China Eastern Airlines and Hawaii direct flights from Shanghai

China Eastern Airlines and the Hawaii state Department of Transportation have agreed to implement direct flights from Shanghai to Honolulu with service starting August 9, 2011. The flights will run twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays) and will bring in an estimated $60 million in annual visitor expenditures. The Hawaii Tourism Authority estimates that the China flights to Hawaii will bring in 82,000 Chinese visitors. Demand for direct airline routes to Hawaii is high in the Asian country. Chinese travelers currently must travel to Korea or Japan before flying to Honolulu. In January, China Eastern Airlines tested the market with three charter flights that brought almost a thousand visitors to Honolulu and generated approximately $1.7 million. CTrip and U-Tour travel companies will be the first agencies to sell the direct Shanghai to Hawaii flights. Plans for a similar flight route were discussed in 2009 when China’s Hainan Airlines applied for nonstop service From Beijing. Those plans were never realized. This new route has been called a milestone in International to Hawaii tourist history.

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