http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/102dafbb6e65492a81235d6c968220ec/Direct-Mainland-Flight/ A United Airlines direct flight between Hilo and the mainland returns this week. Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Sunday direct flights between Hilo and the mainland haven't been provided by a major carrier since United canceled that service in 1983. ATA Airlines flew between Oakland and Hilo for less than two years before it went out of business in April 2008. The first daily flight is to arrive at Hilo International Airport from Los Angeles on Thursday night. Big Island Visitors Bureau Executive Director George Applegate says a curtain of water from airport fire trucks, lei greeters, children hula dancers and other entertainment are to greet the 160-seat Boeing 737-800. He says the flights are an opportunity to boost the island's tourism industry.