Closing Hawaii for Korean Visitors: Hawaiian Airlines takes a lead
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Closing Hawaii for Korean tourists was a call made by many in Hawaii, including leaders in the travel and tourism industry and government, but who didn’t want to be named. This was revealed in an eTurboNews survey and article yesterday.
Today, Hawaiian Airlines is the first airline suspending operation between Honolulu and Seoul. The inaugural flight was recorded on January 12, 2011.
The airline is operating five flights a week and mostly brings tourists to the Hawaiian beaches. Now Coronavirus is the reason for the suspension of flights. Visitors currently in Hawaii will be able to book a return trip until March 2. The flight will not operate between March 2 through April 30.
The airline’s CEO Peter Ingram said: “We believe a temporary service suspension is prudent given the escalation of COVID-19 in South Korea and the impact the illness has had on demand for leisure travel from that country. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and extend our support for public health efforts to contain the virus. We apologize for this inconvenience and are working to support impacted guests.”
Service is scheduled to resume on May 1 from Honolulu and May 2 from Seoul, according to the airline.
Hawaiian said it is offering re-accommodations on alternative flights or providing refunds to affected travelers. Currently, many tourists from Korea are vacationing in the Aloha State.