George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), issued the following statement regarding Hawaiian Airlines’ launch of international nonstop service connecting Haneda Airport in Tokyo with Kona International Airport at Keahole on the island of Hawaii.
“Congratulations and mahalo to CEO Mark Dunkerley and his team at Hawaiian Airlines for introducing their award-winning service to international nonstop flights between Tokyo and Kona. This expansion of air service is a significant achievement for Hawaii’s tourism industry in attracting travelers from Japan, our top international market.
“We are also grateful to Gov. David Ige for his leadership in making international flights to Kona possible with the recent establishment of a new federal inspection facility to process passengers through customs.
“Hawaiian’s Haneda-Kona service will provide a boost to the tourism industry for the island of Hawaiiand the State as we enter 2017. We project these flights will generate $54.2 million in visitor spending and $6.1 million in state tax revenue annually.
“Hawaiian has performed superbly with its nonstop service between Haneda and Honolulu, and we anticipate travelers from Japan will embrace these new flights to Kona and how this opens up more ofHawaii to explore. The opportunity to book a nonstop flight from Haneda to Kona will help strengthen travel demand from Japan and make Hawaii even more appealing as a destination.”