Air China launches first route to Hawaii

Air China’s Beijing to Honolulu

Air China celebrated the arrival of its first flight in Hawaii with some traditional local hospitality, a cake (and some Ferrero Rocher), and a banner. It becomes the second carrier after China Eastern Airlines to serve the Hawaiian market non-stop from China. (Photos: Air China)

  • Air China began thrice-weekly flights from Beijing (PEK) to Honolulu, HI (HNL) on 21 January. Service on the 8,145-kilometre route will be provided by the Star Alliance carrier’s A330-200s. There is no direct competition on the route, the only other non-stop service between Hawaii and China being China Eastern Airlines’ daily flights between Shanghai and Honolulu. The Hawaiian air travel market is examined in more detail in this week’s anna.aero country market analysis. Mike McCartney, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) said, “China is a tremendous market for our tourism economy and this new route will provide greater ease of access to our Hawaiian Islands. The process to obtain a US visa in China has also improved, which will support our efforts to grow this expansive market.” HTA estimates the flight will provide $80.4 million in visitor spending and $8.6 million in state tax revenue annually. Mr. Wang Mingyuan, Vice President of Air China, said: “As a major airline in China and a member of the Star Alliance, Air China has always been committed to providing our passengers with convenient, high quality service. One of our goals is to create an internationally competitive network and this newly launched Beijing to Honolulu direct route is in line with our strategies. We hope that our extensive network of routes and convenient, quality flight experience will drive more visitors from around the world to the Hawaiian Islands.” During the first 11 months of 2013, Hawaii welcomed more than 123,000 visitors from China. This year, HTA expects to welcome 182,000 visitors, an increase of over 20%. The China market is the highest spending visitor market with an average of $392 per person per day spending.

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