HONOLULU, Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaiian Airlines today continued its expansion into new international markets, with the launch of nonstop service to Brisbane, Australia, capital city of the State of Queensland.
Passengers of today's inaugural flight departing Honolulu enjoyed a festive island-style send-off, featuring live Hawaiian music and hula, a traditional Hawaiian blessing by Kahu Richard Kamanu of Kaumakapili Church, and fresh flower lei upon boarding.
Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and CEO, commented, "Brisbane is our second gateway city in Australia and the accessibility and convenience we are offering into an entirely new region will make it far easier to go and experience the vast appeal of this beautiful country. Likewise, Australians have a great affinity for the charms of Hawai'i and we see these new flights providing our state's visitor industry with a tremendous boost."
Hawaiian also offers nonstop daily flights between Sydney and Honolulu using its 294-seat, wide-body, twin-aisle Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Only U.S. Carrier Serving Brisbane
Hawaiian is the only U.S. carrier serving Brisbane, giving travelers in Hawai'i and throughout North America a convenient new travel alternative for experiencing the scenic beauty of Queensland – Australia's "Sunshine State."
Centrally located on Australia's east coast, Brisbane is the gateway to a host of appealing sites and attractions for visitors to enjoy, including the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, world heritage listed rainforests, the iconic Outback territory, and the renowned leisure destinations of Australia's Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
Brisbane also serves as a key hub for onward travel throughout Australia. Capitalizing on this, Hawaiian has timed its flight schedule for travelers to connect with same-day flights to and from throughout Queensland and other states via an interline partnership with domestic carrier Virgin Australia.
Hawaiian's Brisbane-Honolulu service is benefiting Hawai'i's visitor industry by adding 41,000 new air seats to the market annually, generating an estimated $79 million in visitor expenditures and $8.6 million in tax revenue for Hawai'i, according to the Hawai'i Tourism Authority.
Flight Schedule Information
Hawaiian's Flight HA 443 will depart Honolulu at 10:20 a.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, cross the international dateline, and arrive in Brisbane at 4:00 p.m. the following day.
Starting November 28, the return flight HA 444 will depart Brisbane at 6:35 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, cross the international dateline, and arrive in Honolulu at 8:05 a.m. the same day.
Hawaiian will operate its Honolulu-Brisbane service offering the comfort and roominess of its wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, seating 264 passengers in a two-class cabin, with 18 in Business Class and 246 in the Main Cabin.
Adding to the enjoyment of the travel experience is Hawaiian's signature 'Mea Ho'okipa' (translation: I am host) onboard service celebrating the culture, people, and Aloha Spirit of the Hawaiian Islands throughout the flight.
Honoring the Southern Cross
Today's inaugural flight from Honolulu to Brisbane is also honoring the famed transpacific flight of the Southern Cross, which in June 1928 – the year before Hawaiian was founded – became the first aircraft to fly from Hawai'i to Brisbane.
Originating from Oakland, California, the Southern Cross captured international headlines with its successful completion of the world's longest journey by air at the time.
Flown by Australian aviation pioneers Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm, the tri-engine Fokker monoplane took approximately 83 hours to fly from Kaua'i to Brisbane's Eagle Farm airfield, stopping en route in Fiji for the pilots to take a one-day rest break.
In honor of Kingsford Smith and Ulm's pioneering flight, Hawaiian has placed a commemorative image of the Southern Cross near the cockpit window of the Boeing 767-300ER aircraft operating today's flight.
Continued Long-Haul Expansion
Brisbane is the seventh of eight new destinations that Hawaiian has introduced or announced new service to since November 2010, following Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Sapporo, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; and New York City. Hawaiian will launch service to Auckland, New Zealand, on March 13, 2013.
Hawaiian's continuing growth into new markets and expansion of existing operations in North America has been fueled by its long-haul fleet renewal and expansion program that began in June 2010. Since then, the company has welcomed nine new Airbus A330-200 aircraft to its fleet, and is scheduled to introduce 13 more A330s into service between 2013 and 2015.
Tickets for any of Hawaiian's routes can be purchased online at HawaiianAirlines.com, by calling Hawaiian's reservations department toll-free at 1-800-367-5320, or through any professional travel agent.
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 Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the highest of all domestic airlines serving Hawai'i.
Now in its 84th year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawai'i'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 Hawai'i from more U.S. gateway cities (11) than any other airline, along with service from Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. New nonstop service will begin between Honolulu and Auckland, New Zealand on March 13, 2013. 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).
SOURCE Hawaiian Airlines
Keoni Wagner, +1-808-838-6778, Keoni.Wagner@HawaiianAir.com