Hawaiian opts out of
Hawaiian Airlines has decided against applying for one of the new air routes being opened up to China, a destination it had sought unsuccessfully two years ago.
"Hawaiian remains interested in serving China and helping to develop its enormous potential as a visitor market for Hawaii, but the current difficulty for citizens of China to get tourist visas from the U.S. government has led us to conclude that a daily service between Hawaii and China is not commercially viable today," spokesman Keoni Wagner said yesterday.
State Department figures released earlier this year indicated that visitors from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou must wait an average of 22 days to obtain a visa to visit the United States.
Hawaiian is one of the carriers that would be eligible to compete for the latest group of U.S.-China routes, which the U.S. Department of Transportation has reserved for airlines that don't already fly to China.
Delta Air Lines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. have already said they will compete for the new routes.
Hawaiian tried for permission in 2005 to fly to China -- proposing a route connecting San Diego, Honolulu and Shanghai -- but lost out to Continental Airlines and American Airlines.