LIHUE — Hawaiian Airlines announced Thursday plans to add additional nonstop flights between Los Angeles and Kauai.
Flights will increase to five per week from Dec. 18 through Jan. 4. Currently, Hawaiian is operating on its summer schedule with four flights weekly between the two.
“It’s wonderful news. It’s good in light of not having interisland from the other two carriers,” said Kauai Visitor Bureau Executive Director Sue Kanoho. “Having direct service always tends to give us a longer length of stay for visitors. The longer length of stay, hopefully the more they spend.”
Once the seasonal service ends in early January, Hawaiian will continue operating three weekly flights starting Jan.8, marking the first time direct service between L.A. and Lihue has been offered outside of Hawaiian’s seasonal schedule.
Kanoho said last Christmas, Kauai saw 100,000 visitors, about 20,000 above its monthly average.
“Again this year we are pleased to offer additional service over the peak holiday season to address strong demand for travel to Hawaii,” said Peter Ingram, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Hawaiian Airlines. “We are also pleased to follow on the success of our summer flights between Los Angeles and Lihue by extending these direct flights beyond the routine seasonal service.”
The extended flights, Kanoho said, give families the opportunity to work around their children’s school schedule. Kanoho said slower months after the busy summer season are from September to October, parts of November that exclude Thanksgiving and the first two weeks of December.
“Summer in some places from what I understand are a little bit slower, so then the holidays become a little bit longer for the kids,” she said.
According to the Hawaii Tourism authority, the West Coast market spent $2.1 billion in Hawaii through the first five months of the year.