Hawaiian Airlines is launching Incheon-Honolulu service on Jan. 14, 2011.
Mark Dunkerley, president of Hawaiian Airlines, said he was very excited to start the new service between Incheon, Korea and Honolulu, Hawaii.
“As the flag carrier of the Hawaiian islands, HA is also the flag carrier of hula, surfing, beaches and sunshine,” Dunkerley said. “We are ready to serve Korean guests the Hawaii experience.”
He added that HA is confident that new customers in Korea will enjoy the distinctive Hawaii travel experience the airline offers.
Incheon International Airport also welcomed the launch of the new service as Hawaii has been enjoying significant growth in the number of travelers from Korea after the country joined the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
“Even before Korea became a member of the VWP, the Incheon-Honolulu route has been a popular one for Northeast Asians. In fact, Japanese and Chinese flying to Hawaii transferring at Incheon account for 40% of the Incheon-Honolulu route users,” Yeo Tae-soo, the Aviation Sales Team at Incheon International Airport Corporation, said.
Blaine Miyasato, HA’s vice president of product development, said the airline has prepared every detail for Korean travelers to appreciate. “We will provide an authentic Hawaiian experience customized for Korean passengers,” he said.
HA has have spent time training flight attendants and airport customer service personnel for Korean flights to gain a better understanding about Korean culture and tradition and associated service expectations. Moreover, at least one in three flight attendants will be able to speak Korean, while the in-flight magazine “Hana Hou” will also be offered in Korean.
The airline has put extra effort into preparing in-flight meals for the Incheon route. Chef Chai Chaowasaree, owner of two acclaimed restaurants in Honolulu and a cookbook author, designed the new meals, bringing pan-Asian style cuisine with fresh ingredients.
Business class customers will enjoy a five-course onboard meal featuring Hawaiian butternut squash and lobster bisque with crispy seafood dumpling and grilled Hawaiian-style beef tenderloin with Merlot Demiglace, paired with wines selected by Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya. The airline’s special Waikiki High Tea with a blossoming tea flower will be served an hour before landing on the return flight to Seoul.
The economy class in-flight meal is also devised by Chaowasaree and includes dishes such as Hawaiian-style barbecue chicken with mango and berry salsa.
Gochujang, or Korean red pepper paste, will be provided to all guests.
The flight to Hawaii will depart Incheon at 10 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and arrive in Honolulu at 11 a.m. the same day. The return flight departs at 1:20 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, arriving at Incheon the next day at 8:05 p.m.
“The schedule is to facilitate connection flights to the U.S. mainland and neighboring Hawaiian islands best,” Miyasato said.