HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle announced today that the leading tour operator in China, China Youth Travel Services Holding (CYTS), intends to offer special flights that will bring visitors from China to Hawai‘i for the celebration of the 2011 Chinese New Year.
“CYTS Hawai‘i Special Flights are the first flights offered by an independent operator to one destination,” Mr. Gao Zhiquan, vice president of China Youth Travel Services Holding stated during a news conference in Beijing yesterday. “Hawai‘i Special Flights mean special services to every traveler.”
“The special flights over the Chinese New Year holiday will help in our continuing efforts to increase demand for Chinese visitors to Hawai‘i,” said Governor Lingle.
The CYTS Hawai‘i Special Flight route will be between Beijing, Shanghai and Honolulu and will have a combination of group and free and independent (FIT) travelers. The flights will depart Beijing on January 30 and February 4, 2011.
Discussions between the State, tourism officials and CYTS about special flights to Hawai‘i began earlier this year. They continued during Hawai‘i Week at the World Expo in Shanghai in June and accelerated over the past several months. The State of Hawai‘i office in Beijing and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority office in China, Hawai‘i Tourism China, are working with CYTS to ensure the flights are successful.
CYTS has partnered with China Eastern Airlines which will utilize Airbus 340-300 aircraft for the Hawai‘i Special Flights, pending U.S. Department of Transportation approval. Governor Lingle sent a letter to U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood yesterday expressing strong support for China Eastern’s application for charter service to Honolulu.
Information about the Hawai‘i Special Flights has been posted on CYTS website: www.aoyou.com (in Chinese).
Submitted by Marsha Wienert, Tourism Liaison, for the state of Hawaii