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Air China to suspend Beijing-Hawaii route starting August 27

Stock MarketsAug 06, 2019 02:40AM ET
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© Reuters. Passengers walk to ticket counters of Air China at a terminal of Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing

By Stella Qiu and Brenda Goh

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Air China will suspend its flights on the Beijing-Hawaii route from Aug. 27 after a review of its network, China's flagship carrier said on Tuesday, as travel demand remains weak amid an escalating U.S.-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.

The passenger load factor - an industry metric that measures how much of an airline's passenger carrying capacity is used - for Air China's thrice-weekly Beijing-Honolulu route averaged 66.37% last year, according to Chinese aviation data provider Variflight.

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

Hong Kong-listed shares of Air China fell 3.5% on Tuesday afternoon, while its Shanghai-listed shares shed 2.8%.

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 CEO 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 U.S.-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 traveling to the United States, citing concerns about gun violence, robberies and thefts.

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

Air China to suspend Beijing-Hawaii route starting August 27
 

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Comments (5)
Jason Zou
Jason Zou Aug 06, 2019 6:18AM ET
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Too many mass shootings in the US, sad.
Lloyd McCord
Lloyd McCord Aug 06, 2019 3:38AM ET
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Thank goodness. My favorite beaches on Oahu should be much more pleasant this winter.
David David
David9 Aug 06, 2019 2:39AM ET
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I told you guys ... China will start to close up business with US. The China Roar is for real this time. Markets worldwide heard the China Roar load and clear today. If Trump continues his tarriffs way, US will be in a deep recession and could face a depression, if he doesn't get a deal with China.
Anthony Santos
Anthony Santos Aug 06, 2019 2:39AM ET
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good now junk made in china will come from superior vendor. Even Hong Kong wants to boot out china out of HK too
Robert Brunswick
Robert Brunswick Aug 06, 2019 12:27AM ET
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Air Who? MAGA
Paul Manefee
Paul Manefee Aug 05, 2019 11:36PM ET
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All Chinese airline were using state sponsorship to pay for the cost of airplane, so they can surpress ticket price so low as to drive out the competitors. In addition, they desperately need the dollars
Paul Manefee
Paul Manefee Aug 05, 2019 11:36PM ET
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But now, their dollar debt is rising....
 
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