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.