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More Airlift from the West Coast Equals an Improved Economy for Hawaii

In his presentations around the state to various local Realtor Boards and Associations last fall, local economist Paul Brewbaker educated us about the concept of “airlift” and how critically important the number of airplane seats per week that land at our airports, especially on the neighbor islands, is to our local economy.

Many people don’t realize the recession started in Hawaii four to six months prior to the rest of the world, when we lost two huge airlines carrying people from the West Coast to Hawaii—Aloha Airlines and ATA Airlines—in three days’ time. We’ve been watching this airlift now returning to the islands over the past few months. More airline seats = more visitors to the Big Island = healthier local economy.

Just last week, Alaska Airlines announced daily flight between both Oakland (OAK) and San Jose, CA (SJC) to Kahului, Maui (OGG) starting June 5, 2011. This increase in daily service to Maui means 35 flights a week from the Bay Area and Sacramento, CA. to Hawaii.

Beginning June 9th, Continental will fly one round-trip flight each Saturday from Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) direct to Hilo, using Boeing 737-800 jets.

And what are the rumors about Southwest? Apparently, Southwest Airlines has contracted for twenty Boeing 737-800 jets that will be equipped to fly to Hawaii, something industry watchers see as a sign Southwest is at last ready to fly to the islands. Although the first delivery is more than a year away, and Southwest would have to “break” their successful business model to fly to Hawaii, the local coconut wireless is already juiced up about the possibility of one of the country’s favorite airlines crossing the seas to its 50th state.

Of course, no conversation about airlift in Hawaii can be complete without mentioning Hawaiian Airlines and how committed they’ve been to growth and expansion, both internationally and locally. (Mark Dunkerley or Peter Ingram, if you’re reading this—please, please, please add a direct flight from Kona to Lihue once a day. Please?)

I’ve noticed the brand spanking new gorgeous Airbus jets being flown from Honolulu (HNL) to LAX and Las Vegas (LAS) and, believe me, a layover at the Honolulu Airport is well worth the luxurious ride east on these new planes, not to mention the warm Aloha that Hawaiian Airlines offers on all its flights (and in some of its mainland airports, like Phoenix) and look for the special $25 upgrade to a better seat in coach for Pualani members.

I’m a big fan of Hawaiian Airlines personally—I love keeping the dollars I spend traveling “local,” and they keep Hawaii with me from airport to airport, and that’s a good thing in my world, especially when traveling all over the world.

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Erik Hinshaw, R(S)

February 27, 2011

Great news. We all have stories of friends and family who cant get a reasonable ticket. They are either way to expensive for the few seats left of you need to make 4 stops and take a day and a half to get here. If Southwest comes Hawaii will Boom.

Erik Hinshaw, R(S)

February 27, 2011

Great news. We all have stories of friends and family who cant get a reasonable ticket. They are either way to expensive for the few seats left of you need to make 4 stops and take a day and a half to get here. If Southwest comes Hawaii will Boom.

Claire K. Bajo RS

February 27, 2011

This month in Kona the hotels and vacation rentals were full of guests because people were very cold in other places.. so Mahalo to the Airlines for providing an affordable, smooth experience for people from All over the World to escape the cold and come Directly to heaven on earth here in Hawaii.. where the sunny beaches, tropical landscapes, gorgeous sunsets, and the aloha spirit will warm you right up!

Claire K. Bajo RS

February 27, 2011

This month in Kona the hotels and vacation rentals were full of guests because people were very cold in other places.. so Mahalo to the Airlines for providing an affordable, smooth experience for people from All over the World to escape the cold and come Directly to heaven on earth here in Hawaii.. where the sunny beaches, tropical landscapes, gorgeous sunsets, and the aloha spirit will warm you right up!

Grif Frost

February 28, 2011

Aloha Katie! I think the LA to Hilo flights beginning June 9th are DAILY with the once a week flight on Saturday’s being from SFO to Hilo.

Grif Frost

February 28, 2011

Aloha Katie! I think the LA to Hilo flights beginning June 9th are DAILY with the once a week flight on Saturday’s being from SFO to Hilo.

Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

February 28, 2011

@Grif – even better!!! So excited about the flights to Hilo just as we’ve hired Wailana and are getting some awesome listings over in your neck of the woods!

@Erik – We can already see the difference Alaska has made, right?

@Claire – you got that right! This has been a fabulous winter weather season!! I hesitate to tell my friends and family on the mainland what temperature it is today!

Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

February 28, 2011

@Grif – even better!!! So excited about the flights to Hilo just as we’ve hired Wailana and are getting some awesome listings over in your neck of the woods!

@Erik – We can already see the difference Alaska has made, right?

@Claire – you got that right! This has been a fabulous winter weather season!! I hesitate to tell my friends and family on the mainland what temperature it is today!

Marisa

March 6, 2011

Paul Brewbaker is such a gem. Great to see business is picking and should continue to do so.

Aloha

Marisa

March 6, 2011

Paul Brewbaker is such a gem. Great to see business is picking and should continue to do so.

Aloha

Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

March 6, 2011

@Marisa – I couldn’t agree more!! Thank you!!

Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

March 6, 2011

@Marisa – I couldn’t agree more!! Thank you!!

เกาะช้าง

October 16, 2011

After reading this blog, I already fall in love with your style of writing!

เกาะช้าง

October 16, 2011

After reading this blog, I already fall in love with your style of writing!

Laura Kinoshita

February 25, 2012

Found this article after doing a google search for “Airlify Kailua-Kona Hawaii.” do you know if anyone has calculated the airlift just to Kailua Kona? Maybe one day I’ll do that,

Laura Kinoshita

February 25, 2012

Found this article after doing a google search for “Airlify Kailua-Kona Hawaii.” do you know if anyone has calculated the airlift just to Kailua Kona? Maybe one day I’ll do that,

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