The Maui News WAILUKU, Maui (June 14, 2010) - Last week’s announcement about Hawaiian Airlines’ new nonstop service to Las Vegas was more good news for our visitor industry.

Yes, everyone here applauds the fact that it will be easier for us to get to the "ninth island," but, more importantly, it also means that it will be even easier for Mainlanders to get here to visit.

As the announcements of more air lift to Maui keep coming in, it is comforting to know that the airlines have confidence in the recovery. None has been more aggressive than Hawaiian - they have already taken delivery of two new Airbus A330 wide body jets and there are more on the way.

In addition to Hawaiian’s new two non stops per week to Las Vegas, the airline has also added a Kahului-Oakland flight and a seasonal flight to San Diego.

Hawaiian’s announcement keeps the increased airlift ball rolling that truly began with Alaska Airlines’ aggressive push into Hawaii. They have been joined by West Coast flights from Continental and the announced new nonstop United Airlines service to Chicago.

Hawaiian does seem to be the most confident of all of the airlines, though. On May 7, it was awarded a new route from Honolulu to Haneda Airport outside Tokyo. It will begin flying that route in October.

Hawaiian has reached an agreement to add at least 10 of the Airbus A330s in the next few years. Starting in 2017, it is expected to add several of Airbus’ A350XWB planes to its fleet. XWB is airplane speak for "extra wide body."

So, it would appear that CEO Mark Dunkerley is positioning Hawaiian Airlines to capitalize on a robust visitor industry in Hawaii for many years to come. That is good news for all of us.

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