Video screens on a Jet Blue airliner. Courtesy Viasat

Aloha! I find it interesting that so many San Diegans travel so far to vacation in the Islands. Don’t we have comparable beaches and fine weather? Well, apparently, it’s a thing, and vacationing in Hawaii is growing in popularity.

Beginning June 6, Southwest Airlines expands the number of flights from San Diego International to Hawaii, adding service to three additional cities in the islands and adding a second daily flight to Honolulu. 

Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines has now launched nonstop flights to New York’s JFK airport.  Alaska says it now offers nonstop service to 32 destinations from San Diego, more than destinations any other carrier at San Diego International. To be sure, Southwest was the No. 1 carrier flying in and out of SAN with a 42% seat share. Alaska Airlines came in No. 2 with 14% seat share, according to an airport news release. The data was computed for 2020.

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And speaking of air travel. Carlsbad-based satellite service provider Viasat teams with the National Basketball Association to deliver games to millions of travelers in the skies. The partnership allows airline customers to access live and recorded NBA games at no cost while flying. According to a news release, JetBlue will be among the first carriers to offer the new NBA League Pass on Viasat-equipped aircraft. The service launched May 22 with the start of the league’s 2021 playoff series.

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San Diego real estate tech startup Home Bay Technologies launches a service that it claims can make selling a house less stressful “by combining innovative technology with service from highly skilled employee agents.” The company says its new Home Bay Trade-In program enables sellers to access their home equity by “trading it in,” so they have the cash qualify to buy their next house. 

Sellers participating in the program also get an additional week after the close of their house to move into the new home. “No one wants to sell their house before they know where they are moving to,” said Chris Crocker, a former Zillow executive who was recently named Home Bay’s chief executive officer. “Yet most need the equity in their current house to purchase the new one.”

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David Malcolm, president of Kearny Mesa-based rental housing provider Cal West Apartments, joins the leadership council of the National Small Business Association. The 80-year-old Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group boasts more than 65,000 members nationwide, according to its website. Cal West operates more than 2,030 apartments throughout San Diego and southern Riverside County. NSBA bills itself as the nation’s oldest small-business advocacy organization.

Malcolm says he signed onto NSBA’s leadership council to better “tackle the many critical issues facing small business, including tax reform, regulatory restraint, health care costs and impacts of the Affordable Care Act.” 

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Here’s a sweet item. Family-owned Vista baker Little Cakes Kitchen, two-time winner of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, will now be making its confectioneries at Gelson’s Pacific Beach store. The baker has taken over the store’s bakery section, according to a news release. In addition to cupcakes, it will make full-size cakes, cheesecakes, pies, cookies, and other baked goods.

Little Cakes currently sells products at Gelson’s stores in Carlsbad and Del Mar and operates four other locations in San Diego, including its flagship site in Vista, where customers can find 100 cupcake varieties on a rotating basis. The bakery began its partnership with Gelson’s in 2019 in Del Mar.

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San Diego Saint Archer Brewing Co. announces it first venture into the ready-to-drink cocktail market with the release of the Saint Archer Vodka Soda. The new product is now available in Vons, Albertsons and Ralphs. The ready to drink cocktails market is anticipated to reach $1.63 billion by 2027, according to researcher Grand View Research. The market is growing at the rate of 12% annually, according to Grand View.

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Finally…It looks like the hospitality sector is returning to normal. Manchester Grand Hyatt says its Sally’s Fish House & Bar has re-opened for breakfast and lunch Thursdays through Mondays. The eatery plans to add dinner services next month.

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to tom.york@gmail.com.

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