HONOLULU, July 6, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Hawaiian Airlines' plan for expansion into Asia and other destinations took a major step forward with today's announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) giving final approval to its application to offer nonstop daily service between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Honolulu International Airport.

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Hawaiian's first-ever commercial service to Japan is scheduled to begin October 31, 2010, and will add approximately 100,000 new air seats annually to Hawaii from its second-largest tourism market. The start date for ticket sales will be announced soon.

"Earning final approval to launch our new Tokyo service represents a huge step forward for the future of Hawaiian Airlines and is terrific news for Hawaii's tourism industry," said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and CEO. "Hawaiian will bring much-needed competition to Tokyo, and we will offer superior service that allows our customers to start their Hawaii experience the moment they board our flights."

Hawaiian's nonstop daily flight will be timed to allow visitors to maximize their time in Hawaii. Flights are tentatively scheduled to depart Tokyo shortly before midnight and arrive in Honolulu around noon the same day, allowing travelers in Tokyo's surrounding metropolitan area to leave after a full day of work and land in time to check in to a hotel and enjoy a first afternoon in Hawaii. The return flight will depart Honolulu in early evening, allowing customers to enjoy a full last day in Hawaii, and arrive in Tokyo in late evening the next day. (Tokyo is 19 hours ahead of Honolulu and the flight crosses the International Dateline.)

Adding to the convenience of Hawaiian's new service is the central Tokyo location of Haneda Airport in contrast to Narita International Airport, which is 40 miles away.

In addition, passengers on the new Tokyo-Honolulu flights will enjoy the hospitality of Hawaiian's distinctive and award-winning "Hawaii Starts Here" onboard service, showcasing the culture, music, natural beauty, and people of Hawaii throughout the flight.

Hawaiian's new Tokyo route also presents HawaiianMiles members with a new opportunity to accrue frequent flyer miles and take advantage of the added-value travel benefits that come with membership in the program. Enrollment is free and available online at HawaiianAirlines.com.

The new Tokyo-Honolulu route is a key step in Hawaiian's long-term plan to expand its service in Asia and other destinations using up to 27 new Airbus A330s and A350s that the company plans to integrate into its fleet over the coming decade.

Hawaiian will initially serve Haneda Airport with its Boeing 767-300ER aircraft seating up to 264 passengers, before introducing its new and larger 294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft onto the route.

As part of its expansion of international service, Hawaiian announced on June 30 that it will begin flying four weekly routes to Seoul-Incheon, South Korea in January 2011.

About Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian is the nation's highest-ranked carrier for service quality and performance in 2009 in the 20th annual Airline Quality Rating study, having earned that distinction in three of the past four years. Hawaiian has also led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past six years (2004-2009) and has been an industry leader in fewest misplaced bags during that same period (#1 from 2005-2007, #2 in 2008 and 2009) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the top domestic airline offering flights to Hawaii.

Now in its 81st year of continuous service for Hawaii, Hawaiian is the state's biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service to Hawaii from the state's primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities (10) than any other airline, as well as service to the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. Hawaiian also provides more than 150 daily jet flights between the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com.

SOURCE Hawaiian Airlines