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Time for some good news: Hainan Airlines poised to fly to Honolulu

Hainan Airlines has applied to the federal and state transportation departments ahead of flying directly to Honolulu. Flights may start as early as this fall. (Photo courtesy of The Governor's Office)

Hainan Airlines has applied to the federal and state transportation departments ahead of flying directly to Honolulu. Flights may start as early as this fall. (Photo courtesy of The Governor's Office)

MEDIA RELEASE

Hainan Airlines, China’s largest non-state owned airline, has applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation and Hawaii Department of Transportation to operate the first nonstop scheduled service from The People’s Republic of China to Hawaii.

Hainan Airlines will operate a three-class Airbus A340-600 on the first nonstop route between China and Hawaii, according to Gov. Linda Lingle’s office.

Once approved, service between Beijing and Honolulu will operate once a week beginning this fall, with a specific start date to be announced. Hainan plans to eventually increase the frequency of the Beijing-Honolulu service up to three flights a week as demand builds.

The new service is primarily targeted at Chinese visitors, a growing market even in the current economic downturn. 

The Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and China for leisure travel has spurred demand for service to Hawaii.

“We are excited to be able to finally bridge Hawaii to China and to link the two capital cities of Beijing and Honolulu,” said Joel Chusid, general manager for North America for Hainan Airlines, who noted the company headquarters is in Hainan Island, considered the ‘Hawaii of China.’ 

“We also expect that some of our travelers will use Hawaii as an alternative gateway for travel between China and the United States mainland, which can provide convenience and reduced travel time,” Chusid said. “Visits to Hawaii’s neighbor islands are also anticipated.”

Lingle met with Chusid and other Hainan Airlines officials earlier this year. 

“Hainan Airlines’ new service to Hawaii builds on our efforts to increase visitors from emerging markets and also strengthens our ongoing relationship with the China National Tourism Administration to increase two-way travel between Hawaii and China,” she said.

Founded in 1993, Hainan Airlines carries more than 14 million passengers annually and flies to more than 60 domestic and international cities, including the capitals of every Chinese province.

2 Responses to “Time for some good news: Hainan Airlines poised to fly to Honolulu”

  1. Whatever helps to get more tourists to Hawaii has my full support.

    Rick

  2. This is a great news for Hawaii. Back in the 80's we have the Singapore Airlines…Flight QE1 direct flight from Hong Kong to Honolulu. __It is about time to have a new competitor with anticipate of increase of visitors from China. Hopes Hawaii will continue to build good relationsip with the China National Tourism. Like we did with JAL back in the old days.

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