HONOLULU, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaiian Airlines today announced plans to launch nonstop service between Taipei, Taiwan and Honolulu in July 2013, further extending the airline's strategic expansion into Asia.
The new service, which would operate three times a week, capitalizes 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," said 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."
Hawaiian will operate the Taipei-Honolulu route using its new 294-seat, wide-body Airbus A330-200 aircraft, 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 nonstop service from Taipei will be significant for Hawai'i.
"This new nonstop 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," commented 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."
"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 nonstop 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 Per Capita GDP in Asia.
Along with being a vibrant center of culture and pop Chinese entertainment, Taiwan is known for towering mountains, lush forests, an abundance of scenic attractions, and warm weather year-round.
Taiwan travelers flying with Hawaiian will enjoy an inflight experience not offered by any other airline in the world. From the moment they board, Hawaiian's signature 'Mea Ho'okipa' (translation: I am host) onboard service will engage them throughout the flight with its warm and friendly celebration of the culture, people, and Aloha Spirit of the Hawaiian Islands.
The comfort, roominess and amenities of Hawaiian's new A330 aircraft will add to the enjoyment of customers' travel experience.
With high-resolution LCD touch-screen monitors in each seatback, the A330's state-of-the-art entertainment system lets customers choose from a wide range of movies, TV programs, music, and video games, while also offering a USB port for the use of their own personal media players. Customers sitting in Business Class will also enjoy iPOD compatibility.
Taipei will be the ninth new gateway that Hawaiian has introduced or announced new service to since November 2010, following Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Sapporo, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; New York City; Brisbane, Australia; and Auckland, New Zealand (March 13, 2013).
Information on the flight schedule and purchasing of tickets will be announced at a later date.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past eight years (2004-2011) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the highest of all domestic airlines serving Hawai'i.
Now in its 84th year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawai'i's biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawai'i from more U.S. gateway cities (11) than any other airline, along with service from Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. New nonstop service will begin between Honolulu and Auckland, New Zealand (March 13, 2013) and Taipei, Taiwan (July 2013). Hawaiian also provides approximately 170 daily jet flights between the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com. Follow updates on Twitter about Hawaiian (@HawaiianAir) and its special fare offers (@HawaiianFares), and become a fan on its Facebook page (Hawaiian Airlines).
SOURCE Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.