Hawaiian Airlines expansion into Asia took another step forward early Tuesday morning, when the airline's inaugural flight to Taiwan left Honolulu International Airport at around 2 a.m.
Passengers were treated to live music and hula, as well as a special performance honoring Taiwanese culture.
The airline says the new nonstop service capitalizes on the extension of the U.S. visa waiver program to include citizens of Taiwan. The program permits visa-free travel to the U.S. for eligible travelers visiting for 90 days or fewer for business or tourism.
"Tapei we're really excited about," said Hawaiian Airlines Executive Vice President Peter Ingram. "It's a new country, a new market. Its got a lot of potential for growth, very strong economy, big population, to visit the state for years to come."
Hawaiian will fly to Taipei three times a week.