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Out of all the momentous events of 1959, perhaps none did quite as much to jump-start the following decade of growth and prosperity in the Islands as the arrival of regular jet service between Hawaii and the Mainland.
In its September 1959 issue devoted to the birth of the jet age, Paradise of the Pacific enthused, “Its impact in this ocean hemisphere will shatter the isolation of vast overwater distances. … Soon, no major city on earth will be more than a day’s flying time from Honolulu International Airport.”
It was true. Pan American Airways’s Boeing 707 jetliners arrived first, shortly followed by United Airlines’ DC-8s and jets from Canada, Japan and Britain, bringing a flood of new travelers into Hawaii, more, in fact, than our existing hotels could accommodate, and sparking a rush of new development in Waikīkī. No longer was Hawaii the exclusive refuge of the wealthy few.