HONOLULU, July 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaiian Airlines today launched non-stop service to Taipei, Taiwan, the latest addition to its expanding international network and seventh Asian gateway destination.
The departure of HA 807 followed gate side festivities that included Hawaiian music and hula, performance honoring the Taiwanese culture, traditional Hawaiian blessing, and presentation of lei to passengers boarding the inaugural flight. Remarks were given by Hawai'i Governor Neil Abercrombie, who was one of several VIP guests on the inaugural flight; V.C. Chu, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Honolulu; and Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer.
"The demand for service to Hawai'i from the Taiwan market has been growing and we are delighted to respond to the strong interest by delivering our new non-stop service to and from Taipei," said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines president and CEO. "The Hawaiian Islands are the ideal midpoint destination, perfectly situated to offer dual-destination trips with easy connections between Taipei and our 11 gateways in the U.S."
Today's inaugural capitalizes on the extension of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program to cover citizens of Taiwan. Taipei is the capital city and economic center of Taiwan, and the surrounding metropolitan area of Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung is 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.
"The historical and cultural ties between Hawai'i and Taiwan continue to be strong as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our sister-state relationship. I congratulate Hawaiian Airlines for capitalizing on Taiwan's entrance into the Visa Waiver Program with new air service that will strengthen our connection with Taiwan," said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. "This service will create new business opportunities, and allow our friends in Taiwan to enjoy the beauty of Hawai'i and our families here to explore the abundant scenic attractions available in Taiwan."
Hawai'i hosted nearly 10,000 visitors from Taiwan in 2012, according to the Hawai'i Tourism Authority (HTA), which expects arrival numbers to grow substantially with Visa restrictions lifted. "This new Hawaiian Airlines flight fits into our strategy of global market diversification," commented Mike McCartney, HTA president and CEO. "This new service is critically important as Hawai'i strives to become a major hub for that region in Asia."
Hawaiian Airlines will operate three flights a week between Honolulu and Taipei using a 294-seat A330-200 aircraft. Flight HA 807 departs Honolulu International Airport at 1:55 a.m. every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, crosses the international dateline, and lands at Taipei International Airport at 6:15 a.m. the following day.
The return Flight HA 808 departs Taipei at 8:55 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, crosses the international dateline, and arrives in Honolulu at 1:10 p.m. the same day.
Travelers on Hawaiian Airlines enjoy an inflight 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' new A330 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 Taipei and Hawai'i with complimentary meals, drinks and blankets, as well as selected in-seat video entertainment on its A330 aircraft.
The addition of Taipei to Hawaiian Airlines' international network follows the launches of service to Tokyo in November 2010, Seoul in January 2011, Osaka in July 2011, Fukuoka in April 2012, New York in June 2012, Sapporo in October 2012, Brisbane in November 2012, Auckland in March 2013 and Sendai in June 2013. New non-stop service will begin between Honolulu and Beijing, China in April 2014, subject to government approvals.
U.S. travelers may purchase tickets online for any of Hawaiian Airline' flights at www.hawaiianairlines.com, or by calling Hawaiian's reservations department toll-free at 1-800-367-5320 or through any professional travel agent. Chinese-speaking travelers may obtain more information, make reservations and purchase tickets on Hawaiian Airlines through its website at www.hawaiianairlines.com.tw or by calling Hawaiian's sales office in Taipei at +886-2-2508-0886.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past nine years (2004-2012) 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, New Zealand, American Samoa, and Tahiti. New nonstop service will begin between Honolulu and Beijing, China in April 2014, subject to government approvals. Hawaiian also provides approximately 160 jet flights daily 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
Ann Botticelli, (808) 838-6758, Ann.Botticelli@HawaiianAir.com