HONOLULU, April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaiian Airlines has reached a new milestone today as it launched three-times weekly non-stop service to Beijing, the latest addition to its expanded international network and first mainland China destination.
The departure of Flight HA 897 was preceded by festivities at the boarding gate at Honolulu International Airport (HNL) that included Hawaiian music and hula, a Chinese cultural fan dance performance by Phoenix Dance Chamber, a traditional Hawaiian blessing and presentation of lei to more than 200 passengers boarding the inaugural flight.
Remarks were given by Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer; Mike McCartney, Hawai'i Tourism Authority (HTA) president and chief executive officer; and Vice-Consul General Lixin Bian and Assistant Consul General Shousheng Zhao, both of the Consulate General of People's Republic of China in Los Angeles.
"Service to China has long been an aspiration of Hawaiian and the entire Hawaii tourism community, making today's inaugural flight an especially meaningful event," said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines president and chief executive officer. "Travelers on our Beijing-Honolulu route will experience the special presentation of our authentic Hawaiian hospitality that has earned the loyalty of customers around the world."
Hawaiian Airlines' new non-stop service between Honolulu and Beijing will add nearly 50,000 seats to both travel markets. According to HTA, the state's official tourism agency, Hawai'i welcomed more than 132,000 visitors from China in 2013, and projects an increase of 37 percent in 2014. In addition, the China market is the highest spending visitor market with an average of $397 per person per day spending.
"Hawaiian Airlines' new Beijing to Honolulu route will help to support our efforts to attract more visitors from the developing Asia market," said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawai'i Tourism Authority (HTA). "China is a vastly growing region for the state's tourism economy and we anticipate this flight to provide an estimated $81.06 million in annual visitor spending and $8.47 million in state tax revenue."
Starting today, Hawaiian Airlines operates three flights a week between Honolulu and Beijing using a 294-seat A330-200 aircraft. Flight HA 897 departs HNL at 12:01 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, crosses the international dateline, and lands at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) at 5:55 a.m. the following day.
Return Flight HA 898 departs Beijing at 1:05 a.m. every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, crosses the international dateline, and arrives in Honolulu at 4:40 p.m. the previous day (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday).
Travelers on Hawaiian Airlines enjoy an in-flight experience not offered by any other airline. From the moment they board, Hawaiian Airlines' signature Mea Ho'okipa (translation: I am host) onboard hospitality engages 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 Airlines' A330-200 aircraft adds to the enjoyment of customers' travel experience on the new route. 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.
As a full-service leisure carrier, Hawaiian Airlines provides all of its passengers between Beijing and Hawai'i with complimentary meals, drinks and blankets, as well as selected in-seat video entertainment on its A330 aircraft.
Members of HawaiianMiles, Hawaiian Airlines' frequent flyer program, can immediately start earning and redeeming mileage for travel on the new route. New members can enroll for free online at HawaiianAirlines.com and take advantage of membership benefits right away.
Travelers in Beijing can book tickets through their favorite travel agent or by calling Hawaiian Airlines' sales office in Beijing at +86-10-8522-7835. For English-speaking travelers, tickets can be purchased through any travel agent or by calling Hawaiian's Reservations Department toll-free at (800) 367-5320. Tickets can be purchased online at HawaiianAirlines.com in the U.S. and HawaiianAirlines.com.cn in China.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian® has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past 10 years (2004-2013) 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 85th 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, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tahiti. New nonstop service will begin between Honolulu and Beijing, China in April 2014, subject to government approval. Hawaiian also provides approximately 160 jet flights daily between the Hawaiian Islands.