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 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.
Hawaii hosted nearly 10,000 visitors from Taiwan in 2012, according to the Hawaii 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,” said Mike McCartney, HTA president and CEO. “This new service is critically important as Hawaii 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.