Aloha sets scheduled service to Midway Islands


HONOLULU -- Aloha Airlines changed its Midway Islands flight from a charter to scheduled service, cutting roundtrip coach air fare by about $500.

When it was operated as a charter, the once-a-week flight from Honolulu to the Midway Islands cost about $1,000 roundtrip. Scheduled service now runs about $500, the line said.

In addition to cutting the fare, the scheduled service is now available in the CRS.

Aloha was operating the charter for Midway Phoenix, a company that has control over all tourism aspects on the islands, under contract with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Aloha will continue to run the same weekly service on Saturdays.

Two companies, Oceanic Society Expeditions of San Francisco and Destination Midway of Kailua-Kona in Hawaii, both sell packages to Midway Islands in addition to packages sold by Midway Phoenix.

"This change to Aloha running as scheduled service is really significant for Oceanic Expeditions. Our prices have dropped $400 to $500," said a spokeswoman for the line. "It's not so elitist to be able to go there now."

Coach fares run $496 plus tax and first class fares cost $696 plus tax. The flight takes about three hours.

The Midway Islands are made up of three islands: Sand Island, the only populated island; Eastern Island, and Spit Island.

The Midway Islands are 1,150 miles northwest of Honolulu.

It is most known as the site of the Battle of Midway in 1942 that was the turning point in the fight against the Japanese in World War II.

When the U.S. Navy packed up and left in the early 1990s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took over the three islands.

In 1996, the wildlife service contracted with Midway Pacific to run the airfield, harbor, accommodations and island infrastructure.

Midway Phoenix offers accommodations, restaurants and fishing and wildlife

viewing programs.

Accommodations on Sand Island are in the refurbished Bachelor Officers Quarters. In the rooms, there are satellite televisions, telephones and Internet services.

Accommodations are in four room categories.

A three-room suite with a private bathroom runs $344 a night, single. or $195 a night, per person, double occupancy.

A two-room suite with bathroom runs $260 a night, single, and $154 per person, double.

A room with private bath runs $213 a night, single, and $130 per person, double.

A room with a shared bathroom costs $174 a night, single, and $112 a night per person, double.

Destination Midway offers fishing and diving programs, and Oceanic Expeditions offers dolphin and sea bird research trips and natural history tours.

Visitors can dive and snorkel and bird-watch on the islands. Two million birds visit the Midway Islands each year.

The islands are the nesting grounds for 70% of the Laysan albatross population.

The Midway Islands also have a colorful history. Some of the first transpacific communications cables came through the Midway Islands, and in 1935, Pan American World Airways set up a hotel on Midway for overnight guests flying from the U.S. mainland to the Orient, according to Midway Phoenix.

President Nixon and South Vietnam's President Thieu met on Sand Island to discuss troop withdrawal in Vietnam.

There are no cars on the island, but there are golf carts for rent at $30 a day and bicycles for rent at $5 a day.

In addition to the accommodations, there are tennis courts, a gymnasium with free weights, a movie theater and a bowling alley. Sand Island also has a medical facility with a doctor.

Midway Phoenix runs three restaurants.

The Clipper House restaurant offers French food and is closed on Wednesdays and Saturdays; the Navy Galley offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in a cafeteria setting, and the All Hands Club Bar & Grill offers drinks and grilled food.

Captain Brook's Tavern offers drinks.

Aloha Airlines:
Phone: (888) 477-7010

Midway Phoenix
Phone: (888) 643-9291

Oceanic Society Expeditions
Phone: (800) 326-7491

Destination Midway
Phone: (808) 325-5000

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI