The Hawai'i Tourism Authority has projected a 7.7 percent growth in air seats to Hawai'i in 2012. This equates to 700,000 more seats to the state.
"As an island state, airlift is essential to a thriving tourist economy," said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of Hawai'i Tourism Authority.
The majority of the seats are coming from Asia, which is up 52.2 percent, with 150,000 additional seats from China and South Korea. Australia and New Zealand seats are up 21.6 percent, despite the recent shutdown of Air Australia. The slack is being taken up by Hawaiian Airlines, Jetstar and Air New Zealand.
These forecasts, based on data from OAG and Sabre ADI, are for total nonstop flights. The 7.7 percent increase is the highest in 10 years. Total capacity is expected to reach 98 percent of 2007 levels by the end of the year.