HONOLULU – April 17, 2012 - Hawaiian Airlines today completed its inaugural round-trip from Fukuoka, Japan, carrying its first 188 passengers to Honolulu and initiating the only nonstop year-round service between the two destinations.
Hawaiian’s Fukuoka-Honolulu service will add approximately 100,000 air seats annually, a boon to the state’s visitor industry. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the new route will generate an estimated $156 million in visitor spending and $17.0 million in tax revenue annually.
Fukuoka is the economic center of Kyushu Island, the third largest and most southerly of Japan’s four main islands, and the closest major Japan city to the Asia continent. Kyushu Island has approximately 13 million residents, of which five million live in Fukuoka Prefecture.
Hawaiian gave passengers on today’s inaugural departure a festive send-off from Fukuoka, which included a speech from Fukuoka Prefecture Governor Hiroshi Ogawa. Passengers were greeted upon arrival in Honolulu with fresh flower lei, Hawaiian music and hula.
Hawaii has strong historical ties to Fukuoka dating back to 1885 when the first 149 immigrants arrived on the ship Yamashiromaru to work in Hawaii following King David Kalakaua’s signing of a treaty of reciprocity with Japan.
A century later, in 1981, the State of Hawaii passed a resolution establishing a Sister-State relationship with Fukuoka Prefecture, the first one in Hawaii’s history. Then-Hawaii Governor George Ariyoshi, whose father Ryozo Ariyoshi came to Honolulu from Fukuoka, led the Sister-State initiative.
Fukuoka is Hawaiian’s third destination in Japan, and fourth in Asia to be launched in the past 17 months, following Tokyo (November 2010), Seoul (January 2011), and Osaka (July 2011).
Hawaiian Flight #453 departs Honolulu International Airport daily at 1:30 p.m. and arrives at Fukuoka Airport at 7:00 p.m. the next day. The return Flight #454 departs Fukuoka daily at 9:00 p.m. and arrives in Honolulu at 10:20 a.m. the same day. (Fukuoka is 19 hours ahead of Honolulu and the flight crosses the International Dateline.)
Hawaiian will initially operate the Honolulu-Fukuoka flights using its wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER aircraft that comfortably seats up to 264 passengers, before introducing its new and larger wide-body, twin-aisle 294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft onto the route.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.HawaiianAirlines.co.jp, Hawaiian’s Japanese-language website, and at its English-language website, www.HawaiianAirlines.com, or by phone via its sales office in Japan at 03-5405-8761 and toll-free in the U.S. through its reservations center at 1-800-367-5320.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past eight years (2004-2011) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian as the top domestic airline serving Hawaii.
Now in its 83rd year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawaii’s biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its 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, along with service to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. Daily service to New York City will begin in June 2012. Hawaiian also provides approximately 170 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. Follow updates on Twitter about Hawaiian (@HawaiianAir) and its special fare offers (@HawaiianFares), and become a fan on its Facebook page (Hawaiian Airlines).