George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), issued the following statement regarding the announcement that Delta Air Lines will be launching daily nonstop flights between Seattle and Kauai beginning this December.
“Delta’s expansion of service to Kauai from its Pacific Northwest hub speaks to the confidence the airline has in the Garden Isle to drive demand from travelers in the greater Seattle area and nationally.
“Reliable air access extending throughout the Hawaiian Islands is instrumental to our tourism industry’s continued viability to support businesses and residents statewide. Delta’s new Seattle-Lihue service strengthens Hawaii’s ties to one of our major gateway cities, and will make it easier for travelers anywhere in the mainland U.S. to make daily flight connections to Kauai.
“It’s gratifying that Delta has factored Kauai into its nationwide expansion plans considering the options available to the airline. HTA meets with Delta’s route planners on a regular basis, which included the Airline Summit we hosted last September at the Hawaii Tourism Conference. As HTA does with all carriers, we provided information on the advantages of increasing flights to Hawaii, especially to the neighbor islands.
“Kauai’s economy will benefit significantly from this new service. Delta’s Seattle-Lihue flights on Boeing 757 aircraft will add 63,510 air seats annually to Kauai, generating an estimated $77.9 million in direct visitor spending for the island, and $9.1 million in tax revenue for the State.”
Statement from Delta:
Delta is adding seven nonstop destinations from Seattle, making 2017 its fifth consecutive year of growth at its Pacific Northwest hub. The new destinations include: Austin, Texas; Eugene, Oregon; Lihue, Hawaii; Milwaukee, Wisc.; Nashville, Tenn.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Redmond, Oregon. Flights will be for sale beginning Saturday, Jan. 14.
With these additions, Delta will offer 160 peak-day flights to 49 destinations – including 16 of the top 20 destinations – from its Seattle hub this summer. Customers in Seattle have access to a global network with strong non-stop coverage throughout North America, including service to all of the top destinations on the West Coast; access to the East Coast and Midwest through hubs as well as new or expanded non-stop service to Austin, Boston, Milwaukee, Nashville, Orlando, and Raleigh; and flights to all of the top destinations in Hawaii and key cities in Alaska and Canada.
The new year-round destinations include:
- One daily flight to General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee beginning March 9, 2017.
- Three daily flights to Eugene Airport beginning April 1, 2017.
- One daily flight to Nashville International Airport beginning May 26, 2017.
- One daily flight to Raleigh-Durham International Airport beginning June 8, 2017.
- One daily flight to Austin Bergstrom International Airport beginning June 12, 2017.
- Two daily flights to Redmond Municipal Airport beginning June 12, 2017.
- One daily flight to Lihue Airport beginning Dec. 21, 2017.
“Extensive service throughout North America is important to Seattleites, and this is another example of our commitment to the Pacific Northwest,” said Mike Medeiros, Delta’s Vice President – Seattle. “As we prepare for another year of significant growth at Sea-Tac, we’re pleased to offer customers access to more of the top business and leisure destinations, larger aircraft, and convenient flight schedules, all with a premium customer experience unique to Delta in Seattle.”
Flights to Austin and Nashville will operate using Airbus A319 aircraft, which have recently been upgraded and offer on-demand inflight entertainment for all passengers. Redmond and Eugene service will be operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest using two-class, 69-seat CRJ-700 jets. SkyWest will also operate Milwaukee service using an E-175 aircraft, while Delta will serve Lihue on a Boeing 757 and Raleigh on a Boeing 737 aircraft.
In addition to the new destinations, Delta will also expand service to existing destinations from Seattle. The airline will operate a second daily flight to Boston and Orlando, an eighth daily flight to Portland as well as a fifth daily flight to San Diego. Additionally, several flights to San Francisco and Denver will be upgraded to larger mainline aircraft.
Delta will celebrate other Seattle milestones in 2017. On March 26, Delta’s joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic will begin Boeing 787 service from Seattle to London-Heathrow, replacing the flight currently operated by Delta and adding 50 seats as well as Premium Economy service. Delta and its joint venture partners serve more long-haul international destinations from Seattle than any other carrier, including the top five destinations in Asia and three in Europe. Additionally, the Port of Seattle is expected to break ground on a world-class International Arrivals Facility in early 2017.