HONOLULU – January 17, 2012 - One year after Hawaiian Airlines introduced service between Seoul and Honolulu and brought its distinctive “Hawaii Flies With Us” inflight hospitality to Korea, its impact can be seen in the growth of this developing market for both Hawaiian Airlines and Hawaii.
Hawaiian marked the one-year anniversary of its inaugural flight from Seoul to Honolulu on January 14, 2012. The airline introduced more than 50,000 new air seats onto the route in 2011 with four flights per week and saw its average load factor increase to more than 80% in the fourth quarter.
In response to growing demand in Korea for its service to Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines earlier announced that it will increase to daily its service to Seoul starting July 16, pending government approval. The increased frequency will add more than 40,000 air seats annually to Seoul, increasing Hawaiian’s total capacity in the market to more than 96,000 annually.
Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO, said, “It is clear that Korean travelers love Hawaii, and we are delighted that they are choosing Hawaiian Airlines for their Hawaii travel experience in increasing numbers. We were especially pleased to see such a significant increase in visits to our neighbor islands, and we will continue to work closely with our excellent travel partners in Korea to promote the incomparable diversity of our islands.”
Hawaiian is contributing to significant growth in the Korean travel market to Hawaii, as seen in the visitor statistics compiled by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). In its most recent report, HTA data show that visitor arrivals from Korea for the first three quarters of 2011 totaled 72,064, an increase of 23.1% compared to the same period in 2010. HTA projected that by year’s end Hawaii will have received approximately 100,000 visitors from Korea, of which nearly 40% will have arrived on Hawaiian Airlines.
In addition, multiple-island visits by Korean visitors to Hawaii increased by 41.5% over the first three quarters of 2011, with most taking advantage of the ease in making neighbor island flight connections on Hawaiian Airlines. While 91.5% of Korean travelers visited Oahu, Maui attracted 29.5%, Hawaii Island 11.5%, and Kauai 3.4%.
Hawaiian helped drive the increase in neighbor island visits with a series of marketing efforts in Korea to promote the diversity of the Hawaii visitor experience outside Oahu.
Out of the 72,064 Korean travelers that came to Hawaii, 80.3% were first-time visitors. Of that total, 26,801 visitors, or 37.2%, were honeymooners, an increase of 27.4% year-over-year compared to 2010. In response to this trend, Hawaiian recently adjusted its flight schedule to accommodate Korean honeymooners by including Saturday and Sunday departures from Seoul.
A key selling point for Hawaiian during its first year of service to Korea has been the authenticity of its “Hawaii Flies With Us” inflight hospitality and how it adds value to the Hawaii travel experience. From the moment they board, Korean visitors are treated to a showcase of Hawaii’s culture, people, natural beauty, and Aloha Spirit, while also being provided with Korean entertainment options, delicious pan-Asian cuisine, and special onboard amenities for their enjoyment.
Hawaiian will continue to operate its Seoul-Honolulu service using its wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER aircraft that comfortably seats 264 passengers, with 18 seats in Business Class and up to 246 seats in Economy Class. The airline plans to introduce its newest and largest aircraft, the 294-seat, wide-body Airbus A330-200, on the route at a later date.
Tickets can be purchased at www.HawaiianAirlines.co.kr, Hawaiian’s Korean-language website, or www.HawaiianAirlines.com, its English-language website, or by calling toll-free in the U.S. to its reservations center at 1-800-367-5320 or to its South Korea sales office at 82-2-775-5552.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past seven years (2004-2010) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In addition, consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the top domestic airline offering flights to Hawaii. Hawaiian was also the nation’s highest-ranked carrier for service quality and performance in the prestigious Airline Quality Rating (AQR) study for 2008 and 2009.
Now in its 83rd year of continuous service in Hawaii, Hawaiian is 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 Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. Hawaiian also provides approximately 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. Follow updates on Twitter about Hawaiian (@HawaiianAir) and its special fare offers (@HawaiianFares), and become a fan on its Facebook page (Hawaiian Airlines).