Hawaiian Airlines plans to launch non-stop service between Honolulu and China’s capital Beijing in April 2014, pending approvals by U.S. and Chinese regulatory agencies.
The new service, which would introduce Hawaiian Airlines’ 10th new international destination since November 2010, would allow visitors from China’s capital city to access Hawaiian’s network serving the Hawaiian Islands and U.S. mainland.
“A scheduled flight between China and Hawai’i has long been an aspiration of Hawaiian and the travel industry in our state, and as the barriers to visitor travel from China to the United States slowly come down, we believe there will be significant demand for a Hawai’i vacation and Hawaiian Airlines,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines’ president and CEO.
“With our network of flights between the islands and from Hawai’i to 11 cities in the U.S. mainland, Hawaiian is in a great position to offer the multi-stop itinerary that many visitors from China prefer,” added Dunkerley.
The Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) estimates the new service would generate $81 million in annual visitor expenditures and $8.47 million in tax revenue for Hawai’i.
“This new non-stop service will help to significantly grow visitor arrivals and expenditures from our highest-spending visitor market,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA.
“The China market continues to grow year-over-year, and we anticipate further growth in 2013, targeting double-digit increases in arrivals (25 percent, to 144,910 visitors) and expenditures (27 percent, to $348 million),” said McCartney.
If it receives the required regulatory approvals, Hawaiian Airlines will launch its new service to Beijing from Honolulu on April 16, 2014 and will operate three round-trips each week using a 294-seat Airbus A330-200.
The flight would be the only non-stop service between Honolulu and Beijing, which has a population of more than 20 million.
Subject to government approvals, Hawaiian’s flight HA887 will depart Honolulu International Airport (IATA code HNL) at 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, cross the international dateline, and land at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) at 7:30 p.m. the following day.
Hawaiian’s flight HA 888 will depart PEK at 9:30 p.m. every Monday, Thursday and Saturday, cross the international dateline, and land at HNL at 1:05 p.m. the same day.
In other April 10 route news, Hawaiian Airlines also announced it will discontinue its under-performing non-stop Manila service this summer.
Hawaiian Airlines flight HA455 will make its final trip from Honolulu to Manila on July 31, and HA 456 will make its final return from Manila to Honolulu on August 1. The service, which operates four times each week, was inaugurated in April 2008.
The airline says its reservations department will make arrangements with other airlines serving Manila to accommodate customers who have ticketed reservations after Aug. 1, and will be contacting affected passengers with new accommodations.
Hawaiian Airlines will continue to accept reservations for Honolulu-Manila travel prior to the discontinuation date, provided all travel is completed by August 1.
“High fuel prices and low fares have plagued this particular route and while we have made several efforts to improve the economic performance of our Manila service, including adjusting our flight schedule to optimize connections and upgrading to newer A330 aircraft, we’ve concluded that the route will not be a commercial success,” said Peter Ingram, Hawaiian’s chief commercial officer.