Hawaiian Airlines has been granted permission to launch direct flights between Tokyo Haneda Airport and Kona, on Hawaii’s Big Island.
The US Department of Transportation approved the airline’s application, as it would not require the granting of any extra slots. Instead, Hawaiian intends to split its single daily slot allocation at Haneda airport between Honolulu and Kona, with four weekly flights expected to operate from Honolulu and three from Kona.
Hawaiian now has until 29 January 2017 to start the new service, but it has already said it plans to start the new service before the end of 2016.
“This is tremendous news for Hawaiian Airlines, for our employees, our customers and for the economies of Kona and our entire state,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president & CEO.
“Flights between Hawaii and Japan are the most travelled and most beneficial to the US economy, so being able to expand the number that we can offer to Tokyo’s Haneda airport is especially important. We have estimated that the Kona portion alone will generate US$35 million in visitor spending.”
Hawaiian is still applying for one of the extra daily slots being made available to US carriers at Haneda.