Tourism New Zealand today welcomed the announcement from
Hawaiian Airlines that it will commence nonstop flights between
Auckland and Honolulu, Hawaii three times weekly from March
The announcement from Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and
CEO makes Hawaiian Airline's the only US carrier to fly to New
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the
airline's entry into New Zealand is as a significant step in
improving visitor arrivals from the United States and strengthening
relations between the two countries.
"The United States is a vital market for New Zealand leisure and
business travel, and is a key focus for our marketing efforts given
the significant potential for growth that exists.
"Visitor arrivals from the US for the year ending May 2012 stood
at 182,972 - a drop of 3.3 per cent on the year ending May
"This year, we elevated the United States to a Tier One market
meaning we will invest in the full range of marketing, PR, trade
and digital campaigns.
"The ability to connect through Hawaii will provide a critical
link for converting those considering travel into actual
bookings. The announcement of a new airline choice for
potential travellers is great news.
"These flights will provide a significant new conduit for
tourist travel from the USA to New Zealand, with nonstop flights
from Honolulu to Auckland, and one-stop connections from 11
destinations on the US mainland, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas
and New York.
"The timing of this new service is ideal as the release of The
Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will heighten interest in New Zealand
and no doubt whet Americans' appetite for travel here."
Hawaiian's new service will add more than 40,000 seats annually
between Auckland and Honolulu.
Hawaiian's market research indicates that Hawaii is an
underserved market for New Zealand, as tourism figures show there
are currently 30 percent fewer visitor arrivals coming from New
Zealand than in 1999 when more nonstop flights were offered between
the two destinations.
Auckland Airport General Manager Aeronautical Commercial, Glenn
Wedlock, said that the announcement opened up a number of terrific
"This new service will not only help grow the attractive
Hawaiian market across a number of islands, but also will offer
connections to a wide range of great city destinations in the
mainland United States and New Zealand including Los Angeles, Las
Vegas, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, San
Jose, Oakland, San Diego and Phoenix.
The New Zealand travel industry has been calling for more capacity
and better connections on this route for some time, so this
announcement will be welcomed with open arms.
"The dual destination combination of Hawaii and New Zealand
offers exciting inbound leisure options for mainland United States
Auckland will be the eighth new destination to which Hawaiian
has introduced service or announced new service to, since November