Delta-Northwest combo would be largest airline
A merger deal announced yesterday between Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. to create the world's biggest airline might affect two mainland routes to Hawaii, state tourism officials say.
"The concern would be over cities where both airlines service," said state transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa. "That would be L.A. and San Francisco. What we are concerned about is that they would reduce flights coming out of the same city."
Together the two airlines accounted for 18 percent of Hawaii arrivals last month, said the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
"Obviously it's a significant part of our arrivals here, but the problem is at this early stage you can't tell what is going to happen," said Rex Johnson, president of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. "What we have to do is keep creating demand so people are going to want to bring lift in here."
Delta operates five daily round-trip flights to Honolulu, along with two daily flights to Kahului, while Northwest operates three international flights and seven domestic flights to Hawaii, including a round-trip flight that stops in Kona and Kahului.
"We are hoping there would be no reduction of seats into Hawaii from the merger," said state Tourism Liaison Marsha Wienert.
The merger is subject to regulatory review. The new airline would be called Delta.