Hawaiian drops Taipei citing poor performance

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Hawaiian Airlines will end service to Taipei in April, less than a year since it began service.

The carrier will end its three-times weekly flight between Honolulu International and Taipei Taoyuan International airports on 7 April, with the final westbound service the day before, Hawaiian confirms. It operates a 294-seat Airbus A330-200 on the route.

Hawaiian began Honolulu-Taipei flights in July 2013 following Taiwan joining the US visa waiver programme in November 2012.

“Taiwan's participation in the US visa waiver programme didn't stimulate demand among residents to the degree we anticipated,” says the airline. “There simply wasn't enough demand or awareness of Hawaii in Taiwan for nonstop service to be successful.”

Hawaiian also faced competition from China Airlines on the route. The Taiwanese carrier announced that it would add a Honolulu-Taipei flight two months after Hawaiian announced in December 2012 that it would enter the market.

The two carriers will continue to codeshare on the route, with Hawaiian placing its code on flights between Honolulu and Taipei operated by China Airlines, says the former.

Hawaiian chief executive Mark Dunkerley reemphasised the importance of markets in emerging Asia to the airline during a speech at the Wings Club in New York on 4 March.

“[Emerging Asia] really is a terrific, terrific opportunity for Hawaiian Airlines and Hawaii,” he said.

Commenting on the carrier’s recent decision to end service to Fukuoka, Dunkerley told Flightglobal that, while Hawaiian’s Japan franchise is doing well as a whole, Fukuoka underperformed its expectations.

Hawaiian will begin new three-times weekly service between Honolulu and Beijing on 16 April.