Hawaiian Airlines stops Honolulu-Manila direct flights

By Recto Mercene, BusinessMirror

Posted at May 01 2013 08:17 AM | Updated as of May 01 2013 04:17 PM

MANILA -- Hawaiian Airlines, the 11th-largest commercial airline in the US, will stop direct flights to Manila in July after five years of service, citing fuel and fare issues.

"High fuel prices and low fares have plagued this particular route and while we have made several efforts to improve the economic performance of our Manila service, including adjusting our flight schedule to optimize connections and upgrading to newer A330 aircraft, we’ve concluded that the route will not be a commercial success,” Hawaiian Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Peter Ingram said.

Based in Honolulu, Hawaiian Airlines began its four-a-week Honolulu-Manila-Honolulu service in April 2008. It has a ticketing office in Makati City.

A statement said the carrier’s Flight HA 455 would make its final trip from Honolulu to Manila on July 31, while Flight HA 456 would make a final return from Manila to Honolulu on August 1, 2013.

The company said the airline’s reservations department would make arrangements with other airlines serving Manila to accommodate customers, who earlier bought tickets and made reservations for flights past August 1, 2013. Affected passengers would get new accommodations.

The airline said it would continue to accept reservations for travel prior to the discontinuation date, provided all travel is completed by August 1, 2013.

It added that while it would discontinue its non-stop flights to Manila, it would add new flights to Beijing, China, by April 2014.

“A scheduled flight between China and Hawaii has long been an aspiration of Hawaiian and the travel industry in our state, and as the barriers to visitor travel from China to the United States slowly come down, we believe there will be significant demand for a Hawaii vacation and Hawaiian Airlines,” company President and Chief Executive Mark Dunkerley said.

He added that Hawaiian Airlines is in a great position to offer the multi-stop itinerary that many visitors from China prefer due to its network of flights between the islands and from Hawaii to 11 cities in the US mainland.

Dunkerly said the airline’s non-stop service to Beijing would give China greater access to Hawaii, which was expected to become one of China’s most important visitor destinations.

Hawaiian Airlines also flies to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tahiti. It also flies to Hawaii from 11 US cities.

The company said it is proud to put on record that Hawaiian Airlines has never had a fatal accident in its entire history, nor has it ever had an accident with a hull loss, and is the oldest US carrier with such a distinction in both fields.

Hawaiian Airlines was the No. 1 on-time carrier in the United States from November 2003 until November 2006, when rival Aloha Airlines took the top spot, pushing Hawaiian to a close second.

The airline has also frequently been No. 1 in fewest cancellations, baggage handling and over-sales.

It has been rated the best carrier serving Hawaii by Travel + Leisure, Zagat and Condé Nast Traveler.