Virgin America adds San Francisco-Kahului route

Travelers headed to and from the Bay Area now have another airline to choose from.

On Thursday, Virgin America added another route between the islands and San Francisco with a route to Kahului, Maui. The airline began flying to Hawaii on Nov. 2 with an inaugural flight from San Francisco to Honolulu.

Gov. David Ige and other dignitaries were on hand for the welcome ceremony at Honolulu Intenational Airport.

Among those on board the inaugural flight were Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson as well as Hawaii Tourism Authority president George Szigeti.

The two new routes are expected to generate more than $138 million in visitor spending.

“We’ve been waiting for this moment for some years and finally it’s come,” Branson said, “and I think all the people who fly Virgin have equally been waiting for it.”

The airline said by the middle of next year, its Wi-Fi service and live TV options will be available on its Hawaii flights.

As for expanding, Branson said flights between Los Angeles and Honolulu are in the works.

San Francisco-Honolulu flights will depart daily at 7:45 a.m. SF time. Honolulu-San Francisco flights will depart daily at 12:55 p.m. Hawaii time.

San Francisco-Kahului flights will depart 7:55 a.m. SF time Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday; and 6:05 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Kahului-San Francisco flights will depart 1:10 p.m. Hawaii time Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday; and 11:20 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

New Airbus A320 aircraft are being used on the Hawaii routes.

Virgin America and partner Airbnb announced that the companies will pledge $100,000 (in cash, flights and Airbnb accommodation credits) to Make-A-Wish Hawaii.

The airline itself is providing $25,000 to support the education programs of Punana Leo.

For more information, visit virginamerica.com.

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