Hainan Airlines is retrenching in Las Vegas and Calgary amid broader financial challenges and trade tensions.
The Chinese carrier will end flights between Beijing Capital (PEK) and Calgary (YYC) on Oct. 24, and Las Vegas (LAS) on Oct. 25, according to Diio by Cirium schedule data. Both routes operate three-times weekly with Boeing 787 aircraft.
Hainan will operate eight flights on the Beijing-Las Vegas route from Dec. 17 through Jan. 10 during the Christmas and New Years holidays, and the popular Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Airline staff at the World Routes conference in Adelaide, Australia, referred questions to Hainan’s headquarters, which was not immediately available for comment.
“We’re in continuing dialog with the airline on future options,” said Chris Jones, the chief marketing officer for Las Vegas airport, at World Routes. He confirmed Hainan’s departure from McCarran airport.
Las Vegas is in discussions with Hainan on possibly resuming flights during the historically stronger summer season, Jones added.
Both the Calgary and Las Vegas routes are still loaded in schedules from next March, according to Diio. However, TPG understands that neither route is currently expected to resume in 2020.
Hainan’s retrenchment on North American routes comes amid financial challenges for its parent HNA Group. The highly leveraged conglomerate has been forced to divest many of its investments to raise cash, including selling HK Express to Cathay Pacific Airways earlier this year and its stake in Azul in 2018.
Hainan is often described as HNA Group’s flagship aviation asset.
In addition to the financial troubles at HNA, trade tensions between China and the U.S. has put pressure on demand for flights between the countries. United Airlines, the largest U.S. carrier to China, will reduce capacity to both Beijing and Shanghai Pudong (PVG) this winter due to the drop in demand.
American Airlines ended flights to Beijing and Shanghai from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) in 2018.
Hainan will continue to serve Boston (BOS), Chicago, Los Angeles (LAX), New York John F. Kennedy (JFK), San Jose (SJC) in California, and Seattle (SEA) in the U.S., according to Diio schedules.
The carrier began flights to Calgary and Las Vegas in 2016, Diio data shows. Hainan operates the only nonstop flights between both cities and China.
Featured image by Javier Rodriguez / The Points Guy.