International travel rules have eased, but Hawaiian Air isn’t expecting a flood of passengers
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Although the United States eased foreign travel rules on Monday, Hawaiian Airlines said it is not expecting a rapid surge in international business.
The airline said international travel to Hawaii will mostly be the same since Japan and Korea still have mandatory quarantines in place for returning residents. Officials said those rules have kept many Asian international travelers in their home countries.
Furthermore, the company said travel had already been open to the US for those coming from Japan and Korea.
Despite not being able to accommodate Asian tourists, Hawaiian Air said it will benefit from Australia’s recent decision to loosen rules for its citizens.
The airline announced five flights a week to Australia beginning in December.
Executives said Hawaii’s safe reputation is attractive to many international visitors.
“Relative to a lot of other beach destinations in the Pacific, we offer a really high quality of care, and I think that combination of safety and a well-known brand and a familiar product is going to serve us well as we move into the first quarter,” said Brent Overbeek of Hawaiian Airlines.
Hawaiian Air said it is prepared to ramp up operations when Japan and Korea are ready to loosen their countries’ restrictions.
In the meantime, the airline said it is getting a boost from the demand for cargo shipping amid supply chain issues from Asia to the US.
“Frankly in the interim, a lot of what’s been supporting our international service has been cargo,” Overbeek said.
“So cargo demand out of Asia and cargo yields out of Asia, if you look all the supply chain issues and port issues in Long Beach and Los Angeles, all those places cargo has been part of our business that’s really helped us sustain our international network.”
The company said most of the cargo is electronic equipment and vehicle parts.
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