Air China to suspend Beijing-Hawaii flights from Aug 27

Passenger load factor for Air China's thrice-weekly Beijing-Honolulu route averaged 66.37 per cent last year, well below the average load factor for its international flights last year.
Passenger load factor for Air China's thrice-weekly Beijing-Honolulu route averaged 66.37 per cent last year, well below the average load factor for its international flights last year.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Air China will suspend its flights from Beijing to Hawaii from Aug 27 after a review of its network, China's flagship carrier said on Tuesday (Aug 6) as travel demand remains weak amid an escalating United States-China trade war.

Passengers who have purchased tickets for travel after that date will receive a full refund, Air China said in a statement on its website.

Passenger load factor for Air China's thrice-weekly Beijing-Honolulu route averaged 66.37 per cent last year, according to Chinese aviation data provider Variflight.

That was well below the average load factor of 76.69 per cent for Air China's international flights last year.

Hawaiian Airlines last year pulled out of the same non-stop service between Honolulu and Beijing, which it opened in 2014, citing slower-than-expected growth in demand.

Its chief executive officer Mr Peter Ingram said the route was suspended due to lack of growth and not because of trade tensions with China.

The Air China announcement comes at a sensitive time in US-China relations as the world's two biggest economies are locked in a year-long trade war that has disrupted global supply chains and rattled financial markets.

 
 

Beijing in June issued a travel advisory warning Chinese tourists about the risks of travelling to the US, citing concerns about gun violence, robberies and thefts.

The number of Chinese tourists arriving in the US posted the first decline last year in 15 years, according to US data.