The arrival of three new air carriers serving the Aloha State is always good news for anyone associated with the Hawaii tourism industry. Not only will the entry of new airlines serving Hawaii will bring new tourism dollars to the local economy; but the entrance of any new airline competitor into the market will generally help to keep airfares down. The new carriers are Virgin America, Jin Air and AirAsia X.
The award-winning carrier is in the process of adding two daily flights out San Francisco. A daily flight to Honolulu started in November 2015 and a second daily flight to Maui will start in December 2015. Virgin America is unique in that it positions itself as both a premium as well as a low cost carrier. The company has won several awards for airline satisfaction and quality. Its aircraft features a modern and hip cabin design with leg room comfort far above what is offered by other competing carriers. Travel agencies that use Pan Tours’ AgentDirect portal will be able to sell Virgin America inventory to their clients.
Jin Air is a discount carrier out of South Korea, wholly-owned by Korean Air. The carrier will be flying out of Seoul to Honolulu. Up until this point, with the exception of service to Guam, Jin Air has been mainly focused on flights to other neighboring countries. Jin Air’s inaugural flight to the Aloha State will be on December 19, 2015.
Like Jin Air, AirAsia X is the low cost affiliate of the AirAsia group that operates service out of Malaysia. The carrier was scheduled first fly out of Kuala Lumpur via Japan and then to Honolulu in November 2015. Up until recently, the carrier was focused on serving the Southeast Asia, Asia and Australia markets. At one time, it even offered flight to India and Europe and is considering resuming them. This will be its first flight to the United States.