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Why No ITO-Mainland N/S Or Direct Service?  
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3802 posts, RR: 29
Posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2623 times:

For many years, Hilo (ITO) was Hawaii's undisputed "second city" (after HNL) in terrms of non-stop and direct service to/from the Mainland U.S.A. (by several airlines). Such service to/from ITO ceased altogether and rather abruptly sometime in the 1980s, never to be restarted to this day.

Why was ITO, Hawaii's one time "second city," dropped altogether from Mainland-Hawaii route maps?

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAQ737 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 612 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2572 times:

Before ATA's demise, they operated a service OAK-ITO non-stop.

Aq737


User currently offlineHa763 From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 3632 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2564 times:
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Quoting Tango-Bravo (Thread starter):
Why was ITO, Hawaii's one time "second city," dropped altogether from Mainland-Hawaii route maps?

One word. Deregulation. In the days of regulation, carriers were basically required to fly to ITO to get routes to HNL. That went away with deregulation.

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Thread starter):
Such service to/from ITO ceased altogether and rather abruptly sometime in the 1980s, never to be restarted to this day.

Well, ATA did fly OAK-ITO a couple years ago with the 737-800 and 757-200.


User currently offlineCV880 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1124 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2481 times:



Quoting Ha763 (Reply 2):
One word. Deregulation. In the days of regulation, carriers were basically required to fly to ITO to get routes to HNL. That went away with deregulation.

I remember flying on UA DC-8-62's from ITO to LAX in the 70's. The development of Waikoloa, north of Kona didn't help tourism to Hilo, as the climate in the Waikoloa area is usually dry and sunny.


User currently offlineBigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2910 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2399 times:

How does Kona factor into this? As tourism grew on the other side of the island and airlines began to fly into KOA, there was less of a need to fly to Hilo and drive across to the resorts.

User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2557 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2316 times:

The reason is that most of the tourist destinations & resorts are on the other side of the island. People originally flew to ITO because it was the only airport on the island capable of supporting large aircraft. Once they extended the runway at KOA to its present length of 11,000ft in 1993 (supporting all long range flights), there was no need or demand for flights to ITO.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineWA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2209 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2229 times:

Until 1967, all intercontinental flights to Hawaii used HNL. In 1967, the three airlines serving HNL from the US Mainland (United, Pan Am, and Northwest) were allowed to serve ITO, in exchange for agreeing to subsidize fares their passengers paid to Aloha and Hawaiian for tickets that included both transpacific and interisland segments ("Common Fares"). This was part of an effort to get tourists to visit islands other than Oahu. When Western, Continental, TWA, Braniff, and American were awarded routes to Hawaii in 1969, they were also given authority to serve ITO, although not all of these airlines served ITO.

ITO was chosen as the "second" gateway to Hawaii because it was the only airport, other than HNL, that was capable of accomodating intercontinental aircraft. The resorts on the "Big Island" have always been closer to KOA than they are to ITO, but KOA's facilities were inferior to ITO's until the 1980s. Likewise, for many years, residents on Maui opposed attempts to expand OGG to accomodate flights from the mainland. Maui bound passengers could either fly via HNL, and backtrack to Maui, or change planes at ITO. Many chose to go via ITO because it is a much more compact airport than HNL.

Although deregulation allowed nonstops from the US Mainland to airports other than HNL and ITO, KOA, LIH, and OGG were not upgraded to handle flights to / from the mainland until the mid 1980s. UA suspended service at ITO in 1986, soon after OGG had been upgraded to accomodate intercontinental flights.



Seaholm Maples are #1!
User currently offlineHiloboy1 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 81 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2122 times:

I bleed Hilo, but its sad to say there is nothing for the visitors except the Volcano is closer. Our hotels on our side are dumps; granted they're being upgraded now but its too late, all the great resorts and beaches are on the Kona side of the island. We're very laid back, our folks don't like change and I kind of don't blame them as the traffic is horrible in Kona now. We couldn't even get a Super Walmart on our side because folks/politicians didn't want the change. So I guess we were our own worst enemy and killed the "intercontinental flights" from our airport. Maybe Allegient or Southwest will come someday!! (just adding fuel to the fire) LOL.

User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2846 posts, RR: 30
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2108 times:

Under the era of regulation, Hilo was much like, say, the Shannon stopover that was required by the bygone U.S.-Ireland bilateral agreement. Hilo was not really served by choice but rather out of necessity - air service levels were far higher than they ever should have been. All of the airlines quickly left after deregulation allowed them to, while United (always the market leader from mainland to Hawaii) held out until 1986. Hilo is close to the Big Island volcanoes but in and of itself is not a destination for tourists as Honolulu, Maui, Kona, and Lihue are. For those that are headed to Hilo it is not hard to fly to Honolulu or even Maui and connect to Hilo from there on HA.


Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineCch362 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 147 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2042 times:

Hilo is a charming town, but it has a terrible climate (way too much rain), which is why the resort developments failed on that side. Since most the of the U.S.-Hawaii traffic is tourist, most Big Island passengers head for Kailua-Kona.

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