Big jump in airline seats slated for Hawaii

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is forecasting significant growth in total scheduled non-stop air seats to Hawaii in 2012. The projection is based on flights appearing in OAG and Sabre ADI airline schedules as of February 2012. The total scheduled seat capacity is expected to climb 7.7% in 2012 over last year – an additional 700,000 seats into the state – buoyed by gains in all of Hawaii’s major markets. This includes considerable increases in air seats from the Asia and Oceania markets, reaching a 10-year high. With the total scheduled seat count reaching nearly 10 million seats, the capacity to the state is expected to reach 8% of the peak levels achieved in 2007 by the end of this year. “The projected growth in air seats to Hawaii for 2012 is outstanding news for Hawaii’s tourism economy,”says Mike McCartney, president the HTA. The strongest showing is by China and South Korea, up 52.2% and providing close to 150,000 additional air seats. Despite the recent shutdown of Air Australia, the Oceania region (Australia and New Zealand) will also see significant growth, up 21.6% over last year, thanks to increased capacity by Hawaiian Airlines, Jetstar and Air New Zealand. (