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Hawaiian Airlines says Taipei no more, So. Korea is where the money is
It’s official! Hawaiian Airlines no longer find its Honolulu to Taipei service profitable, hence the airline’s announcement today (March 5, 2014) of its plans to suspend its thrice-weekly service to Taiwan’s capital.
Beginning April, Hawaiian Airlines said the Taipei route will be reassigned – “that route’s 294-seat Airbus 330-200 aircraft to its non-stop service to Seoul, South Korea, which will operate five times per week.”
“The increase in travelers we have come to expect, when the U.S. visa waiver was extended to additional countries, has not materialized in Taiwan, and it became evident very quickly that there is insufficient awareness of Hawaii among residents of Taiwan for non-stop service to be successful,” said Hawaiian Airlines president and chief executive officer Mark Dunkerley, “At the same time, demand in peak travel days in South Korea has encouraged us to deploy our larger A330 aircraft on that route.”
According to Hawaiian Airlines, “up-gauging to the newer A330-200 aircraft will provide South Korean passengers with enhanced amenities including in-seat in-flight entertainment throughout the aircraft and the airline’s new Extra Comfort preferred seating product. The new aircraft will be available on all flights to Incheon International Airport from April 23, 2014.”
Hawaiian Airlines added, “Flight HA807 will operate its final flight from Honolulu to Taipei on Sunday, April 6, 2014. Return Flight HA808 will operate for the final time on Monday, April 7, 2014 from Taipei to Honolulu. Hawaiian Airlines’ reservations department will be contacting passengers booked to fly after that date to accommodate them on other airlines.”
The airline also said it has scheduled new non-stop summer service from Los Angeles and Oakland, California to Kona, Hawaii Island and Līhue, Kauai.
So, who got fired over the Taipei route? Hawaiian Airlines did not say. However, given the short history of Hawaiian with Taiwan, the person who was in charge of opening the Taipei route in the first place should probably start job-hunting.