Air China to suspend Beijing-Hawaii flights as demand falls

Air China is suspending its Beijing-Hawaii route after reporting weak demand. (Reuters)
Updated 06 August 2019

Air China to suspend Beijing-Hawaii flights as demand falls

  • Hong Kong-listed shares of Air China fell 3.5 percent on Tuesday afternoon

BEIJING: 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, as travel demand remains weak amid the US-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 percent last year, according to Chinese aviation data provider VariFlight. That was well below the average load factor of 76.69 percent for Air China’s international flights last year.

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

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 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 traveling 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.


Saudi companies display latest technologies at Dubai Airshow

Updated 17 November 2019

Saudi companies display latest technologies at Dubai Airshow

DUBAI: Over 25 Saudi companies and government institutions are taking part in the Dubai Airshow hoping to snag deals for their latest defense and aviation technologies being showcased at the biennial event.

The Middle East’s biggest aviation gathering opened on Sunday sans major announcements for big-ticket aircraft purchases from Gulf flagship carriers, maybe also due to dozens of deals already been previously signed and the planes just waiting to be delivered.

Among the major Saudi companies in the event include the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, which has operations from aeronautics, land systems, naval systems, weapons and missiles and defense electronics.

SAMI aims to become among the top 25 companies globally by 2030 and to localize military spending, in line with the Kingdom’s vision.

Among other notable Saudi companies and institutions with a presence at the airshow are Saudi Airlines, flynas, The General Authority of Civil Aviation and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

Meanwhile, Saudi INTRA Defense Technologies signed a Memorandum of Agreement with multinational defense company Hensoldt for the co-development and co-production of advanced electro-optic systems, as well as a joint venture agreement with EM&E for the transfer of technology and localization of the precision mechanical industries in the Kingdom.

ESEN Saudi, a hi-tech defense and aerospace engineering and production company, was also launched at the Dubai Airshow’s opening day.

Middle East Propulsion Company, which specializes in maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) for the Middle East, was also one of the Saudi companies on site. The company, which boasts of a workforce comprised of Saudi nationals of about 80 percent, aims to expand their services across the GCC and wider Middle East region.

Al-Salam Aerospace Industries meanwhile has on display latest advancements in the manufacture of key components for the F-15 fighter jet.