Lifted - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

January 20, 2011

Lifted

Nothing like a little lift to lift up your day. Lift is the term used to describe the number of airline seats coming to or from a destination. Loss of lift, usually the result of a tough economy, volatile gas price, or a route that not enough people choose to frequent, can bring bad news to a tourist destination like Hawaii. But increase in lift, whether added flights or a new carrier, always holds the promise of more economic activity.

So it is with glee that tourism officials watched Hawaiian Air's latest Asian foray- as it is now flying to and from Seoul, South Korea, following a U.S. Visa Waiver Program decision a few years back to allow Koreans to enter this country without a visa. With its flights to Manila and Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Hawaiian Air's Asian footprint continues to grow. Can China and other cities in the Far East be far behind?

The projection for more visitors from Asia due to increased lift is yet one more sign that our local economy has turned a corner. The Korean visitor market is expected to be up over 80% in 2010 vs. 2009 when the final numbers are tallied. While there are still many issues to deal with at home, it is nice to see that the lure of Hawaii combined with the advantageous business model for our flight friends will be providing a vital positive push for our islands. Think about it…

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