Hawaiian Airlines is to significantly increase its interisland flights, with 110 new weekly services to be added by the end of 2008.
The extra flights will be made possible by the airline’s acquisition of four more Boeing 717-200 jets, which will take the interisland fleet to 15 by January 2009.
Hawaiian currently operates more than 150 interisland flights per day - more than any other carrier.
The new services between the main hub of Honolulu and the neighbour islands will be added progressively during morning and afternoon peak periods as the extra aircraft are introduced.
Visits to neighbour islands are becoming increasingly popular among travellers, many of whom are dividing their time in Hawaii between Honolulu and at least one neighbouring island.
By the end of this year, Hawaiian will add to the current interisland schedule:
- 40 new roundtrip flights per week to Lihue on the island of Kauai.
- 27 new roundtrip flights per week to Kahului, on the island of Maui
- 25 new roundtrip flights per week to Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii, and
- 18 new roundtrip flights per week to Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii
The airline’s President and CEO, Mark Dunkerley, said the additional Boeing 717s would enable Hawaiian to schedule new flights at the times when passengers most wanted to travel between the islands. “We are committed to keeping passenger traffic moving between the islands as conveniently as possible, and adding these four Boeing 717s will allow us to provide our customers with more flight choices,” he said.
Hawaiian’s Boeing 717s are configured to seat between 118 and 123 passengers in a two class cabin - eight seats in First class and the remainder in Economy.
The first of the extra planes has just entered service and the others will be added in November, December and January.
In addition to adding flights at peak times, Hawaiian will also replace wide-body Boeing 767-300 aircraft currently flying some interisland routes with the smaller, more efficient Boeing 717s. The extra planes will also provide a spare aircraft for both the 717 and 767 fleets.