Hawaiian Airlines, which expected great promise from China and spent about a decade trying to get the green light to initiate service, has suspended its only route there after about four years due to low demand.
The state’s largest carrier said today it will suspend its thrice-weekly nonstop service between Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport upon the completion of the National Day Golden Week holiday in October.
“These decisions are never easy and this one is especially difficult because we believe in China’s future as a robust market for the Hawaiian vacation experience and we will continue to market one-stop options to Honolulu from cities throughout China on our airline partners,’’ Hawaiian President and CEO Peter Ingram said in a statement.
Hawaiian, which started the service in April 2014, said it will re-deploy its 278-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft elsewhere in its network consistent with its expansion plans.
“We have enjoyed sharing our Hawaiian hospitality with thousands of our Chinese guests, and will continue to invest in raising awareness of the beauty and grace of the Hawaiian Islands with a determination to return to China with nonstop service,’’ Ingram said.
Hawaiian spokeswoman Ann Botticelli said the market was slow to mature.
The airline said it will suspend its Beijing service after the Oct. 1-7 National Day Golden Week holiday to minimize disruptions to guests. Flight 897 is scheduled to depart Honolulu at 11:55 p.m. on Oct 9 and arrive in Beijing on Oct. 11 at 5:10 a.m. Flight 898 will depart Beijing at 1 a.m. on Oct. 12 and arrive in Honolulu at 5 p.m. on Oct. 11.
Guests holding tickets for flights beyond the end of regular scheduled service will be offered a full refund, or the option of traveling on earlier dates on available Hawaiian flights, as well as via partner airlines.