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Updated Feb 8, 2013 - 12:03 pm

Atta poi: Allegiant, Gateway kick off nonstop service to Hawaii

MESA, Ariz. -- There's a new way to get from the Valley to Hawaii.

Allegiant Air celebrated its inaugural flight from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to Honolulu on Friday morning.

"It's been a long process for us as an airline," said Eric Fletcher, Allegiant's manager of airports. "It takes special certification for from the government to be able to fly extended operations over water so it's been a couple years in the making."

Over 200 passengers on the first flight were served free coffee and doughnuts, while luau dancers performed to live Hawaiian music at the security checkpoint.

"They'll be flying directly to Honolulu and they'll be able to hit the beach before lunchtime," said Fletcher.

The airline has scheduled three nonstop flights a week from Gateway to Honolulu.

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