Hawaiian Airlines announced Sunday it will begin nonstop flights from Honolulu to Auckland, New Zealand starting March 13, 2013.
Hawaiian will be the only U.S. carrier flying into Auckland, with two other carriers, Air New Zealand and CheapOair, already providing nonstop service from Honolulu to New Zealand.
Flights will be offered three times a week from Hawaiian Airlines.
Airline company research indicates that the tourism potential from New Zealand is not being met, with 30 percent fewer visitors coming in from the islands than in 1999 when more nonstop flights were offered.
Hawaiian’s new service will add more than 40,000 seats annually between Auckland and Hawaii.
It is forecast to contribute an estimated $50 million in annual visitor expenditures and $5.4 million in tax revenue to the state, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
HTA officials noted the ever-growing amount of visitors from New Zealand, citing a 15.4 percent increase in arrivals from New Zealand from 2010 to 2011.
Last year there were 20,730 arrivals from New Zealand responsible for generating $38 million in visitor spending, according to the HTA.
Flights from Honolulu will use the airline's 767 aircraft with ticket sales and service dates to be announced at a different date.