Hawaiian Airlines plans to begin service to Fukuoka, Japan, on April 16, pending approval by Japanese regulators, The Associated Press reports. The city will be Hawaiian's third Japanese route -- all launched since November 2010 -- and fifth to Asia.
Plans for the Fukuoka service comes as Hawaiian's existing Japanese routes "are contributing to a higher-than-anticipated increase in revenue in the third quarter," according to Aviation Week.
"Demand for our services in Japan from Tokyo and Osaka has been extremely strong, and we are responding to similar demand for Hawaii from the travel community in Fukuoka," Hawaiian CEO Mark Dunkerley says in a press release. "Our new Fukuoka flights will expand Hawaiian's reach into an entirely new region of Japan … ."ARCHIVES: Hawaiian Airlines continues expansion into Asia
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Hawaiian's announcement comes less than two weeks after Delta announced its own plans for Honolulu-Fukuoka service.
Delta, which already flies to three destinations from Honolulu, will serve the Fukuoka route with 209-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, with 35 seats in BusinessElite and 174 seats in coach.
Unlike Delta's service, however, Hawaiian's will be year-round.
Hawaiian says it initially will operate the Honolulu-Fukuoka route using Boeing 767-300ER jets before switching to larger Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Hawaiian's 767s seat up to 264 passengers while its A330s hold 294.
The shift to the A330s comes as Hawaiian is set to add the fifth A330 to its fleet in October. The airline plans to add four more next year.PHOTO GALLERY: Haneda Airport pampers Tokyo fliers
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Hawaiian's other Asian destinations are Tokyo Haneda and Osaka. Hawaiian's other Asian routes are Seoul (begun in January 2011) and Manila in the Philippines (March 2008).NEW BOOKMARK: Add Today in the Sky to your favoritesTWITTER: You can follow me at twitter.com/TodayInTheSky