Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter: December 2, 2002

HAWAIIAN Airlines will launch thrice-weekly nonstop service between Honolulu and Las Vegas, starting Jan. 8. The other four days of the week Hawaiian will serve Las Vegas with one-stop service via Ontario, Calif. At the same time, the carrier's existing one-stop daily service to Las Vegas via Los Angeles will be converted to a nonstop between Honolulu and Los Angeles only. The carrier also will begin nonstop service to Maui from Portland, Ore., and San Diego. Beginning Feb. 1, Portland-Maui nonstop service will operate three days per week through April, then resume again in October. Starting June 1, San Diego-Maui nonstop service will run four days a week.

ALOHA AIRLINES said it reached a tentative agreement with its four employee unions that would enable the airline to reduce labor costs by $37 million over three years -- with no layoffs. It said ratification by union employees is expected by mid-December. The Air Transportation Stabilization Board last month granted conditional approval for a $40.5 million federal loan guarantee to the carrier.

LATE LAST WEEK, Aloha reported it returned to profitability -- with third-quarter earnings of $693,000 -- for the first time since its failed merger attempt with Hawaiian Airlines.

ISLAND AIR added more service to Kapalua/West Maui on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, departing Honolulu at 3:20 p.m. This will supplement the commuter carrier's current daily schedule, which departs Honolulu for Kapalua at 7:25 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4:40 p.m. Flying time between Honolulu and Kapalua is about 30 minutes.

THE TOTAL NUMBER of visitor days in Hawaii reached 4.7 million in October, a 31.2% surge vs. last year's post-Sept. 11 levels and the third highest October on record, according to the state Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Year-to-date, total visitor days have risen 0.4% vs. last year and the longer stays have negated a 2.2% drop in visitor arrivals, according to the DBEDT.

WORRY-FREE VACATIONS will pay 15% commissions to travel agents who book Hawaii packages between Dec. 2 and Jan. 31, 2003 for travel any time. The Minnesota-based operator offers value-priced vacations at more than 90 hotels and resorts through the Islands. Agents also can earn $10 for every Northwest Airlines WorldVacations reservation made on www.worldagentdirect.com. To learn more, visit www.worryfreevacationsagent.com.

BRAZILIAN GUITARIST Carlos Barbosa-Lima will play at the Honolulu Academy of Arts on Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18. The Academy also plans to host demonstrations of ikebana flower arranging and a Japanese tea ceremony from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the first Sunday of every month beginning in January. The events are free with museum admission. Call (808) 532-8700 or visit www.honoluluacademy.org.

IT'S TIME for the Grand Festival of Lights and Luminarium at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. Twenty light sculptures will brighten the museum's great lawn through Dec. 28 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly. Visitors can hop aboard Santa's Express and ride through light sculptures in the shape of palm tress, volcanoes and Christmas trees. Kids will especially love Snow Zone, where they can construct a snowman or toss snowballs. Luminarium is an art and light exhibit measuring nearly 12,000 square feet. This will mark its first display in Hawaii. Visit www.bishopmuseum.org for more details.

LOOKING FOR THAT PERFECT Hawaii-themed gift for your clients? Pillow Gifts Hawaii now has a Web site featuring the Ohana Fun Pack with Kona blend coffee, macadamia nut popcorn crunch and passion-guava juice. Group gifts include tropical jelly beans, Kona coffee truffles, island pocket guides, tote bags and personalized golf shirts. Visit www.pillowgiftshawaii.com.

CLARIFICATION: Maui's recent shark attack victim was not staying at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, nor was she swimming in the ocean directly in front of the property. The San Diego woman is a triathlete, and was working out about 150 yards off shore from the Kaanapali resort area.

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