Hawaiian Airlines has expanded its nonstop service to Asia, inaugurating its first flight between Honolulu and Seoul, South Korea, on Jan 12.

"This is another history-making day for Hawaiian as we expand even farther into Asia with our new flights to Seoul and introduce our unique brand of in-flight service that promotes the Hawaii travel experience," Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and CEO, said in a statement. "We are thrilled about flying into Incheon International Airport, which is one of the world's most modern airports and a major hub for connecting flights throughout Asia."

The four-times-weekly service is expected to add 54,000 annual seats to Hawaii from a market that's seen dramatic growth since South Korea joined the U.S. Visa Waiver Program in 2008.

"Direct service to Incheon International Airport in Seoul is positive news for Hawaii's visitor industry and another sign that our tourism economy is continuing to recover," Mike McCarthy, Hawaii Tourism Authority president and CEO, said in a statement. "The HTA estimates that the new flight will bring in approximately $86.4 million in annual visitor expenditures."

Although Hawaiian will initially operate the flights with its 264-passenger Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft, the airline plans to eventually transition its new, 294-seat A330-200 Airbus planes onto the route.

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