American to offer
The new service isBy Russ Lynch
scheduled to begin May 1
American Airlines said today it will begin a new direct daily service May 1 between San Jose, Calif., and Honolulu.
It will use its 188-seat Boeing 757 aircraft.
Stephanie Welch, American's manager of passenger sales for Hawaii, described the new service as a good fit with American's build-up of a West Coast network, following parent company AMR Corp.'s recent acquisition of Reno Air.
"This new flight adds additional capacity into and out of Hawaii and also opens up several new and convenient mainland connecting opportunities, such as Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas and New York," she said.
Hawaii already is the favorite destination of customers flying on mileage credit built up through American's AAdvantage plan, she said.
And American's flights work well with Hawaiian Airlines Inc.'s big interisland network through a code-sharing agreement between the two carriers, Welch said.
American already has two direct flights a day from Los Angeles to Honolulu, two daily Dallas/Fort Worth-Honolulu flights, and daily direct San Francisco-Honolulu, Chicago-Honolulu and Los Angeles-Maui service.
The airline mostly uses 290-seat Douglas DC-10 aircraft in those services. American is a major player in mainland-Hawaii tourism and by the time the San Jose service is in place it will have about 15,000 seats into Hawaii each week.
The San Jose-Honolulu link is the second mainland-Hawaii expansion announced in less than a week. On Thursday, Trans World Airlines Inc. said it will start direct service between St. Louis and Maui on March 2, in addition to its daily St. Louis-Honolulu direct service.
Another mainland expansion will come in February, when Aloha Airlines launches its first Hawaii-mainland service with one daily Honolulu-Oakland flight and a daily Maui-Oakland flight. In August, Aloha announced plans to serve smaller West Coast airports, starting with Oakland.
The strong mainland economy has boosted travel to the islands and there is also a trend toward providing access for travelers who would like to avoid the crowded big-city airports.