Five weeks after unveiling its first scheduled service between the U.S. mainland and Honolulu, low-cost carrier Allegiant Air added four West Coast cities to its Aloha State route map, announcing plans to offer nonstop flights to Hawaii from Bellingham, Wash.; Stockton and Santa Maria, Calif.; and Eugene, Ore.; later this fall.
The airline will fly twice a week from Bellingham to Maui’s Kahului Airport starting Nov. 14 and begin twice-weekly service from Bellingham to Honolulu Nov. 15. Allegiant will also offer flights to Honolulu from both Eugene and Santa Maria, on California's Central Coast, once a week starting Nov. 17 and once a week from Stockton, about an hour south of Sacramento, beginning Nov. 18.
According to Jessica Wheeler, a spokesperson for Allegiant, the carrier will also increase flights on the Honolulu-Fresno, Calif., route the company announced in April.
“We’re adding an additional flight from Fresno to Honolulu because we were so impressed with the demand right off of the bat,” she said. “So they’re going to have two weekly flights instead of just one.”
Allegiant will inaugurate service to Honolulu from both Fresno and Las Vegas in late June, with the second weekly Fresno flight scheduled to begin in November.
“The addition of Allegiant as a carrier to the Hawaiian Islands signals increased confidence in our market at a time when visitor arrivals are en route to another peak year,” said Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie in a statement. “Allegiant’s arrival will help meet this demand and provide additional options that are sure to be welcomed by Hawaii residents and visitors seeking the best value for vacation and business travel budgets.”
The carrier’s business model, designed to link smaller markets with popular vacation destinations, is certainly welcomed by Hawaii tourism officials. There are currently no available nonstop flights between the Islands and Stockton, Fresno, Santa Maria or Eugene, and the destination only recently added Bellingham when Alaska Airlines debuted nonstop service between that city and Honolulu in January 2011.
“We anticipate the flights to provide up to $86.6 million in visitor spending,” Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said in a statement. “The regional cities that these new flights will service provide greater opportunity for travelers in the U.S. West, our largest market, to visit the Hawaiian Islands. Allegiant’s two new flights servicing Kahului will also help to distribute the benefits of tourism across the state.”
A number of Maui’s major hoteliers, including Outrigger, Aston, Westin, Sheraton, Hyatt and the Grand Wailea, have partnered with Allegiant to craft a number of flight-plus-hotel packages on which agents can earn a 10% commission. And according to Wheeler, future nonstop Allegiant flights from the U.S. mainland to Kauai or the Big Island of Hawaii are a possibility.
“We will continue to evaluate the service that we have and see how that goes,” she said. “But we would love the opportunity to expand.”