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The morning sun was a welcome sight for Hawaiian Airlines passengers on flight 808 from Taipei, Taiwan.
“It’s always an adventure when we have an inaugural flight and this one had some things that we didn’t actually have planned,” Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Hawaiian Airlines Peter Ingram said.
Ingram says Typhoon Soulik made landfall in Taiwan during their trip.
The threat of the storm prompted the airlines to take precautions, delaying the flight home to Honolulu.
“We knew the storm was coming of course we’d been tracking it for days and we wanted to make sure that we weren’t operating in the middle of that window where the weather was really dicey,” Ingram said.
To prevent any damage to the plane, the company moved it to Manila in the Philippines until the storm passed.
Hawaii residents stuck in Taipei also took cover.
“The winds were really strong lot of rain. We were on the 18th floor of the W hotel and the windows was kind of creaking so that was a little scary but otherwise than that it was actually pretty good,” Waimanalo resident Keoki Choyfoo said.
Others feared for the worse, and were relieved to have come out of the storm safe.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be because I was right downtown and all the high-rise buildings kind of buffered some of the winds. What surprised me with the Taipei people they didn’t panic there was not only wholesale nobody’s hoarding toilet paper food what not they’re just going to go about their business and just being real civil,” passenger on flight 808 Dennis Chew said.
Most passengers say Hawaiian Airlines handled the situation very well.
“They sent us letters to our rooms and they also communicated to us by calling our rooms letting us know that we won’t be flying out til later,” Choyfoo said.
Despite the storm, many say they’d visit Taipei again.
“I think this route is going to be very successful for Hawaii,” Hawaii island resident George Applegate said.
“It’s good to be back home,” Choyfoo said.
Hawaiian Airlines has scheduled flights to Taipei three days a week.