United Airlines will launch daily nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport and Hilo today with flights operated by Continental Airlines.
The flights depart Los Angeles at 5 p.m. local time and arrive in Hilo at 7:40 p.m.
The inaugural flight will be flown by Hilo native Lance Lau, a Contintental pilot and B737 flight instructor.
This arrival of the first nonstop LA-to-Hilo flight in some 20 years will be met with lei greeters and Hawaiian entertainment, according to a Big Island Visitors Bureau statement. The return flight will depart at 8:55 p.m.
United also will begin a once-weekly nonstop flight to Hilo from San Francisco beginning June 11, also to be operated by Continental. A direct Oakland-to-Hilo flight was discontinued in 2008 with the collapse of ATA.