By Michele Kayal
Advertiser Staff Writer
Continental Airlines plans to nearly double non-stop service from its hub to Hawaii this summer, adding a second flight from Houston to soak up expected demand.
Starting May 2, Continental will run a second DC-10 from Houston to Honolulu five days a week, the company said in a statement, adding more than 1,400 seats a week to the market. The service is expected to end Sept. 5.
Airlines often increase service during the summer to accommodate the spike in travel to the Islands. Tourism executives have long pushed for more service to Hawaii, both from Japan and the Mainland.
"The more airline seats that come in, the better," said Karen Schulz Hughes, vice president of marketing for California-based Pleasant Holidays, the largest Hawaii wholesaler. "Hawaii can always use more airline seats."
Twice a week, the new Houston flight will continue on to Guam. The additional flight to Continentals primary Pacific hub should allow convenient connections to Manila, Hong Kong, Bali, Australia and the islands of Micronesia, the company said.
As part of a refleeting effort, Continental also will put a 282-seat DC-10 aircraft on its Newark, N.J.-Honolulu route starting in May, increasing the number of seats there by 40 per day.
The change will bring the total number of weekly seats in that market to more than 7,300. That change is permanent, a spokeswoman said.
Continental currently has three daily flights to Honolulu, one each from Los Angeles, Newark and Houston. Starting in May, each will be served with a 282-seat DC-10.