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Hawaiian Airlines to launch nonstop Tokyo-Kona flights

Hawaiian Airlines is all set to launch flights between Kailua-Kona and Tokyo in future. The airline recently gained approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation for launching regular scheduled direct flights on the new route. The nonstop service to the Big Island from Japan is scheduled to begin operations for the first time since 2010.

A new nighttime departure slot was awarded to Hawaiian Airlines at Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The departure slot would be used by the airline to operate thrice weekly flights services to Kona and to Honolulu on the remaining four days. Currently, the airline is already providing flights services between Honolulu and Haneda.

The news has been warmly received and welcomed by the business leaders in Big Island. Kirstin Kahaloa, Executive Director of Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, said, “The launch of new route is indeed a big development for the business community in Big Island. This will be a big boost for the tourism industry and would help make significant gains for other related businesses such as ocean recreation, restaurants and retail stores.”

Kahaloa remarked that the ever since Japan Airlines stopped its flight services between Kailua-Kona and Tokyo Narita in 2010 the business community in Big Island had been greatly hurt. Japan Airlines conducted flights on the route for 14 years but decided to stop amid corporate restructuring.

Alex Da Silva, spokesman of Hawaiian Airlines, said, “The company is planning to launch flights between Tokyo Haneda and Kona as early as October 2016. The company is also expecting to generate revenues of nearly $35 million per year.”

Billy Kenoi, Mayor of Hawaii County, while expressing his delight on the announcement of the new route, said, “It is hoped that the new service by Hawaiian Airlines would immensely benefit local aquaculture and agriculture sector and allow farmers to boost their earnings by sending their produce to Japan more quickly.”

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