HONOLULU – November 17, 2010 - Hawaiian Airlines is unveiling a new inflight experience for its Haneda route that travelers from Japan will enjoy, combining its signature “Hawaii Starts Here” inflight service with a customized presentation to meet Japanese travelers’ expectations and offer some pleasant surprises.
“Hawaiian Airlines already has in place a winning brand of service that our customers appreciate, but for our new flights between Haneda and Honolulu we have undertaken extensive preparations to make sure our Japan customers enjoy a remarkably distinctive Hawaii travel experience,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Airlines.
Hawaiian will launch daily, nonstop flights from Honolulu to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on November 17, with the inaugural return flight departing Haneda two days later. Customers will enjoy an award-winning style of inflight service that is uniquely special from all other domestic and international carriers – one that celebrates the culture, people, and natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands and is also offering new inflight cuisine, customized entertainment options, and special onboard products designed to please travelers from Japan.
To ensure that its flight attendants and airport customer service personnel understand the traditions of Japanese culture and associated service expectations, Hawaiian has been using the same training professionals that designed training programs for the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki, which is recognized by sophisticated Japanese travelers for its service excellence and Hawaiian sense of place.
“Our goal is to provide very high quality service to our new customers from Japan, so we are working with and learning from the ‘gold standard’ at the Halekulani Hotel,” said Blaine Miyasato, vice president of product development for Hawaiian Airlines. “We are preserving the authenticity of the Hawaiian Airlines inflight experience, and our service training at the Halekulani is teaching us how to offer our service with greater understanding and respect for the Japanese culture.”
The result is a culturally sensitive, customized service experience based on traditional Hawaiian hospitality that is different from that offered by any other carrier. The service quality begins at the airport ticket counter and continues all the way through to disembarking the aircraft, a carefully planned process that is repeated on the return flight.
Two examples of the thoughtfulness that Hawaiian is bringing to its new Haneda service are the new quilt provided to Business Class customers, and the omiyage (souvenir) that all customers will receive.
Business Class customers will each receive a high-quality Hawaiian-themed quilt to use during the flight, making it easier to rest and adding to the comfort of their experience.
In addition, a snack that is in a container wrapped in a special cloth omiyage will be given to all customers shortly before landing. The beautiful cloth keepsake features a bright floral design that will serve as a reminder of their trip to Hawaii.
New Inflight Dining Experience
Hawaiian’s inflight dining experience for Business and Economy Class customers will be completely new, designed by Executive Chef Chai Chaowasaree. Chef Chai is owner of two acclaimed restaurants in Honolulu, host of a weekly cooking TV show in Hawaii, and author of The Island Bistro Cookbook.
Chef Chai is bringing a fresh, pan-Asian style of cuisine to Hawaiian’s flights that uses the foods and fresh ingredients of the islands to create his dishes. His meals will be paired with wines selected by Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya, a recognized expert at pairing wines with Pacific Rim cuisine.
Business Class customers will enjoy the full comforts of Hawaiian’s premium onboard meal service throughout the flights, including the serving of two meals with five courses and entrées that have delectable names like Miso Butterfish with Pickled Young Ginger, and Butternut Squash and Lobster Bisque with Crispy Seafood Dumpling.
A special dining feature being introduced on the Haneda-Honolulu flights is a private label red wine exclusive to Hawaiian, Vita Nova Pikake. Another highlight is a special “Waikiki High Tea” with a blossoming tea “flower” that will be served an hour before landing on the return flight to Haneda.
Economy Class customers will enjoy two complimentary meal servings designed by Chef Chai, featuring a salad, entrée, bread, and dessert presented with silverware and glassware for beverages. An example of the delicious new entrées is the Hawaiian-Style Barbecue Chicken with Mango and Berry Salsa over Steamed Rice. Adults also have the option to enjoy complementary beer and sake with each meal in Economy Class.
New Entertainment Options
Hawaiian’s inflight entertainment will cater to the traveler from Japan, while also showcasing Hawaii’s allure and beauty. The audio programming channels will include popular Japanese musical artists, along with performances of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music by Hawaii artists with song introductions narrated in Japanese.
A special video feature that Hawaiian is providing to customers on their return flight home from Honolulu to Haneda will be a current, day-of-departure broadcast of NHK TV News, as well as other daily programming provided by NGN, the Hawaii-based affiliate of NHK. Customers will be able to catch up on the news in Japan and some of their favorite programs.
Hana Hou!, Hawaiian’s award-winning inflight magazine, will be offered in Nihongo, as will HawaiianSkies, the airline’s onboard video program. Both Japanese-made and English-made movies with Japanese voiceovers and English subtitles will be shown inflight, and also be included on the menu of movie, TV and music video options on the digEplayer personal entertainment systems.
Hawaiian Airlines’ Flight #457 will depart Honolulu International Airport daily at 6:05 p.m. and arrive at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport at 10:05 p.m. the next day. Return Flight #458 will depart Haneda daily at 11:59 p.m. and arrive in Honolulu at 12:05 p.m. the same day. (Tokyo is 19 hours ahead of Honolulu and the flight crosses the International Dateline.)
Tickets for the Haneda flights can be purchased online via Hawaiian’s English-language website at www.HawaiianAirlines.com, its new Japanese-language website at www.HawaiianAirlines.co.jp, or by calling toll-free in the U.S. through its reservations center at 1-800-367-5320 or through its sales office in Japan at 03-5405-8761.
Hawaiian will initially serve the Haneda-Honolulu route using its wide-body, twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which comfortably seats up to 264 passengers with 18 in Business Class and the rest in Economy Class. Hawaiian plans to introduce its new and larger 294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft onto the route at a later date.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian is the nation’s highest-ranked carrier for service quality and performance in 2009 in the 20 face 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) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure have all ranked Hawaiian the top domestic airline offering flights to Hawaii.
Now in its 82nd 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 Japan, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, Tahiti, and, starting in January 2011, South Korea. 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 www.HawaiianAirlines.com.