There have been no nonstop flights to Honolulu from the Twin Cities since Delta discontinued the service a few years ago. Surprising, really, when you consider how much Minnesotans cherish their tropical getaways.
More surprising is that the situation persists despite unprecedented efforts by the Metropolitan Airports Commission — the public corporation that operates Minneapolis-St. Paul International — to lure an airline into offering nonstop service between MSP and any of the Hawaiian Islands.
“We are offering to waive up to one year’s worth of landing fees, one year’s worth of gate fees and to provide a $100,000 marketing match to help defray the costs of marketing the new service to the community,” MAC spokesman Patrick Hogan wrote in an e-mail. “We make a pitch to airlines for this service — even if only on a seasonal basis — two to three times a year.
“So far, though, we haven’t had any takers,” he added.
Though MAC negotiates with airlines to offer services that benefit the airport and our community, these incentives for nonstops to Hawaii are the first its has offered for a domestic route.
One person keeping fingers crossed is the woman who wrote to me asking if she will ever again be able to hop on a plane in Minnesota headed straight to the Aloha State. Other hopefuls likely include the 191 passengers per day who traveled between MSP and airports in Hawaii in 2013.
In just the first quarter, there were 364 daily passengers. According to Hogan, “Clearly, there is demand for the service, particularly during the winter months.”
Send your questions or tips to travel editor Kerri Westenberg at email@example.com, and follow her on twitter @kerriwestenberg.