Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to begin daily, non-stop service this summer between Tokyo International Airport at Haneda (HND) and Kona International Airport (KOA) on Hawai'i Island.
The airline's action was prompted by the U.S. DOT's decision last month to review the public interest served by Delta Air Lines' Seattle-Tokyo route after Delta reduced its frequency from daily to seasonal.
"Kona continues to be a top destination for Japanese travelers, and we are more certain than ever that direct service to West Hawai'i is the highest and best use for the scarce Haneda slots that are at stake here," said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. "This route would provide unmatched public benefit by improving U.S. exports, boosting spending and economic growth within the United States and increasing U.S. jobs."
The Hawai'i Tourism Authority (HTA) estimates that the proposed daily service will generate 531,721 visitor days and $146 million in visitor expenditures. Hawaiian Airlines' application calculates that service directly to Kona will attract 39,000 additional visitors and result in 1,151 new jobs and $65 million in new direct spending.
The application has the full support of Governor David Ige and Hawai'i Island Mayor Billy Kenoi.