Following five years of disappointing payloads, Hawaiian Airlines has decided to end flights linking Honolulu, Hawaii, with Manila, capital of the Philippines. The last flight will depart from Manila International Airport on 1 August 2013.
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Greater China's Gain?
But the Philippines' loss is clearly Greater China's gain.
Hawaiian Airlines plans to launch flights to Beijing in April 2014, pending approval by government agencies in the United States and China. Hawaiian previously announced plans to launch flights to Taipei, Taiwan, on 9 July 2013. Could Hong Kong be far away?
The Manila route, the longest in the Hawaiian network, was generating passenger revenue per available seat mile that was 40% below that of Hawaiian's second longest route to Sydney, Australia, which was highly profitable.
"A scheduled flight between China and Hawaii 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 Hawaii vacation and Hawaiian Airlines," says Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines' President and CEO.
"With our network of flights between the islands and from Hawaii 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."
According to the Hawai'i Tourism Authority, Hawaiian Airlines' new service linking Honolulu with Beijing will generate US$81 million in annual visitor expenditures and US$8.47 million in tax revenue for Hawaii.
"This new non-stop service will help to significantly grow visitor arrivals and expenditures from our highest spending visitor market," says 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% to 144,910 visitors) and expenditures (+27% to $348 million)."
The new service will be launched from Honolulu on 16 April 2014. It will operate three times each week using a 294-seat A330 aircraft. It will be the only non-stop service between Honolulu and Beijing, which has a population of more than 20 million.
Hawaiian Airlines 101
As Hawaii's largest air carrier, Hawaiian Airlines has about 160 daily inter island flights within the state of Hawaii. Hawaiian Airlines flies non stop to Honolulu from 11 airports on the US mainland.
Some cities also have non stop flights to Kahului on the neighbor island of Maui, which has become an increasingly popular travel destination in recent years. Maui has great beaches, fabulous hotels and resorts, wonderful spas, and fantastic restaurants.
Hawaiian Airlines has flights linking Honolulu with two cities in Australia: Brisbane and Sydney. It also flies from Honolulu to Auckland, New Zealand; Pago Pago, American Samoa; Papeete, Tahiti; and Seoul, South Korea.
Hawaiian Airlines currently flies to four cities in Japan: Fukuoka, Osaka, Sapporo, and Tokyo (Haneda). A fifth travel destination – Sendai – will be added this year.
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