HONOLULU, February 1, 2003 -- Hawaiian Airlines today launched new nonstop service connecting Portland with the “world's best island” — the beautiful island of Maui.
A ceremony was held prior to this morning's departure, featuring a traditional Hawaiian blessing by Kahu Richard Kamanu, pastor of the Kapaa First Hawaiian Church on Kauai. Before boarding, passengers were treated to a light breakfast — Hawaiian style — consisting of local favorites like Portuguese sausage, musubi, and tropical fruits and juices prepared by Bamboo Grove Hawaiian Grille of Portland.
Passengers were also entertained with Hawaiian music and hula by the Kaleinani O Ke Kukui and University of Portland Hawaii Club, comprised of former Hawaii residents living in the Portland area, and greeted with a fresh flower lei while boarding. Upon arrival in Maui, passengers were again greeted with Hawaiian music and a fresh flower lei.
Hawaiian's Portland-Maui flights, the only nonstop service of its kind available, will operate three days a week through April, and then resume again in October. Flight 39 departs Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from the Portland International Airport at 10:55 a.m. and arrives at Maui's Kahului International Airport at 2:40 p.m. The return Flight 40 departs Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday from Maui at 4:10 p.m. and arrives in Portland at 11:25 p.m.
“The allure of Maui has proven to be powerful for a growing number of our Portland-area customers and thanks to the superior qualities and greater efficiency of our new fleet of Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, we can now take them there nonstop in widebody comfort,” said John W. Adams, Hawaiian's chairman and CEO. “We will provide the same award-winning service to Maui that our Portland customers have come to expect from Hawaiian and continue to live up to our new motto, ‘Hawaii Starts Here.'”
The new nonstop service provides a convenient getaway for Portland-area travelers wanting to experience an island that annually earns accolades from visitors worldwide.
Recently — 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 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.
The second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui, or “the Valley Isle,” is popular with travelers for its combination of spectacular natural beauty, magnificent array of resort properties, and abundance of year-round outdoor activities and unique attractions.
Maui is also considered the “whale-watching capital of Hawaii” due to the many vantage points for observing the humpback whales that annually migrate from the cold Northern Pacific Ocean to spend November through April in the warm waters of Hawaii.
“We're delighted that Hawaiian has made it easier to get to Maui with this nonstop service,” said Suzanne Miller, the Port of Portland's General Manager of Aviation Marketing. “This new flight offers our community the most convenience possible when traveling to a terrific vacation spot.”
Hawaiian will operate the Portland-Maui flights with its new Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which provides the same roomy interiors as Boeing's most advanced long-range commercial jets. The state-of-the-art, twin-aisle, twin-jet B-767 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.
Hawaiian's nonstop Maui service supplements its current daily flights between Portland and Honolulu, which began in 1986, and is the only direct service between the two cities.
Founded in Honolulu 73 years ago, Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaii's longest-serving and largest airline. The nation's 12th largest airline, it is also the second-largest provider of passenger service between the West Coast and Hawaii.
The airline has earned numerous awards for service 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.