We are pleased that China Eastern Airlines is working with the Hawai’i Department of Transportation to establish nonstop service from Shanghai, China to Honolulu. The new route is an exciting opportunity, as it will be the first regularly scheduled flight between China and Hawai’i. The flight will run twice weekly beginning Aug. 9, 2011.
The Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) projects that approximately 82,000 visitors will arrive in 2011, an increase of 24 percent, with an average per person per day spending of $368. We estimate this new flight will provide up to $60 million in annual visitor expenditures and stimulate new job growth in our islands.
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 route will run from Aug. 2011-Jan. 2012, and are being sold through CTrip and U-tour travel companies.
This new route creates ease and availability for those who travel between Hawai’i and China. 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. This significant milestone is outstanding news for China Eastern Airlines and Hawai’i’s visitor industry.