HONOLULU, February 13, 1997 -- Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. (ASE and PCX: HA) has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide daily nonstop air service between Kahului, Maui, and Tokyo's Narita Airport starting January 1, 2000.

The Maui-Tokyo route is not currently served on a scheduled basis by any carrier.

Hawaiian filed to be the seventh designated U.S. carrier in the U.S.-Japan market under the recently completed U.S.-Japan Memorandum of Consultation, which resulted in the U.S. receiving authority to allocate to U.S. carriers new routes and 90 new flight frequencies between the two countries. While the Department has tentatively awarded a number of frequencies to carriers already providing service between the U.S. and Japan, DOT in its February 3, 1998 notice also started a procedure to select a new carrier to provide service between the two countries starting in 1998 and another in the year 2000.

Paul J. Casey, Hawaiian Airlines president and CEO, said the Honolulu-based airline would use the new route to promote Asian visitor travel throughout the islands of Hawaii.

"Given that Japan is such an important visitor market for Hawaii, and that Hawaii will always be our home and focus, Hawaiian Airlines is intent on helping Hawaii control its own destiny as a travel destination."

If granted the route authority, Hawaiian Airlines plans to use 304-seat DC10 widebody aircraft for the new service, offering Business Class and Coach seating.

Founded in Honolulu 68 years ago, Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaii's longest-serving and largest airline and the nation's 12th largest carrier. Hawaiian's fleet of 13 DC9s provides award-winning service on more than 130 jet flights daily among the islands of Hawaii. Hawaiian also operates 12 widebody jet flights a day between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. Its South Pacific service links Honolulu with American Samoa and Tahiti.