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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 23, 2006

Phoenix to Kaua'i nonstops to begin

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Staff Writer

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US Airways will begin flying to Kaua'i from Phoenix next week, marking what officials say is the island's first nonstop service from a Mainland city outside of California.

US Airways will start flights from Phoenix to Lihu'e on March 1, launching what will be the third nonstop scheduled service from the Mainland to the island. Kaua'i already has scheduled nonstop flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco, and charter flights from Oakland, said Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kaua'i Visitors Bureau.

"It's a strong market, and it shows some growth," Kanoho said. "So we're excited to have Phoenix be on the map for Kaua'i with nonstop service. ... We're hoping that that's going to bring the kind of visitor we're targeting, which is somebody who enjoys Kaua'i and will stay longer and hopefully spend a little bit more.

"Anytime somebody announces new service, that shows that they're making a commitment to the destination and they feel confident that they'll be able to deliver enough passengers to fill those planes."

US Airways' new Phoenix service will fly four times a week through April 30 with a Boeing 757 seating up to 190 passengers. The airline plans to ramp up its service to daily flights May 1 through Sept. 6.

The Kaua'i Visitors Bureau plans to have a traditional Hawaiian blessing in Phoenix before the departure of the inaugural flight and will greet arriving passengers with Hawaiian music, hula and lei. Kaua'i Mayor Bryan Baptiste is expected to greet passengers.

Reach Lynda Arakawa at larakawa@honoluluadvertiser.com.