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Monday, July 31, 2000

Tour packager
to bump up
mainland service

Starting in December, Pleasant
Hawaiian plans to fly twice daily
from Chicago and New York

By Russ Lynch

Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays said today it will bring as many as 63,000 more tourists to Hawaii each year by running its own scheduled daily flights from Chicago and New York.

The tour packager, which said its already brings 450,000 tourists from the mainland to Hawaii a year, plans a December launch for two nonstop flights a day from Chicago's O'Hare Airport and two from New York's John F. KennedyAirport. Together they will generate more than $100 million in additional tourism spending in the islands, said Ed Hogan, Pleasant Hawaiian's founder and chairman.

He said the new flights represent an investment of $35 million a year.

"We are simply running out of air availability," from the interior mainland, Hogan told a news conference this morning at the Halekulani Hotel.

The nonstop flights will be on widebody L-1011 jets, each carrying up to 282 passengers.

To kick off the new service that starts Dec. 17, Pleasant is offering a week in Waikiki, with hotels and other services as well as the air travel from Chicago or New York, for a package price of $739 per person. The aircrafts and crews will be contracted from Indianapolis-based America Trans Air but will operate scheduled daily flights and not charters, Hogan said.

The air craft will be painted with the Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays name and colors as well as the ATA logo.

Hogan said Pleasant Hawaiian is seeking to grow the Hawaii market, not take business away from others, and to do so it needs to expand the number of seats available.

The new schedule calls for full-service flights with two free first-run movies shown in each direction, two meals on each flight with complimentary wine and other services. The company has reported steadily increasing Hawaii business and says its bookings in 2000 are running well ahead of last year.

Pleasant Hawaiian was founded in 1959 by Hogan and his wife Lynn. The couple had been running a small travel agency in New Jersey and branched out into providing tour packages for people wanting to visit Hawaii.

The company owns four hotels in the islands and since 1994 has been chartering ATA aircraft, while continuing to use major airlines for most of its Hawaii business.

Pleasant Hawaiian is now part of the much bigger Pleasant Holidays LLC, based in Westlake Village, Calif., which offers travel from the mainland to Mexico, Tahiti and elsewhere.

A separate nonprofit entity, the Hogan Family Foundation, was set up in 1987 by the Hogan family to "promote peace and commerce through tourism and travel throughout the world."

Early last year the foundation began underwriting a tourism education program at Loyola Marymount University near Los Angeles and in the summer of 1999 it stepped in and took over the financing of the free Kodak Hula Show in Waikiki that Eastman Kodak Co. had said it planned to close.

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