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Hawaiian Airlines, the dominant carrier in the interisland market, will add three Boeing 717-200s to its fleet later this year that will provide about 20 more flights per day between Honolulu and other major airports in the state.

The company said today it expects to hire an additional 40 to 50 pilots, flight attendants and ground staff to support the increased operations.

“With our increasing service to Hawaii from Asia, demand for our interisland flights during peak hours of the day and during popular travel periods has never been higher,” Hawaiian President and CEO Mark Dunkerley said. “Adding these aircraft will give us the ability to serve more customers during these periods.”

Hawaiian said it expects to take delivery of the three leased aircraft in September, October and November, with the increased service beginning in October. The airline said service will be expanded to Kahului, Lihue, Hilo and Kona during peak travel periods. The 717s seat 123 passengers.

In addition, Hawaiian said it has purchased its existing fleet of 15 leased Boeing 717s from Boeing Capital Corp. in a refinancing transaction that reduces its fleet costs over the long term. The airline also signed multiyear leases with Boeing Capital for the three additional 717s. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Courtesy of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, June 30, 2011, by Dave Segal

The expansion of America’s #1 rated airline bodes well for the continued increasing interest in flying to Hawaii, and to the increasingly popular Neighbor Islands of Kauai, Maui, and Big Island.  Many visitors vacation here annually, and others look to invest in Kauai real estate, as well as other islands.