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More Airline Seats to Hawaii Likely

Anyone hoping to hop a flight to Hawaii in the next three months may have more options.

Available seats on nonstop flights departing from the U.S. mainland for Hawaii are forecast to jump nearly 11% year over year during the three-month period ending July 31.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is expecting a more than 10% increase in airlift from its largest source market, U.S. states west of the Rockies, while calling for a 15.6% surge in seats on nonstop flights arriving to the Islands from the U.S. East.

Additional seat capacity forecast from Chicago, up 32%, Atlanta, up 27%, and Dallas, up 18%, is expected to bolster figures from U.S. states east of the Rockies.

The HTA expects total airlift to Hawaii to improve 8% through the three-month period ending July 31, hampered somewhat by a 2.9% decline in seats from Japan, the Aloha State’s largest international market.

Visitors can expect more availability on flights to Hawaii.

The HTA also released its visitor statistics for April, and the news is good for the state’s largest industry.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands in April 2015 increased 2.3 percent to 677,754 visitors, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.
  • Arrivals by air grew 4.1 percent to 665,393 visitors, offsetting a 46.6 percent decline in arrivals by cruise ships.
  • Total visitor days1 were up 2.1 percent compared to April 2014. Combined with higher average daily spending (+3.2% to $196 per person), total visitor expenditures rose 5.4 percent to $1.2 billion2 .
  • For the U.S. West, arrivals by air increased 7.7 percent to 295,683 visitors, and contributed to a 6.7 percent growth in visitor expenditures to $424.2 million. Daily spending was $162 per person (+0.5%).
  • U.S. East arrivals grew 3.6 percent to 133,509 visitors and the average daily spending was $195 per person (-0.5%). U.S. East visitor expenditures increased 2.6 percent to $248.5 million.

The Japanese market saw an increase, after four previous months of declines.

  • Japanese arrivals rose 1.9 percent to 98,240 visitors in April 2015. However, lower daily spending (-11.2% to $242 per person) led to a 10.5 percent decrease in visitor expenditures to $136.2 million.
  • At the top of the slow season, Canadian arrivals declined 8.3 percent to 45,422 visitors, which resulted in a 7.1 percent drop in visitor expenditures to $88.1 million.

In a press release, the HPA stated that expenditures for Hawai‘i’s visitor industry have started to stabilize with a boost in spending in March and April of this year (up 3% and 5.4% respectively).

Visitor arrivals and spending from our core U.S. West market have continued to increase, and we anticipate that it will remain strong through the first half of the year. While arrivals from Japan for April 2015 were up slightly, expenditures for the month and year-to-date remain down by double-digits, as the dollar continues to strengthen against the yen.

“We are working with our global contractors on innovative ways to drive demand to our destination in the second half of the year, and will be presenting some of these ideas through our bi-annual video market updates scheduled to be released in June.”

The visitor industry is the driving force behind Hawaii’s economy, and the latest figures point to strong increases in key markets. The summer months are typically the most busy for the tourism industry in the state.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Jun 4, 2015