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Hawaiian Airlines Begins Nonstop Service to Taiwan

Travelers Today       By    Karen Fredrickson

Updated: Jul 10, 2013 11:15 AM EDT

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Hawaiian Airlines began nonstop service to Taiwan this week, according to USA Today. The new route will put Hawaiian airlines in direct competition with China Airlines, which also has a direct service between Honolulu and Taiwan, a route that has just resumed after being suspended because of weak demand.

The number of visitors from Taiwan has been growing, so airline and state tourism officials are optimistic about the new airline routes.

The new U.S. visa waiver program includes citizens of Taiwan, something Hawaiian Airlines hopes to capitalize on. The visa waiver program permits visa-free travel to the U.S. for eligible travelers visiting for 90-days or less for either business or tourism.

"The demand for service to Hawaii from the Taiwan market has been growing and we are delighted to respond to the strong interest by delivering our new nonstop service to and from Taipei," Mark Dunkerley, the CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, said to the Star-Advertiser. "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."

Hawaiian Airlines will fly nonstop between Honolulu and Taipei three times a week on 294-seat Airbus A330-200 jets. These Taiwan-bound flights will depart Honolulu on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:55 a.m. local times, crossing the International Dateline and landing in Taipei at 6:55 a.m. local time the following morning. The return flights will leave Taipei at 8:55 p.m. and land in Hawaii at 1:10 p.m. on the same day.

The new route continues the aggressive expansion that Hawaiian Airlines has undertaken, connecting Hawaii to Asian countries along the Pacific Rim. Taipei is the carrier's ninth new international route announced by the carrier in less then three years.

Hawaiian Airlines began the expansion in November 2010, when Hawaiian Airlines started flying between Honolulu and Tokyo's Haneda Airport. The airline has also added service to Seoul, Korea, added in 2011, Brisbane, Australia, added in 2012, and Auckland, New Zealand, added in 2013, Osaka, Japan, added in 2011 and Fukuoka and Sapporo, Japan, added in 2012. The airline also plans to add service to Beijing in April 2014, pending government approval.

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