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STT757
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Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Wed Apr 28, 2004 11:54 am

Did Hilo Hawaii (Big Island) ever have direct (nonstop) flights to the Mainland, I seem to recall possibly UAL serving Hilo from either LAX or SFO with DC-8s around '91.

Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
picarus
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Wed Apr 28, 2004 12:03 pm

Yes. Western flew the Hilo-LAX route with DC10s for many years prior to the Delta acquisition.

United also flew Hilo-mainland, although I don't remember whether it was LAX or SFO or both.

Picarus
 
B4REAL
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Wed Apr 28, 2004 12:08 pm

No one operates that route now regularly I believe. ITO is a nice (small) airport, however.

I had the opportunity to go there from HNL for volcano tour. Loved HA and the 717!
B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
 
N777UA
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Wed Apr 28, 2004 12:09 pm

United actually once flew ORD-ITO back in the 1970s...my parents flew it many times. It was a DC10 they said.
 
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STT757
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Wed Apr 28, 2004 12:18 pm

Why did Hilo lose Main land service, might it come back?.

With all the 757s flying to the Islands now and Aloha flying 737NGs from lots of West Coast Cities I would think someone would operate a Mainland-Hilo flight, like mentioned UAL etc was serving Hilo not too long ago.
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LAXintl
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Wed Apr 28, 2004 12:21 pm

With the expansion of Kona airport and the development of resorts on the Westside of the island, mainland traffic which served Hilo shifted over to Kona. Cargo traffic from the mainland however can be seen at Hilo.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Wed Apr 28, 2004 12:33 pm

resorts are all over on the sunny Kona side. Only a handful of smaller ones on the Hilo side of the island.
 
johnboy
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Wed Apr 28, 2004 3:03 pm

I'll sum it up in three words:

Rain, rain and (more) rain!
 
kalakaua
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Wed Apr 28, 2004 3:16 pm

Hilo is notorious for its rain... But I think Hilo is a-okay. There was the Merrie Monarch Festival though to keep most people entertained
Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion.
 
HAL
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Wed Apr 28, 2004 3:43 pm

Yes, Hilo had service. I flew several times on UA from SFO to ITO on DC-10's in the late 70's, and I think the service continued on into the 80's too. However when the new Kona Airport was expanded to handle large jets, there was not much need anymore for ITO service since most of the people wanted to go to the Kona side anyway. Since it is a long drive across (or around) the island, most passengers voted with their pocketbooks and flew on to KOA.

Too bad, since ITO has such a nice open-air terminal. It was a great way to step into the islands.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
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ua2162
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Wed Apr 28, 2004 5:23 pm

I'll sum it up in three words:

Rain, rain and (more) rain!


Yup, you hit the nail on the head. People love the sun thus they love KOA! I also seem to remember America West serving ITO with their 747. I just recently saw an old ad from National Geographic, I'm trying to dig it up. I also came across an article that stated Braniff flew into ITO for a time; I don't remember that! Anyway, here's the link: http://www.braniffinternational.org/history/routes.htm
 
jsnww81
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:06 am

In the late 1960s, with congestion at Honolulu International Airport growing, the Hawaii government officially designated Hilo as the state's second 'gateway' airport. Hilo was (and still is, I believe) the second-largest city in the state, and it made sense to position it as a major tourist center.

Accordingly, a new jet runway was built at ITO in 1965 (runway 8-26) to handle direct overseas flights to the Mainland. A rule called the "Maui fence" was also instituted - stating that if a passenger flew into Hawaii via HNL and went beyond Maui (to Kauai, the Big Island, Molokai or Lanai), they would have to leave via ITO. It was very confusing for passengers and travel agents and was removed following Deregulation in 1978.

Pan Am and United started Hilo flights in 1967, to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland. After the huge 1969 Hawaii route awards, they were joined by Northwest (service to Portland), Continental (service to Los Angeles) and Western (service to Los Angeles). United also received nonstop ITO-ORD authority; this route operated on and off through the 1970s. Braniff was granted ITO authority and opened a ticket desk in the terminal, but never started service.

Hilo opened a temporary overseas terminal (basically a converted air cargo building) in 1969, but things were already looking bleak. The ITO flights were underfilled and unpopular. Moreover, as several people have said already, most of the Big Island resorts were on the other side of the islands. The few large resort hotels that were built in Hilo struggled to rise above the city's rainy reputation. For the most part, Hilo's gamble to become a big tourism center fell flat.

Pan Am pulled out in 1973, just as construction was starting on a huge new terminal building for overseas flights. Northwest, Continental and Western all pulled out between 1978 and 1980. United stuck it out for a few more years (it started KOA flights in 1983 and for awhile served both Big Island airports) before cutting Hilo service in 1987.

Now ITO only serves Aloha and Hawaiian flights to Honolulu. In the past few years, both AQ and HA have cut their two or three daily ITO-OGG and ITO-KOA flights, forcing all passengers to connect through Honolulu. Quite a sad comedown for what was once Hawaii's second-busiest airport.
 
LMP737
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:21 am

If anyone is interested in flying too the Big Island tomorrow AA has two flight from LAX-KOA.

254 10:50AM 1:24PM 757

247 5:50PM 8:13PM 757
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
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ua2162
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 1:45 am

Hey, Jsnww81! Thanks for the great information. I had no idea that CO and NW also served ITO at one time. I can't believe the old airport served all those airlines! I drove by the old ITO terminal last week and one can still tell how tiny it was. Here is the latest arrivals for ITO (it still looks pretty bleak):

Kahului, HI Air Nevada 2401 10:17 AM Scheduled
Kahului, HI Air Nevada 221 11:26 AM Scheduled
Kahului, HI Air Nevada 243 01:02 PM Scheduled
Kahului, HI Air Nevada 245 03:41 PM Scheduled
Kahului, HI Air Nevada 247 06:20 PM Scheduled
Honolulu, HI Aloha 242 01:27 PM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Aloha 234 02:12 PM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Aloha 68 04:41 PM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Aloha 46 06:34 PM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Aloha 48 06:52 PM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Aloha 950 09:20 PM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Aloha 954 02:13 AM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Aloha 956 04:34 AM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Aloha 40 05:51 AM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Aloha 42 08:03 AM Scheduled
Honolulu, HI Aloha 44 10:10 AM Scheduled
Honolulu, HI Aloha 246 11:20 AM Scheduled
Honolulu, HI Aloha 242 01:24 PM Scheduled
Honolulu, HI Aloha 234 02:33 PM Scheduled
Honolulu, HI Aloha 68 05:03 PM Scheduled
Honolulu, HI Aloha 46 06:33 PM Scheduled
Honolulu, HI Aloha 48 07:13 PM Scheduled
Honolulu, HI Alpine Aviation 7301 04:17 PM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Alpine Aviation 7301 01:28 AM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Alpine Aviation 7303 02:59 AM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Alpine Aviation 7305 04:49 AM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Corporate Air 29 03:58 AM Planned
Honolulu, HI Hawaiian Air 360 05:38 PM Arrived
Kona, HI Hawaiian Air 288 06:20 PM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Hawaiian Air 362 06:49 PM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Hawaiian Air 102 06:07 AM Arrived
Honolulu, HI Hawaiian Air 122 08:30 AM Scheduled
Honolulu, HI Hawaiian Air 382 11:03 AM Scheduled
Honolulu, HI Hawaiian Air 182 12:01 PM Scheduled
Honolulu, HI Hawaiian Air 360 05:55 PM Scheduled
Honolulu, HI Hawaiian Air 362 07:05 PM Scheduled
Kahului, HI Pacific Wings 4 01:29 PM Arrived
Kahului, HI Pacific Wings 4 04:04 PM Arrived
Kahului, HI Pacific Wings 4 06:47 PM Arrived

 
wingsofman72
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 1:48 am

Let's not forget PA..they had 707s from SFO/LAX and even SEA/PDX some days of the week back in the 60s.
 
BlatantEcho
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 2:04 am

I flew SFO-Hilo service on a UA DC-10 many years back. Jeez, maybe 10 years ago?

It was fun deplaning and seeing the -10 sitting there on the tarmac so close.

George
They're not handing trophies out today
 
PanAm747
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 2:16 am

My best friend just recently moved from San Diego to Kea'au, a suburb of Hilo, where he is from originally (sigh...that's another story).

I helped him book his flight - with Rick not having flown since before 9/11, he had NO idea of the changes in schedules or security or anything else. He wasn't even sure how to book his flight on-line.

We were both shocked, though, to find out that he was going to have a 4+ hour layover in HNL. I assumed there would be a decent shuttle service from ITO-HNL on Hawaiian Airlines, but unfortunately there is a big mid-day gap, starting JUST after mainland flights arrive. Aloha Airlines out of Orange County was no better.

I'm glad Hawaiian and Aloha are profitable and expanding (rumor has it of a new non-stop SAN-OGG!!), but it is sad to see ITO suffer so much.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
andahuailas
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 2:20 am

Branniff also use to fly Lax-Ito with Dc8s
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 2:27 am

I remember the ITO-KOA flight...that wasn't long ago at all. I think they were still flying that route as late as 2001 though I'm not entirely sure. But yeah, I remember that route in the Aloha mag. Flew it in FS98 back in the day too. I wonder why they couldn't even make that one work? I mean, there still are a lot of sites on the Hilo side to see...there's Kilauea which is closer to Hilo than Kona, there's the Hamakua area with akaka falls as well..but aside from that, Hilo still is the second largest city in Hawaii and the O&D itself should be enough to sustain an ITO-KOA flight.


So why didn't that work for Aloha?
 
Trvlr
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:23 am

Re: PanAm747:

I'm glad Hawaiian and Aloha are profitable and expanding (rumor has it of a new non-stop SAN-OGG!!)

Hawaiian Airlines will indeed start nonstop SAN-OGG in June. It will operate through the summer.

Aaron G.
 
iowa744fan
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 4:57 am

Aloha717200,
Yes, as recently as 2001, Aloha was flying the ITO-KOA route. I did not take that one, but I do remember seeing it on the schedule. My family and I flew in to KOA from HNL, and were leaving from ITO (went to Volcano on the last day). Anyway, I did manage to switch from the nonstop ITO-HNL flight to the ITO-OGG-HNL flight while it still lasted.
 
iowa744fan
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 5:00 am

Blatantecho,
Are you sure that you flew into ITO on UAL? I was there about that time too. It is somewhat odd thinking about the major's route systems to Hawaii back then compared to now with all of the direct flights from the mainland. I remember that UAL used to have three DC-10s come in from ORD, SFO, and LAX to HNL and then spread out to cover LIH, OGG, and KOA. I think that I remember Delta operating a nonstop into Maui, as well as a coupe through Honolulu. Hawaiian had some as well as I remember seeing a DC-8 going to LAX. Oh well. Just my memories.
 
GVROYphx
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 5:02 am

Just for the record...America West never flew to ITO...just HNL for a short time. Now HA handles PHX-HNL.

- RR
 
kanebear
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 5:30 am

I remember flying UA LAX-KOA-LAX (might've been SFO but I'm pretty sure it was LAX) in what was probably 1984-5 (and I think on a D10). IIRC we stopped in ITO in both directions. I specifically recall the return KOA-ITO-LAX and how amazing the KOA-ITO flight was. We took off, flew around the island at very low level so the view was great, and then landed 5-10 minutes later at ITO. I also remember the plane being dirty and the aft lavs being utterly disgusting (my feet stuck to the floor!) Ahh, memories of youth.
 
jsnww81
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:09 am

UA2612 -

Can you contact me via the email address in my profile? I have some questions to ask you outside of the forum. Just click on my profile and hit 'contact.' Thanks!
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:06 am

Island Air used to fly LNY-KOA too.

[Edited 2004-04-29 01:09:17]
 
DFWJIM
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:41 am

Hello,

Great topic! In June of 1971 my family and I flew from ITO - SFO on a Western Airlines Boeing 720. It was a great flight for a twelve year old - plenty of turbulence and a cool in-flight movie!.

I havn't been back to Hilo since though :-(.

DFWJIM
 
FLIBOYZ
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:50 am

If my memory serves me right, I remember flying out of the old Hilo airport on a UA flight to SFO on a 747. I may be wrong on the plane type. Back in the early 70s. I also remember seeing on T.V. UAs commercials with a 747 taking off out of ITO with the red and white checkerboard water tower in the background.

Too bad Hilo couldn't support the majors for long. It would be a nice thing to see when I visit. Even if with 757s, it would be nice to have some of the majors back into ITO.
 
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ua2162
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:03 am

Just for the record...America West never flew to ITO...just HNL for a short time.

You beat me to it! I just found the advertisement in the old National Geographic...I was mistaken; they only advertised their HNL routes. My bad! Thanks for clearing it up.

I was on a HA flight a couple of weeks ago that went HNL-KOA-ITO. Long story short, only three people went on to ITO and only two boarded.

Many people don't want to fly the KOA-ITO route since half of the fun is actually driving around the island. Many like the fact that they can stop and see all the sights. I know many tourists like to make ITO a day trip on the way back from the volcano.
 
hawaiian717
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:15 am

I flew ITO-KOA once, connecting in KOA to HA 6 which at the time was flying OGG-KOA-LAX. It just worked that time that it was cheaper than going through HNL. Took off from ITO, and basically followed the highway route north of Mauna Kea to KOA. I was the only passenger that got off in KOA, everyone else on board continued to HNL.

The current level of service between ITO and HNL is pretty bad, it can be tough to get a seat. My parents one time had to go first class, another time the flight time they needed on HA was sold out, so they ended up flying AQ.

If you go to the tour helicopter side of the ITO terminal, look above the counters where the airline name used to be. Unless it's changed, you can make out the airline names that used to be there (but backwards)... United, Western, etc.

David / MRY
 
jsnww81
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:11 am

David -

That's interesting that the airline names are (were?) still visible above the ticket counters in the old overseas side.

If I remember correctly, however, there were plans to move one of the interisland carriers into the overseas lobby, to make the setup more like Lihue Airport on Kauai. I'm not sure if that's happened yet, but if it hasn't... somebody go and take some pictures of the old airline names/logos!
 
Aeri28
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:34 am

fascinating. I had no idea PA flew to Hilo. Now HNL was very big in their network, but I wonder what Hilo would have given them.

there's some good PA network maps on this link. The 1969 map has Hilo on the map with links to SFO and LAX. I would paste the pic of the map, but it's awfully large.

http://www.airchive.com/SITE%20PAGES/TIMETABLES-PAN%20AM.html
 
Superfly
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:41 am

Glad to know that the tourist are being diverted to Kona insted of Hilo.

I LOVE HILO!
It's very relaxed, peaceful, down to earth native Hawaiians, lots of green vegitation and really feels like the place is trapped in time.
I was there in 2000 and we flew SFO-HNL UA 747-200 and then connected Aloha 737-200 HNL-ITO.

I love the place.


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ua2162
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:46 am

If I remember correctly, however, there were plans to move one of the interisland carriers into the overseas lobby, to make the setup more like Lihue Airport on Kauai.

I forget when but this plan was shot down. Right now, they have about three or four helicopter companies at the counters. Hawaiian717 is right, the United and Western names are still clearly visible above the counters.

Sadly, half the terminal is going unused. The ticket counters are being used by the helicopter companies but the gates remain empty.
 
prosa
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RE: Hilo Hawaii-Main Land Direct Flights?..

Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:07 pm

If you go to the tour helicopter side of the ITO terminal, look above the counters where the airline name used to be. Unless it's changed, you can make out the airline names that used to be there (but backwards)... United, Western, etc.

Known as "labelscar."
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"