HONOLULU — A record number of passengers flew with Hawaiian Airlines last year.
Just over 11 million people used the airline in 2016, a 3.5 percent increase from 2015. The passenger count of 11,050,911 marks 12 straight years of growth.
“Our passenger count increased again as we added more seats and our aircraft were fuller in 2016,” said Alex Da Silva, Hawaiian Airlines spokesman.
In July, Hawaiian Airlines launched daily nonstop service between Narita and Honolulu international airports, and last month it inaugurated tri-weekly service between Haneda and Kona international airports.
The company also added one A330-200 aircraft, bring the number of A330 fleet to 23 and adding 278 seats. Hawaiian Airlines also added two Boeing B717-200s in November and December, each with 128 seats.
In Lihue, Hawaiian Airlines has an average of 21 departures a day — 17 to Honolulu and 4 to Maui abroad Boeing 717s.
During the summer, Hawaiian Airlines offers daily nonstop flights to Los Angeles, Honolulu and Oakland on Boeing 767s.
“(This milestone) speaks to both the strength and resilience of Hawaiian as a leading leisure destination and the dedication of over 6,000 Hawaiian Airlines employees whose commitment to service excellence has allowed the company to prosper and as a result invest in more aircraft and new destinations,” Da Silva said.
Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines president and CEO, is keynote speaker at the Kauai Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon Thursday at the Kauai Beach Resort.
Island Air, which resumed service to Lihue Airport in March, saw almost 500,000 passengers in 2016. That number includes service to Lihue, Kona, which began in June, Lanai and Maui. Island Air discontinued its service to Lanai in April, said Russell Pang, spokesman for Island Air.