Flights will begin August 9
POSTED: 10:38 a.m. HST, Jun 15, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 12:23 p.m. HST, Jun 15, 2011
China Eastern Airlines is working with the state Department of Transportation to establish nonstop twice-weekly Shanghai-to-Honolulu service beginning Aug. 9.
The flights would represent the first regularly scheduled service between China and Hawaii. The new service is projected to bring about 82,000 Chinese visitors to Hawaii this year, an increase of 24 percent, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
"This significant milestone is outstanding news for China Eastern Airlines and Hawai'i's visitor industry," HTA said in a statement.
The HTA estimates Chinese visitors' average spending per day is $368, bringing the state up to $60 million in annual visitor spending and stimulating job growth.
"The new route is an exciting opportunity, as it will be the first regularly scheduled flight between China and Hawai'i," HTA said.
HTA said that China Eastern Airlines ran three charter flights between Jan. 30-Feb. 10, 2011, which provided 777 air seats and generated an estimated $1.7 million in direct visitor expenditures. The first 50 flights of the new route will run from Aug. 2011-Jan. 2012, and are being sold through CTrip and U-tour travel companies, HTA said.
"This new route creates ease and availability for those who travel between Hawai'i and China," HTA said. "Prior to this, travelers from China were routed through Korea or Japan. Shanghai is a major Asian hub and we anticipate that visitors from all over China and other parts of Asia will utilize this route."
"The HTA is committed to increasing airlift to and from China in collaboration with Hawai'i Tourism China and Hawai'i's visitor industry to ensure the long-term success and continuation of the new route," HTA said.