Capitalizing on some of Maui's busiest months for tourism, Hawaiian Airlines will offer for the first time twice-daily nonstop service between Los Angeles International and Kahului airports during the summer.
Hawaiian Airlines is adding 34,000 seats to Maui over the 10 weeks of service from June to August, a news release from the airline said Monday.
"We're doubling our Maui summer service to give Los Angeles-area residents another option to book their vacation and make it easier for people in other parts of the country to come and experience one of Hawaii's favorite islands for visitors," said Peter Ingram, Hawaiian's executive vice president and chief commercial officer.
"We are pleased to be supporting Maui's visitor industry with this extended peak season service and offering island residents another schedule option," he said in a news release.
Terryl Vencl, executive director of the Maui Visitors Bureau, applauded the move, noting that July to August are some of Maui's busiest visitor months. This is a period of family and honeymoon travel, she said Monday.
The flights will help the traveling public with "ease of access" to Maui, which is particularly important to travelers these days. "Visitors today are looking for the easiest way in and the easiest way out," Vencl said.
More direct flights to Maui mean that travelers will be able "to get where they are going and spend more time on vacation than at airports," she said.
People don't have a lot of time, with vacations not being as long as they once were, Vencl said. Many travelers on the West Coast do five-day vacations to Maui, "so they need to get where they are going quickly."
As mentioned by Ingram, Vencl also believes that the Los Angeles-Kahului flights may reduce the number of flights a traveler from longer distances has to take to get to Maui.
Ingram added that Hawaiian's Maui hub, established this year, offers an alternative connecting point for travel to other islands with the airline's expanded Neighbor Island flight schedule.
Tickets went on sale Monday for Hawaiian's Los Angeles-Maui service. The two flights are:
* From June 13 to Aug. 25, Hawaiian 33 will depart Los Angeles at 10 a.m. and arrive in Kahului at 12:25 p.m. The return flight, Hawaiian 34, will depart Kahului at 1:55 p.m. and arrive in Los Angeles at 10:05 p.m.
* From June 20 to Aug. 14, Flight 55 will depart Los Angeles at 1:30 p.m. and arrive on Maui at 3:55 p.m. The return flight, Hawaiian 56, will depart Maui at 10 p.m. and arrive in Los Angeles the following day at 6:10 a.m.
Hawaiian will be using Boeing 767-300ER aircraft that seat 264 passengers.
Tickets may be purchased at Hawaiian's website at www.hawaiianairlines.com or by calling the reservations department at (800) 367-5320.
* Lee Imada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.