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updated 3/25/2011 12:00:06 PM ET 2011-03-25T16:00:06

Alaska Airlines is adding more flights linking northern California and Hawaii.

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The Seattle-based airline, which is operated by Alaska Air Group Inc., said Thursday it plans to fly nonstop flights from San Jose and Oakland to Lihue, Kauai starting March 27.

Flights will depart from San Jose three days a week. Flights in Oakland will depart four days a week.

Alaska plans to use Boeing 737-800 airplanes that seat 16 in first class and 141 in economy on the routes. The new service will add more than 57,000 seats annually to Kauai's tourism economy.

The news comes as the Hawaiian Tourism Authority looks for ways to offset an expected drop in tourists in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that have devastated Japan.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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