Hawaiian Airlines marked its fourth year of service in and out of Auckland today, and they had a reason to celebrate.
Since entering the market, tourist numbers to Hawaii have more than doubled.
According to Hawai‘i Tourism Authority figures, fewer than 26,000 New Zealand travelers visited Hawai‘i in 2012.
Following Hawaiian’s arrival on the route in 2013, visitor arrivals from Auckland nearly doubled to more than 50,000 in 2013 and topped 60,000 for the third straight year in 2016.
Hawaiian has had more than 120,000 guests aboard over 500 flights from Auckland to Honolulu.
Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaii’s largest and longest-serving carrier, highlighted the company’s successes, market investments and plans for growth at a news conference held on April 3 in Auckland. Prior to Hawaiian’s launch of three-times weekly service,
“We have enjoyed welcoming a growing number of Kiwis on board with our warm hospitality in the superior comfort of our aircraft,” said Dunkerley, noting the carrier selected Auckland to be among the first routes with dedicated service by Airbus A330 aircraft featuring new lie-flat seating. “We thoughtfully designed our Premium Cabin with the leisure traveller in mind, and we are pleased to offer New Zealanders a relaxing and authentically Hawaiian in-flight experience as they set off to our shores.”
Last year more than 18,000 of Hawaiian Airlines’ guests arriving in Honolulu from Auckland headed to one of the carrier’s 11 gateway U.S. cities or to an island other than O‘ahu. Visits to Kauai, Maui and the Island of Hawai‘i all more than doubled between 2012 and 2013 and have held steady in recent years as New Zealander’s discover the ease of neighbour island travel and the unique experiences found on each Hawaiian island.
Hawaiian’s flights between Auckland and Honolulu have spurred $247.6 million in total visitor expenditures and generated $27.6 million in tax revenues, according to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.
In December, Hawaiian introduced to its Auckland route a Premium Cabin featuring 18 lie-flat seats in its A330 aircraft. Guests enjoy luxury amenities, world-class island cuisine prepared by Hawai‘i’s top chefs and access to 100 hours of movies and TV on a 13-inch widescreen tablet. The airline also increased Extra Comfort seats to 68 from 40 to meet growing demand for its premium economy product that offers five more inches of legroom, priority boarding at the gate, complimentary on-demand in-seat entertainment, and a personal power outlet. Main Cabin seats, the roomiest in the Auckland-Honolulu market at 18 inches, are equipped with high-resolution LCD touch-screen monitors and a personal USB port.