West Coast service keeps Hawaii airlift aloft

HONOLULU -- On the strength of increased lift from the West Coast, total scheduled nonstop air service to Hawaii will match last summer's levels, and will be down only slightly for the year, the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau said.

A bureau analysis of Official Airline Guide flight data predicts that the total number of scheduled nonstop air seats to Hawaii this summer will rise by 0.8% or about 18,600 seats to just over 2.2 million.

During the June-August period, the U.S. West major market area is expected to post a 12.2% increase year-over-year in nonstop seats to Hawaii.

The launch of services from new nonstop gateways such as Burbank, Sacramento and Ontario, California; Denver and Salt Lake City, contributed significantly to this summer's growth, the HVCB said.

Conversely, the switch to smaller aircraft and the suspension of Pleasant Hawaiian's nonstop flights from Chicago and New York contributed to a 13.9% decrease in summer capacity from the U.S. East major market area.

Looking at airlines' planned capacity through the end of the year, nonstop seats to Hawaii are expected to end the year just 1.7% below last year's levels, the bureau said.

Similar to summer trends, a 7.3% increase by the U.S. West market is expected to offset declines from the U.S. East (-10.5%) and other markets worldwide.

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