HONOLULU, HI – For the third time in eight months, Hawaiian Airlines began service to a new destination in Asia with the inauguration of daily service between Honolulu and Osaka, Japan.
To celebrate the launch of its new route, Hawaiian treated inaugural flight passengers to performances of Hawaiian music, hula and a Japanese cultural dance honoring Osaka’s beauty. Passengers also received fresh flower lei and participated in a traditional Hawaiian blessing before boarding the aircraft.
“Demand for our services in Japan has returned to pre-tsunami levels, and we are grateful for the enthusiastic response we are receiving from the people of Osaka. This new daily service reflects our confidence in the Japan market and in the important Kansai region in particular,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO.
Hawaiian’s daily, nonstop service from Osaka adds approximately 100,000 new air seats annually to Hawaii from Japan, the state’s second-largest market for visitors, and continues an expansion into Asia that is helping to boost Hawaii’s visitor industry and economy. Hawaiian introduced service to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in November 2010 and Seoul’s Incheon International Airport in January 2011.
“Congratulations to Hawaiian Airlines on its launch of direct service between Honolulu and Osaka’s Kansai International Airport,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA). “The new direct flight from Western Japan follows two other milestone flights into the Asia market for Hawaiian Airlines, from Honolulu to Haneda, Japan and Incheon, South Korea.
“The HTA estimates the Osaka route will generate up to $120 million in visitor spending and $18 million in tax revenue annually. Together, all three routes will provide up to $350 million in visitor spending and $38 million in tax revenue annually for Hawaii’s tourism economy,” said McCartney.
Hawaiian’s new service to Osaka offers travelers in the region an authentic Hawaii travel experience. Its award-winning “Hawaii Starts Here” inflight service program showcases Hawaii’s culture, people and tradition of hospitality. At the same time, it also offers new pan-Asian cuisine, Japanese entertainment options, and onboard products designed for the enjoyment of Japanese travelers.
With approximately three million residents, Osaka is a major economic and commercial center and comprises the largest segment of the Keihanshin Area, which also includes Kyoto and Kobe, and is Japan’s second-most populous area with more than 18 million residents.
In addition, Osaka’s Kansai International Airport is a regional hub giving Hawaiian the capability to attract a broader range of customers from Asia via convenient flight connections from other cities in Japan, China and Asia, as well as same-day ground connections from several major cities in Japan.
Hawaiian’s Flight #449 will depart Honolulu International Airport daily at 2:20 p.m. and arrive at Kansai International Airport at 6:00 p.m. the next day. Return Flight #450 will depart Osaka daily at 9:30 p.m. and arrive in Honolulu at 10:50 a.m. the same day. (Osaka is 19 hours ahead of Honolulu and the flight crosses the International Dateline.)
Hawaiian will initially operate the Honolulu-Osaka flights with its 264-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, before introducing its new 294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the route.