HONOLULU, June 1, 2003 -- Hawaiian Airlines today introduced a new nonstop route that is the only one of its kind in the industry connecting San Diego, the second largest city in California and seventh largest in the nation, with the beautiful island of Maui.
A ceremony was held prior to this morning's inaugural departure in San Diego, featuring a traditional Hawaiian blessing by Kahu Richard Kamanu, pastor of the Kapaa First Hawaiian Church on Kauai. Before boarding, passengers were entertained with Hawaiian music and hula and presented with a fresh flower lei. Upon arrival in Maui, passengers were again welcomed with Hawaiian music and hula and a fresh flower lei.
Hawaiian's San Diego-Maui flights will operate four days a week. Flight 37 departs Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday from the San Diego International Airport at 10:35 a.m. and arrives at Maui's Kahului International Airport at 1:10 p.m. The return Flight 38 departs Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday from Maui at 2:10 p.m. and arrives in San Diego at 10:25 p.m.
“Travelers from the greater San Diego area have embraced Hawaiian's nonstop service to Honolulu, so we believe our new route combining Maui's timeless appeal with the widebody comfort of our Boeing 767-300 aircraft and award-winning inflight service will be a wonderful success for the Valley Isle and the entire state of Hawaii,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and chief operating officer.
Today's launching comes nearly two years after Hawaiian initiated daily, nonstop flights between San Diego and Honolulu on June 15, 2001, also the only nonstop service of its kind available. San Diego-Honolulu has since proven to be a popular route for Hawaiian and the company is confident of enjoying similar success with its nonstop San Diego-Maui service.
Maui presents an alluring draw to attract new and repeat visitors from a potentially fertile market. San Diego boasts a citywide population of 1.3 million residents, with San Diego County being home to more than 2.8 million residents within its 18 incorporated cities.
Last November, for the ninth consecutive year, Maui was voted “Best Island in the World” by the 15th Annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards Poll. Readers of the prestigious travel magazine honored Maui as the world's “Top Tropical Island” and also named it as “Best Island” and “Top Travel Destination.” Maui received high marks in the categories of scenery, friendliness, lodging, restaurants, activities, and beaches.
Hawaiian will operate the San Diego-Maui flights with its new Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. The state-of-the-art, twin-aisle, twin-jet B767 seats 252 passengers, 18 in First Class and 234 in Coach Class, featuring widebody comfort and the convenience of a 2-3-2 seating configuration that offers either window or aisle seating to 86 percent of the passengers onboard.
Founded in Honolulu 73 years ago, Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaii's longest-serving and largest airline. The nation's 12th largest carrier, it is the second-largest provider of passenger service between the West Coast and Hawaii and offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more mainland U.S. gateways (nine) than any other airline. The airline provides approximately 100 daily jet flights among the six Hawaiian Islands as well as weekly service to American Samoa and Tahiti. Hawaiian is also participating in the federal government's Civil Reserve Air Fleet, transporting Armed Forces personnel between the U.S. and points in the Pacific and Middle East.
The company takes pride in its innovative service programs that deliver on the promise, “Hawaii Starts Here.” Hawaiian has earned numerous awards in recent years, including the 2001 Zagat Survey's award for Best Overall U.S. Airline in the Premier category, and the 2001 Diamond Award for In-Flight Service from Onboard Services magazine. Hawaiian was rated third highest in a recent ranking of the Top 10 U.S. Airlines by Travel & Leisure magazine.
Additional information on Hawaiian Airlines, including previously issued company news releases, is available on the airline's Web site at www.HawaiianAir.com.