In a statement on Tuesday, Virgin Airlines said it would add Hawaii as a flight destination starting in November, flying from San Francisco Airport to Honolulu International. Starting November 2, Virgin America will fly to Honolulu from San Francisco, and will fly to Kahalui, Maui, starting December 3. Virgin America, CEO David Cush said that not having Hawaii as a destination in their repertoire was “the big glaring hole” in their flight map.
Virgin America decided to add Hawaii to its flight map because there is a large travel base between the West Coast and Hawaii — especially the San Francisco area. “As one of the most popular leisure destinations among Bay Area travelers, we are pleased to announce our new nonstop service to Hawaii,” Cush said.
The flight will be designed to be a breeze. Virgin America will use new Airbus A320 jets for the trip, which has energy saving technology in a possible bid to appeal to environmentally minded travelers. Cush also believes Hawaii will be an attractive enough tourist destination for customers on the West Coast to invest in Virgin America’s “Elevate” frequent flier’s program, hoping to encourage periodic travel between the islands and the Bay area.
Cush is confident in the maneuver. “With a loyal following of Bay Area-based business travelers who have long requested our expansion to the islands, we couldn’t be more pleased to offer our ‘work-hard/play-hard’ frequent fliers the opportunity to fly in style to the ultimate getaway.”
Trying to fly to Hawaii will buttheads with several longtime Hawaii carriers: United, Delta, and Hawaiian. Hawaiian Airlines in particular would be a hard one to beat, due to its being rated as the number one airline for minimal delays and rated highly in general pleasure of experience for flights to and from Hawaii. Hawaiian and Alaska Airlines fly to and from Hawaii from the San Jose and Oakland airports, so Virgin America would have to pull fliers from the surrounding Bay area to San Francisco Airport, which may be a tough sell considering travel time to and from the airport.
And after you book your Hawaiian adventure, please see here if you’ve any interest in ‘how not to be the worst person on a flight’ for your fellow Virgin America Hawaiian-bound passengers: