Hawaiian Air Seeks Approvals for Nonstop Honolulu Tokyo Flights

Hawaiian Airlines filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) seeking approvals to introduce nonstop flights between Honolulu and Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport. If approved, the new service would provide twice-daily flights starting in late October.

The flight schedule is designed to meet the needs of travelers originating from the Tokyo area, with departures following a full day of work and dinner, and mid-day arrivals in time for hotel check-in and a first afternoon in Hawaii.

Both of Hawaiian’s proposed daily flights would depart Haneda shortly before midnight and arrive in Honolulu around noon the same day. The return flights would both depart Honolulu around 6:45 p.m. and arrive at Haneda around 10:00 p.m. the next day.

Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO, said, “This new service combining the convenience of Haneda with Hawaiian Airlines’ award winning service would offer a new, superior travel product that will increase travel to Hawaii from Japan.”

The new route is in keeping with Hawaiian’s long-term vision to expand its service in Asia and create new economic and cultural opportunities for Hawaii. Japan is Hawaii’s second-largest market for visitors.

Hawaiian plans to serve the Honolulu-Tokyo route with its 264-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, and new 294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft, the first three of which will join the fleet in April, May and November of this year.

Advertisements

Oregon Man Faces Criminal Complaint Following Rerouted Maui Flight

By Wendy Osher

An Oregon man accused of interfering with a flight crew bound for Maui last week, faces a criminal complaint for allegedly interfering with the flight crew, an offense that carries penalties of up 20 years in jail if convicted.

56-year-old Joseph Hedlund Johnson of Salem, Oregon was removed from a Hawaiian Airlines Flight on Wednesday, January 6, 2010.  Hawaiian Airlines Flight 39 had already been in flight for at least 90 minutes, when it turned around and was escorted back to PDX by two F-15 fighter jets deployed from the Oregon Air National Guard.

According to the 13-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court, the action was taken because a passenger allegedly handed a threatening note to a flight attendant containing references to death, a plane crash, and Gilligan’s Island.

Pacific Radio Group & MauiNOW.com obtained access to the document and a copy of the note, which was written on an airline comment card, and included in the affidavit.  The note stated:

Airline comment card included in U.S. District Court Affidavit.

“I thought I was going to die, we were so high up, I thought to myself: I hope we don’t crash and burn or worse yet, landing in the ocean, living through it, only to be eaten by sharks, or worse yet, end up on someplace like Gilligan’s Island, stranded, or worse yet, be eaten by a tribe of headhunters, speaking of headhunters, why do they just eat outsiders, and not the family members?  Strange…and what if the plane ripped apart in mid-flight and we plumited (sic) to earth, landed on Gilligan’s Island, and then lived through it, and the only woman there was Mrs. Thurston Howell III?  No Mary Anne (my favorite) no ginger, just Lovey!  If it were just here, I think I’d opt for the sharks, maybe the headhunters.”

After being removed from the flight, Johnson told federal investigators that he thought the card was going to be taken back to an office somewhere, opened, and everyone in the room would “get a laugh” from it, and that perhaps he’d even get some frequent flyer miles out of it.

He stated that he felt bad about what had happened and that he was sorry.

Prior to receiving the note, flight attendants recalled a discussion that focused on the placement of Johnson’s carry on bag, in which he was informed that space below his seat was designated for the passenger seated behind him.

Johnson told Federal investigators that he held his bag for a short amount of time until a woman seated a few rows behind him made space in the overhead storage bin above her seat.

According to the affidavit, Johnson told investigators that he felt that a person would need to be “ten feet tall” to need that much space.

Johnson was released when the FBI determined that he did not present an immediate threat to public safety, and the incident appeared to have no nexus to terrorism.  However, based on the investigation, authorities filed a criminal complaint alleging violation of the US code that prohibits interference with the performance of the flight crew.

Maui to Host Regular Season UH Volleyball Game Feb 27

By Wendy Osher

The University of Hawaii is bringing men’s volleyball to Maui, making the War Memorial Gym home court for its February 27th game against BYU.  UH Director of Athletics Jim Donovan made the announcement this afternoon at the county building in Wailuku.

UH press conf _11 09 09_MED (3)

Photo Credit: County of Maui

“We’re very happy to be back here,” said UH Athletic Director Jim Donovan.  “Mayor Tavares and her staff did such a great job of hosting our football team in the Spring when we came over here for a scrimmage and an autograph session, that we thought if we had the opportunity to come back again we would as soon as possible,” said Donovan.

The match will be played Saturday, February 27 at 5:00 p.m. One day earlier, Hawai‘i and BYU will play at the Stan Sheriff Center. Both matches count toward the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings.

UH men’s volleyball Coach Charlie Wade said Maui provides an intimate atmosphere that will be an exciting venue for the team.  “We’re playing a real live MPSF match, which I’m sure you know the MPSF is very competitive, and every night is really important,” said Wade.  He continued, “So to get an opportunity to come here and play in front of Maui fans and have such an exciting match be available to the people on the neighbor island, we couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.”

Maui’s match will be played at the 2,900 seat War Memorial Gym, while the Stan Sheriff Center, at capacity, holds 10,000 people.  While ticket revenue will be less for the Maui match, Donovan said there is a bigger picture to embrace.

“We represent the whole state and so Maui, obviously is an integral part of that.  This is not a one time thing.  We’re going to be looking at other sports being able to come not only to Maui, but to the other neighbor islands as we head out into the future.  So in the big scheme of things it’s more important for us to be here than it is losing 4,000-5,000 tickets in revenue for one night,” said Donovan.

Ticket prices for the Maui match are $8 (adults) and $3 (UH system students with valid ID and students ages 4-high school) and will be available beginning Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Stan Sheriff Center Box Office, 944-2697 and HawaiiAthletics.com. All seats are general admission.

The match will mark the first time UH will host a ticketed regular season match on Maui in any sport since the football team opened the 2001 season against Montana. In 2003, the Rainbow Warrior basketball team participated in the Maui Invitational which was hosted by Chaminade University. UH’s tennis teams have also played there in recent years.

“This is a unique opportunity for our community and I’m excited that our youth and our enthusiastic volleyball fans will have a chance to enjoy college-level action here on Maui,” Mayor Tavares said. “As someone who has played sports most of my life and throughout college, I am especially grateful that this opportunity has been made possible by the support of the University of Hawai‘i, Hawaiian Airlines, Senator Tsutsui and the UH athletics coaching staff who have all helped to make this a reality for us.”

“By bringing UH athletics to the neighbor islands, tshe university is supporting our Maui community in many ways,” said Senator Shan Tsutsui, a UH Mānoa alum, whose conversation with Donovan played an instrumental role in bringing the game to his hometown. “Our local school athletics programs are filled with enthusiastic young fans who will have a chance to experience collegiate volleyball and gain an understanding of the many opportunities in sports that are available to them at the state’s largest university.”

“Hawaiian is proud to help bring this great event to Maui, and we look forward to seeing everyone at the game,” said Glenn Taniguchi, Hawaiian Airlines senior vice president for marketing and sales.

“We’re excited to be able to take our men’s volleyball team to Maui to play an important conference match,” Donovan said. “BYU has been a rival for many of our teams and men’s volleyball is no different. We’re thankful for Hawaiian Airlines’ support of UH Athletics throughout the years and Mayor Tavares and Senator (Shan) Tsutsui for making this event possible. Our Maui fans will be treated to high quality volleyball and I know Coach (Charlie) Wade will have his team ready to put on a show for them.”

“We pride ourselves as being Hawai‘i’s team and this is an excellent opportunity to showcase our squad in front of our fans on Maui,” said Charlie Wade, UH men’s volleyball head coach. “The neighbor islands are rich in volleyball talent we’re thrilled to be able to bring the highest level of college volleyball there.”

Season ticket renewals for the 2010 men’s volleyball season will be mailed out within the next week. New season ticket sales begin Dec. 14.

(Supporting information provided by the University of Hawaii Athletics Department)

HAWAIIAN AIR TO ADD 2 MAINLAND TO MAUI FLIGHTS

Hawaiian Airlines will offer daily service between San Diego and Maui for the first time since summer 2008.  It is one of two daily nonstop flights being added to Maui in June.  The other is an Oakland to Maui flight.

Hawaiian Airlines to add two seasonal flights between Maui and California for the summer.  File photo by Wendy Osher.

Hawaiian Airlines to add two seasonal flights between Maui and California for the summer. File photo by Wendy Osher.

The flights are part of the company’s efforts to expand its service from Hawaii’s largest visitor markets for the summer peak travel season.  A third Hawaii/California flight starts in June between Los Angeles and Honolulu, utilizing the company’s first two new Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO, said, “The arrival of the first of our new longrange Airbus aircraft gives us the opportunity to expand our service from Hawaii’s largest visitor market when travel demand is at its highest.”

The new daily flight between Oakland and Maui is a first for Hawaiian. Flight #23 will depart Oakland daily at 12:20 p.m. and arrive in Maui at 2:20 p.m. Return Flight #24 will depart Maui daily at 9:35 p.m. and arrive in Oakland the following morning at 5:30 a.m. The new flight runs through September 6, 2010.

The new daily flight between San Diego and Maui is being revived after service on the route stopped in the summer 2008. Flight #37 will depart San Diego daily at 10:35 a.m. and arrive in Maui at 1:05 p.m. Return Flight #38 will depart Maui at 10:30 p.m. and arrive in San Diego at 6:35 a.m. the following morning. The new seasonal service concludes August 24, 2010.

Hawaiian will supplement its daily Los Angeles-Honolulu service with a new flight using the wide-body, twin-aisle A330-200 aircraft, which seats 294 passengers – 30 more seats than the Boeing 767-300 – in a two-class configuration. Flight #3 will depart Los Angeles daily at 10:45 a.m. and arrive in Honolulu at 1:15 p.m. Return Flight #4 will depart Honolulu daily at 10:30 p.m. and arrive in Los Angeles the following morning at 6:55 a.m. The extra flight runs through September 6, 2010.

Tickets for the three new summer flights are now available for purchase.

Hawaiian’s first three A330-200 aircraft are being leased and will join the fleet starting next April. In addition, Hawaiian has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus to acquire six wide-body A330-200 aircraft (starting in 2012) and six A350XWB-800 (Extra Wide-Body) aircraft (starting in 2017), as well as purchase rights for an additional six aircraft of each model.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Information Provided by Hawaiian Airlines)

HAWAII SPORTS GET $400,000 JUMPSTART IN FUNDRAISING EFFORT

Private donors are stepping up in an attempt to cover a $1.2 million budget shortfall for school sports programs.  The Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) announced the receipt of more than $400,000 in corporate donations yesterday.

Major contributors include $200,000 from the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation, $100,000 from First Hawaiian Bank, $50,000 from Bank of Hawaii, and $50,000 from The GIFT Foundation.  There were also contributions from HMSA in the form of free airtime to publicize the fundraising drive; and Hawaiian Airlines is contributing discounted interisland airfares for teams traveling to state tournaments

Director Keith Amemiya  says the HHSAA is seeking to raise funds to cover the $1,200,000 budget cut to Hawaii’s public high school athletic programs for the 2009-10 school year.

According to the HHSAA, the budget cut amounts to approximately 50% of the funding needed for supplies, equipment, and ground transportation the state’s 45 public high schools.

In making the funding announcement yesterday, the HHSAA issued a statement saying, “Presently, this budget cut will require drastic measures to be undertaken, including the possible cutting of entire sports teams and/or greatly reduced participation.  However, several local entities have already stepped up in a significant way to support this fundraising effort.”

Donations for the fundraising effort can be mailed to HHSAA office at: P.O. Box 62029 Honolulu, Hawaii 96839.  Donations collected by the HHSAA will be distributed to the public high school athletic programs proportionately based upon the size of the program (i.e., the larger the athletic program, the more money it will receive).

(Posted by Wendy Osher)