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.


World should back Vision 2030 strategy says global risk guru

Updated 22 November 2019

World should back Vision 2030 strategy says global risk guru

  • Ian Bremmer: When I see how much more dynamic Riyadh is compared to two years ago, it’s really undeniable that they are actually trying to modernize society
  • Bremmer: They are hosting the G20, and that could help to make them confident enough to push forward on a resolution to the Qatar issue

BEIJING: The world should back Saudi Arabia’s transformation strategy under Vision 2030 despite the challenges the Kingdom has faced, according to Ian Bremmer, one of the leading political risk advisers in the world.

“When I see them moving toward Saudization, when I see how much more dynamic Riyadh is compared to two years ago, it’s really undeniable that they are actually trying to modernize society. I think that’s really important and we should all be rooting for that process to continue,” he told Arab News on the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing.

He said that the ongoing reforms in the Kingdom were helping it rebuild its international reputation following criticism over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year. “They are hosting the G20, and that could help to make them confident enough to push forward on a resolution to the Qatar issue.”

“It would be nice if there could be some reduction in the problem with Qatar, and some reintegration of the GCC, and there has been some progress toward that. The fact that we have a peace deal in south Yemen, that will make a difference too, and hopefully it will reduce some of the tension with Iran as a consequence,” he added.

Bremmer was speaking about climate change and other issues at the forum, at a session that acknowledged the difficulty of meeting targets to get rid of fossil fuels by the year 2050. He also talked about the looming “technology wars” between China and the US.