there will be great support for our new flights.”

Hawaii has nearly 300,000 residents that are identified as either Filipino or part-Filipino, representing 23.5% of the state’s population. Manila’s greater metropolitan area has more than 10 million residents and is the Philippines’ political, economic, social and cultural center.