Hawaiian Airlines is planning to launch non-stop service between Taiwan’s capital Taipei and Honolulu in July 2013, extending the airline’s strategic expansion into Asia.
According to Hawaiian Airlines, the new service – which will operate three times a week – will capitalize on the extension of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program to cover citizens of Taiwan.
“We have long known that there is demand for a Hawai’i vacation in Taiwan, but visits have been impeded by the cost, complexity and time it has taken its citizens to apply for a U.S. visitor visa. Now that Taiwan is part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, we are delighted to be adding Taipei as the latest city in Hawaiian’s growing Asia network,” says Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and chief executive officer.
“Our new service will also offer a convenient new way for many in Hawai’i and in our mainland U.S. cities to connect with family, create new business relationships or visit Taiwan,” adds Dunkerley.
Hawaiian will operate the Taipei-Honolulu route using 294-seat Airbus A330-200 widebodies, adding nearly 46,000 new air seats to the market annually to the benefit of Hawai’i’s visitor industry. According to the Hawai’i Tourism Authority, the economic impact of restoring non-stop service from Taipei will be significant for Hawai’i.
“This new non-stop service connecting Taiwan and Honolulu following Taiwan’s entrance to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program will help to expand the vastly growing Other Asia market,” says Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawai’i Tourism Authority. “We anticipate reaching 10,642 visitors from Taiwan in 2012 and this new flight will help to further increase arrivals from this region.”
Adds McCartney: “Following Korea’s entrance to the Visa Waiver Program, arrivals from Korea have increased by double-digits year over year. With the re-establishment of non-stop service, we would anticipate seeing similar growth from Taiwan.”
Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan and its economic center, with the surrounding metropolitan area of Taipei, New Taipei, and Keelung being home to nearly seven million people. As a whole, Taiwan has more than 23 million people and is considered one of the four “Asian Tiger Economies”, with one of the highest GDPs per capita in Asia, according to Hawaiian Airlines.
Along with being a vibrant center of culture and pop Chinese entertainment, Taiwan is known for its mountains, forests, an abundance of scenic attractions and warm weather year-round.
Taipei will be the ninth new gateway that Hawaiian has introduced since November 2010, following Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Sapporo in Japan; Seoul, South Korea; New York City; Brisbane, Australia; and Auckland, New Zealand (which will see Hawaiian Airlines service from March 13, 2013).
Hawaiian says it will provide information on its Honolulu-Taipei flight schedule and flight purchase at a later date.