Tokyo to Kona on Japan Airlines again

by: Juergen T Steinmetz | copyright: eTurboNews – Travel & Tourism News

Tourism has restarted in the US State of Hawaii, even though one of the most established international markets was behind. Japan now has again numerous nonstop flights to Honolulu. Now 300 miles and two islands away, Japan Airlines is also resuming nonstop service between Tokyo Narita and Kona on Hawaii Island.

Japan Airlines first announced flights between NRT and KOA in 2017.

During a special event held at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole, HTA President and CEO John De Fries and other tourism and government stakeholders expressed their appreciation for what Japan Airlines’ service means to Hawai‘i Island and the state.

“Hawaiʻi’s history with Japan is long and unique. The strong ties between Japan and Hawaiʻi go back many generations, so the return of travel between our two nations is much like welcoming family home after a long absence,” said De Fries.

“Japan Airlines flight 770 from Narita International Airport to the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport symbolizes the re-opening of a sky bridge that will unify us and strengthen our cross-cultural bond while fortifying our efforts to enhance trade and commerce between our two nations.”

During the first six months of 2022, visitors from Japan spent $86.7 million in Hawai‘i, generating $10 million in state tax revenue. In June 2022, four airline carriers operated routes between Japan and Honolulu, Hawai‘i – Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, and ZIPAIR.

De Fries added, “International travel remains a vital component of Hawai‘i’s regenerative future as we gradually welcome back higher-spending travelers whose values are aligned with our mission of ‘Mālama Ku‘u Home’ (caring for my beloved home). Today’s service re-launch complements the steady return of flights we have seen over the past few months from our key international source markets – Japan, Canada, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand – and those we anticipate coming back online through the end of the year.”

Participating dignitaries included Hawai‘i Governor David Ige and First Lady Dawn Ige, State Department of Transportation (DOT) Director Jade Butay, DOT-Airports Division Director Ross Higashi, HTA President and CEO John De Fries, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port Director George Minamishin, and Japan Airlines Regional Manager for Hawai‘i Hiroshi Kuroda.

Among the passengers arriving on JAL flight 770 was Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth, leading a Hawaiʻi Island delegation who visited sister cities in Japan. Arriving passengers were greeted after exiting the new permanent Federal Inspection Services (FIS) facility by hula performances, music by Harold Kama, Jr., lei greeting by 2022 Miss Kona Coffee Kyndra Nakamoto, and the Island of Hawaiʻi Visitors Bureau (IHVB) team.

To support Hawai‘i Island businesses and local farmers, IHVB also coordinated refreshments featuring Hawaiʻi Island products from Big Island Abalone, Big Island Candies, UCC Hawai‘i, Pine Village Small Farm of Hōlualoa, and Waiākea water.

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Tokyo to Kona on Japan Airlines again


Source: eTurboNews

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