Kevin Bowler, Tourism New Zealand
In a bid to fill the underserved market, Hawaiian Airlines has released plans to operate non-stop, commercial flights between Honolulu and Auckland.
Commencing 13 March next year, the airline will be the only US carrier to fly into the country, claiming its decision to launch flights to New Zealand was based on a market study that found a 30 percent drop in NZ arrivals to Hawaii since the last direct flight between the two countries in 1999.
New Zealanders are avid travellers and we believe the introduction of new nonstop flights with our winning brand of service will be welcomed in meeting pent-up demand for a Hawaii vacation, Hawaiian Airlines chief and president Mark Dunkerley said.
At the same time, our new service will offer Hawaii residents easy access to the natural wonders and Maori culture of New Zealand.
The new service also aims to provide Kiwis the opportunity to explore the island state of Hawaii, along with the option to visit neighbouring islands Kauai, Maui and eleven other US mainland destinations.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said the new connection will invigorate the relationship between the two nations.
The United States is a vital market for New Zealand leisure and business travel, and is a key focus for our marketing efforts given the significant potential for growth that exists," Mr Bowler said.
"The ability to connect through Hawaii will provide a critical link for converting those considering travel into actual bookings.
The new route will accommodate 40,000 seats each year.
The New Zealand travel industry has been calling for more capacity and better connections on this route for some time, so this announcement will be welcomed with open arms, Auckland Airport general manager aeronautical commercial Glenn Wedlock said.
Hawaiian Airlines will also allow passengers two items of checked luggage, with a maximum weight of 32kg per item; one of the industrys most generous baggage allowances.
Hawaiian Airlines will operate a full service wide-body Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, with a seating capacity of 264 passengers; 18 in business and 240 in economy.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T