SEATTLE — Citing the shutdowns by ATA and Aloha airlines, Alaska Airlines announced Monday it will begin a year-round direct Maui-Seattle service on July 17.
The airline also announced that it would fly a seasonal Anchorage-Kahului route twice a week beginning Oct. 31 and running through April 24, 2009.
Alaska has never offered scheduled service to Maui before. A spokesman said Alaska old-timers recalled some charter flights here, although no one could remember when.
Alaska said it had been considering adding a Maui stop since it received a warm reception to Oahu and Kauai flights. Alaska initiated a daily Seattle-Honolulu flight last October and daily flights to Lihue in December.
“The time has come for us to expand the leisure travel options,” said Gregg Saretsky, executive vice president of flight and marketing.
Brad Tilden, executive vice president of planning and finance, noted that the sudden end of passenger operations by Aloha and ATA Airlines “significantly reduced service between the Mainland and Hawaii.
“We are pleased to be able to offer these additional flights and we’re continuing to study other possibilities for more service,” he said.
Alaska’s Hawaii flights use Boeing 737-800s, with 16 first-class and 141 coach seats.
Alaska Airlines is offering introductory one-way fares of $249 for Seattle-Maui and Anchorage-Maui flights. Customers must purchase their tickets by April 24 and travel by Dec. 17. Other restrictions include blackout dates on the introductory fares from Nov. 20 through Dec. 2.
The flights will be available for purchase starting at 9 a.m. Thursday at alaskaair.com or by calling (800) ALASKAAIR.
Through Seattle, the flights will connect to other Alaska and Horizon Air flights throughout the Pacific Northwest and state of Alaska. Alaska Air and its affiliate Horizon operate routes across the continental United States, into Mexico and Canada.
Alaska Airlines Vacations will offer a full line of vacation packages for travel to the islands.
Flights from Seattle will depart daily at 8:20 a.m. Pacific time. Return flights will depart at 1:05 p.m. Hawaii time.
Flights from Anchorage will depart Fridays and Saturdays at 2:20 p.m. Alaska time. Hawaii time. Return flights will depart at 8:45 p.m. Hawaii time.
All flights will offer Alaska’s Northern Bites service, onboard meals for $5, and digEplayer, a personal entertainment system offer movies, television shows, music and other features, which is free in first class, $10 in coach.