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Island Air and JIN Air Enter Interline Agreement to Connect Customers Between South Korea and Hawaiian Islands

Island Air and Jin Air have entered into an interline partnership which allows travelers to conveniently book connections between Jin Air’s network throughout Korea and South East Asia and Island Air’s destinations in the Hawaiian Islands.

Jin Air B777-200ER

The interline agreement, which goes into effect on April 26, 2017, means customers traveling on Jin Air between Honolulu and Seoul can connect seamlessly to a neighbor island on Island Air, booking the reservation on a single ticket and checking luggage through to their final destination. The two airlines will have three interline routes, including Incheon-Honolulu-Kahului, Incheon-Honolulu-Kona, and Incheon-Honolulu-Līhu‘e.

Starting May 29, Jin Air, which first launched service to Hawai‘i in December 2015, will offer Honolulu service five times each week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) between Honolulu and Seoul. Jin Air will start interline sales on April 26.

“Island Air’s interline partnership with Jin Air provides another convenient option for visitors from Korea and other Asian markets to explore the Hawaiian Islands, while also expanding connections to Asia for our local residents,” said David Uchiyama, Island Air president and CEO. “This latest ticketing and baggage agreement with Jin Air is part of Island Air’s continuing commitment to enhance the overall travel experience for customers and to provide more opportunities for travelers to ‘Fly the Island Way’.”

Jin Air said, “With the operation of Jin Air’s only long-distance route (Incheon-Honolulu), we will build a network to the Islands of Hawai‘i through interline sales with Island Air. We will continue to strengthen our differentiation strategy with other airlines to improve customer convenience.”

In addition to Jin Air, Island Air maintains interline agreements with nine other domestic and international airlines, including American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, China Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, ANA, Philippine Airlines and Qantas. Island Air also has been a codeshare partner with United Airlines since 2005, which includes joint frequent flyer benefits.

Island Air offers 280 flights each week between O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island and plans to increase the number of interisland flights per week to more than 400 by May 1. Island Air’s flight schedule can be viewed at https://www.islandair.com/flight-schedules. Reservations can be made online at www.islandair.com or by calling (800) 652-6541.

Maui Resort to Attempt Record Longest Lei Exchange

May 1st is also known as Lei Day and is a statewide cultural celebration in Hawaii. At The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, May Day festivities will include the Longest Lei Exchange in Ka‘anapali as a unique experience and attempt to set a record, with 500+ persons targeted to be in attendance.

Nine handcrafted leis designed in celebration of May Day. Each will be unveiled on FB & Instagram @TheWestinMaui.

The significance of presenting a lei speaks to the authenticity and practice of Hawaiians in celebrating an occasion. Known as the spirit of Aloha, the lei exchange by two persons symbolizes the love, respect and friendship shared between them – whether they are family members, couples or friends.

Resort associates and family members perform in Westin Maui’s annual May Day & Aloha Week festivals. Seen here (from left): Kafa Grijalva, Corienne Keanini, Melissa Los Banos, Jasmine McCoy and Gresilda Harrison.

Pamakane Lopes of Ocean Dreamer Florals has designed nine special leis that highlight the diversity of Maui’s scenic settings and experiences featuring locations such as Haleakala, Kula, Hana, Paia, Iao Valley, Makawao, Ulupalakua, Honolua Bay and Ka‘anapali. Images of the leis will be unveiled one per day via the resort’s FB & Instagram @TheWestinMaui beginning on Aloha Friday, April 21.

Recognizing the importance of preserving Hawaiian culture, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa is also committing $2,500.00 to benefit the cause of Na Leo Kalele that supports Kula Kaiapuni O Maui Ma Nāhiʻenaʻena, a Hawaiian language immersion school located within Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena public school in Lahaina, Maui. Considered a school within a school, Kula Kaiapuni O Maui Ma Nāhiʻenaʻena is unique in that it utilizes Hawaii’s indigenous language, culture, perspectives, and practices to implement its curriculum.

The Westin Maui

The event is open to Westin Maui guests and associates, local residents and island visitors. For more details on participation and sign-up in the Lei Exchange, visit the resort’s FB @TheWestinMaui. Parking is available at Whalers Village, neighboring The Westin Maui.

WHEN & WHERE:  Monday, May 1, 2017

  • 7:30 am – Check in at Aloha Pavilion, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa
  • 8:30 am – Hawaiian Blessing Ceremony with Oli Chant & Hula
  • 8:45 am – Participants begin lining up on the beachwalk side fronting Westin Maui
  • 9:00 am – Lei Exchange begins
  • 9:30 am – Craft Fair & Aloha Lei Day Activities at Aloha Pavilion

Hawaiian Airlines’ Airport Operations Lowering Fuel Use, Carbon Emissions

Carrier decreasing its reliance on jet fuel to power aircraft at the gate

Hawaiian Airlines this month achieved a key milestone in its ongoing effort to reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions when it powered all wide-body aircraft arriving at airports in a single day with electrical power at the gate. The carrier’s initiative to connect parked aircraft to more efficient external electricity is significantly reducing pilots’ use of the onboard auxiliary power unit, or APU, which burns jet fuel to keep lights, avionics systems, air conditioning and other equipment on.

The work has the potential to reduce Hawaiian’s APU usage by an estimated 30 minutes per flight, saving some 620,000 gallons of fuel annually and cutting CO2 emissions by 5,933 metric tons. That’s roughly enough fuel to fly the airline’s wide-body fleet for a day, while the carbon reductions equate to removing 1,253 cars off the streets each year.

Hawaiian Airlines ground crews connect external power to a wide-body aircraft at Honolulu International Airport.

In the past year, Hawaiian made headway toward an ambitious goal of having gate power available to its entire wide-body fleet within three minutes of arrival as aircraft fly between Hawaii, 11 U.S. gateway cities and 10 international destinations. Line service and ground crews have met the target on 92 percent of flights on average. But on April 12, in what is internally being celebrated as “100 Percent Day,” employees reached a milestone when 47 wide-body flights received external power as aircraft arrived at airports from Auckland to New York.

“It’s very much like a carefully choreographed dance requiring great timing and the tight coordination of everyone involved in bringing our airplanes to the gate once they’ve landed,” said Jon Snook, Hawaiian’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Our teams must ensure the availability of working external power at the gate, monitor minute-by-minute the estimated arrival time of the aircraft, and ensure all personnel are in place and ready to receive the aircraft.”

Hawaiian already provides external gate power to its narrow-body fleet that average 170 daily flights between the Hawaiian Islands. The airline also owns portable power units that can be deployed in the event jetbridge electricity is unavailable or malfunctioning.

Hawaiian’s success in reducing APU usage aligns with the carrier’s ongoing commitment to reduce the impact of aviation on the environment.

Hawaiian, which operates one of the youngest fleet in the U.S. industry, is investing in fuel efficient aircraft by adding 18 new A321neos starting later this year. Last year, the airline conducted two demonstration flights to Honolulu from Brisbane and Auckland using a series of gate-to-gate environmental best practices outlined by the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions, or ASPIRE.

Most recently, Hawaiian became the first U.S. carrier to join an international scientific monitoring project that enlists commercial airlines to research climate change and air quality worldwide. Hawaiian partnered with the In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS) venture by equipping one Airbus A330-200 aircraft with an atmospheric monitoring tool that will collect valuable data throughout the airline’s far-reaching network covering the Pacific, Asia and North America.

Hawaii Tourism Authority Statement: Rat Lungworm Disease is Very Rare and Easily Preventable in Hawaii

George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), issued the following statement to reassure Hawaii’s tourism industry and visitors planning trips to the Hawaiian Islands that rat lungworm disease is very rare and easily preventable.

“Some national media attention has been devoted recently to rat lungworm disease in Hawaii, raising concerns among visitors and groups planning trips to the Hawaiian Islands. It is important that people not overreact and gather reliable information before making any assumptions.

“On the recommendation of the Hawaii State Department of Health, residents and visitors of Hawaii can be assured there is nothing to fear about getting infected as long as they use smart common sense when washing, preparing and storing food.

“The key facts that everyone needs to remember about rat lungworm disease is that it is very rare, it is very uncommon for people to get infected, and the disease is easily preventable by properly washing and storing all food, especially produce, before eating.

“To the visitors already in the Hawaiian Islands or planning a trip here in the coming months, there is no need to be overly concerned. Please patronize our restaurants and enjoy the delicious island cuisine and fresh produce that helps to make Hawaii such a beloved travel experience.

“I would strongly recommend anyone wanting trusted information about rat lungworm disease to visit the Department of Health website (health.hawaii.gov) and learn the facts.

“Hawaii, which has 1.4 million residents and welcomed more than 8.9 million visitors in 2016, typically has between one to 11 cases of rat lungworm disease reported annually, according to the Department of Health.

“Thus far in 2017, 11 people have been infected with the disease, nine residents and two visitors. While the cause of two cases is still being investigated, the Department of Health reports that the remaining nine cases could have been prevented with better hygiene and by properly washing, preparing and storing food.

“We hope knowing this information helps allay concerns about travel to the Hawaiian Islands, which continues to be the cleanest, healthiest, safest and most welcoming destination in the world.”

Tourism to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Creates $199,923,400 in Economic Benefits to Local Economy

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 1,887,580 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2016 spent $159,195,500 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,917 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $199,923,400.

Visitors observe Kīlauea summit lava lake last month from the Jaggar Museum observation deck, open 24 hours a day in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. NPS Photo by Janice Wei

“It’s exciting to see the steady increase in both visitation to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and the consistent economic benefit park visitors provide to our Hawai‘i Island community in the way of jobs, and their spending,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We noticed the increase in visitation from the start of 2016, which marked the 100th anniversary of both the National Park Service and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. When lava from Kīlauea reached the ocean last summer, coupled with the ease of steady viewing of the summit lava lake, visitation continued to climb. We’ve seen consecutive increases in both spending and visitation at Hawai‘i Volcanoes since from 2009,” Orlando said.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the NPS. The report shows $18.4 billion of direct spending by 331 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 318,000 jobs nationally; 271,544 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $ 34.9 billion.

According to the 2016 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.2 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.2 percent), gas and oil (11.7 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent), souvenirs and other expenses (9.7 percent), local transportation (7.4 percent), and camping fees (2.5%).

Report authors this year produced an interactive tool. Users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: go.nps.gov/vse.

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. To learn more about national parks in Hawai‘i and how the National Park Service works with communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/Hawaii.

Westin Nanea Ocean Villas – Maui’s New Oceanfront Resort Opens

Vistana Signature Experiences, developer of Sheraton Vacation Club and Westin Vacation Club resorts, announced today that The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Maui’s new oceanfront resort, is open. Situated on 16 acres of North Kā’anapali Beach, The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas celebrated this milestone with a traditional Hawaiian blessing. Kahu Kapono’ai Molitau led the blessing ceremony, which included a maile lei untying, symbolic in Hawaiian culture for opening a space. The resort’s first guests arrived April 15.

“Maui is one of the world’s most desirable destinations, and we are excited to open our doors to this extraordinary resort,” said Steve Williams, chief operating officer, Vistana Signature Experiences. “The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas is a truly unique resort that combines Hawai’i’s rich heritage with the aloha spirit for which the islands are known.”

Comprised of one-, two- and three-bedroom villas, The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas is designed to be a relaxing haven replete with culturally inspired programs and distinctive Hawaiian experiences. Under the careful guidance of the resort’s cultural director, Makalapua Kanuha, the essence of Hawai’i has been carefully woven into design elements throughout the property. Additionally, the Pu’uhonua o Nanea Cultural Center will be at the resort’s heart. Its innovative and educational cultural offerings will honor local history, language, art, crafts, music and dance.

Artists Rendition

“In the Hawaiian language, nanea means to be in a state of relaxation,” said Chris Rabang, general manager. “We are thrilled to begin welcoming guests and are looking forward to helping them embrace our resort’s namesake through meaningful experiences and signature Westin features.”

The world-class amenities at The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas include an expansive lagoon-style swimming pool, children’s beach pool and play area, oceanfront cabanas and a WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio. Mauka Makai (mauka: toward the mountains; makai: toward the ocean), the resort’s full-service restaurant, pays tribute to the farming and fishing cultures of ancient Hawai’i. With an emphasis on farm-to-table, Mauka Makai utilizes indigenous plants and vegetables grown on-site and from local farms to complement popular local dishes. It also features the Westin brand’s signature SuperFoodsRxTM menu with nutrient-rich and delicious options to tempt every palate. The Inu (meaning drink) Pool Bar provides a relaxing setting to enjoy oceanfront views, cocktails and lighter fare. Guests also enjoy access to resort amenities at The Westin Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas located next door, including Spa Helani, a Heavenly Spa by Westin.

Each of the villas at The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas offers many of the key amenities of home, combined with signature Westin touches. The master bedrooms include king-size signature Westin Heavenly® Beds and Westin Heavenly Baths with showers, bathtubs and vanities. The living areas offer armoires, queen-size sofa sleepers and private furnished lanais. Villas also come with fully equipped kitchens and washers and dryers.

Joint Statement on Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Audit

After reviewing testimony submitted on SR 27 and SCR 72, it is clear to both Senator Glenn Wakai (S Dist. 15 – Kalihi, Mapunapuna, Airport, Salt Lake, Aliamanu, Foster Village, Hickam, Pearl Harbor), Chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology and Representative Richard Onishi (H Dist 3 – Hilo, Keaau, Kurtistown, Volcano), Chair of the House Committee on Tourism, that there is overwhelming support for an audit of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), with the duplicative nature of the proposed audit and the additional cost to perform the audit being the only points of contention.By law, the Office of the Auditor is required to audit HTA “at least every five years.”  The Office of the Auditor last audited HTA in 2013.

“It was never my intention nor that of Chair Onishi to subject HTA to unnecessary scrutiny or to incur unreasonable costs.  The resolutions were introduced to maintain public trust in HTA management and fiscal responsibility of our largest economic driver,” said Sen. Wakai.

“We have asked State Auditor Les Kondo to consider reporting his audit findings and recommendations to HTA and the legislature in early 2018.  The Auditor will provide an independent, objective, and nonpartisan review of HTA’s performance, including its management and expenditures of state funds.  Given the importance of tourism to our state, the audit will provide accountability to the legislature and the public that HTA is using its resources, including state funds, effectively, efficiently, and ethically to achieve its mission.  We are confident that the Auditor’s review will address the objectives set out in SR 27 and SCR 72, making it unnecessary to pass these resolutions,” said Rep. Onishi.

Explore Kahuku at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – April – June 2017

Everyone is invited to participate in the free guided hikes, “Coffee Talks” and ‘Ike Hana No‘eau Hawaiian cultural programs in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, from April through June 2017. Visitors can also explore Kahuku on their own on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A visitor explores the geologic formations of Kahuku 1868 lava flow in Kahuku. NPS Photo/Janice Wei

Enter the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection and a snack are recommended for all hikes. Entrance and all programs are free.

New! Join us for ‘Ike Hana No‘eau (Experience the Skillful Work) Hawaiian cultural demonstrations at Kahuku on the third Friday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon. On April 21 learn how to make tī leaf lei; on May 19, learn to make a miniature kāhili (feather standard); and come weave a small decorative fish out of niu (coconut fronds) on June 23. Programs are free.

New! Get to know your park and your neighbors and join an informal “Coffee Talk” conversation on a wide variety of topics at Kahuku the last Friday of the month. Ka‘ū coffee, tea and pastries will be available for purchase. Coffee Talks are offered free on April 28, May 26, and June 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Palm Trail is a moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop traversing scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Highlights include relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and amazing volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures. A guided hike of Palm Trail is offered April 23, May 28, and June 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Pu‘u o Lokuana is a short 0.4-mile hike to the top of the grassy cinder cone, Pu‘u o Lokuana. Learn about the formation and various uses of this hill over time and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka‘ū. This hike is offered May 20 and June 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Hi‘iaka & Pele. Discover two fascinating Hawaiian goddesses, sisters Pelehonuamea (Pele) and Hi‘iaka, and the natural phenomena they represent. Visitors will experience the sisters coming alive through the epic stories depicted in the natural landscape of Kahuku on this easy 1.7-mile walk on the main road in Kahuku. The Hi‘iaka and Pele program is offered April 8, May 7 and June 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

People and Land of Kahuku is a moderate two-mile, three-hour guided hike that loops through varied landscapes to explore the human history of Kahuku. Emerging native forests, pastures, lava fields, and other sites hold clues about ways people have lived and worked on the vast Kahuku lands – from the earliest Hawaiians, through generations of ranching families, to the current staff and volunteers of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn about the powerful natural forces at work here and how people have adapted to, shaped, and restored this land. The guided hike is offered April 9, May 21 and June 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Realms and Divisions of Kahuku. Experience the sense of place that evolves at the intersection of nature and culture on this moderately difficult two-mile, two-hour guided hike on the Kahuku Unit’s newest trail, Pu‘u Kahuku. Explore the realms and divisions of the traditional Hawaiian classification system at Kahuku. Bring a snack for the “talk story” segment of this hike. Offered April 15 and May 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

‘Ōhi‘a Lehua. Learn about the vital role of ‘ōhi‘a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the ‘ōhi‘a tree, and the new disease of Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death. Visitors will be able to identify the many differences of the most prominent native tree in Kahuku on this program, which is an easy, one-mile (or less) walk. The ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua program is offered April 16, May 14 and June 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Birth of Kahuku. Explore the rich geologic history of Kahuku. Traverse the vast 1868 lava flow, see different volcano features and formations, and identify many parts of the Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. Learn about the Hawaiian hotspot and the creation of Kahuku. This guided easy-to-moderate hike is offered April 22, May 27 and June 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Nature & Culture: An Unseverable Relationship (He Pilina Wehena ‘Ole). Hike the Palm Trail and be inspired by a place where hulihia (catastrophic change) and kulia (restoration) can be observed as the land transitions from the 1868 lava flow and its pioneer plants, to deeper soil with more diverse and older flora. Learn about native plants and their significance in Hawaiian culture. This moderate hike is about two miles and takes two hours. The Nature & Culture program is offered April 29, May 13 and June 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Keep up with Kahuku events and visit the calendar on the park website, https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/kahuku-hikes.htm, and download the Kahuku Site Bulletin: https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/upload/2013_11_05-Kahuku-Site-Bulletin.pdf.

Coast Guard Establishes Temporary Safety Zone in Vicinity of Active Kilauea Lava Flow

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for the navigable waters surrounding the Kilauea Volcano active lava flow entry into the Pacific Ocean on the southeast side of the Big Island, Hawai’i, Tuesday.

The temporary safety zone will encompass all waters extending 300 meters (984 feet) in all directions around the entry of the lava flow into the ocean from noon March 28 to 8 a.m. Sept. 28.  Experts from the U.S. Geological Survey recommend 300 meters as the minimum safe distance to avoid hazards from the lava flow.

The Coast Guard has taken action to ensure public safety because of the danger the unstable sea cliff, volcanic shrapnel, toxic gases and potential bench collapses pose to vessel traffic and the public. As long as lava enters the ocean, further sea cliff degradation, hazardous conditions, delta construction and collapse are likely to occur.  These collapses occur with little to no warning and cannot be predicted.

According to the HVO, large and dense fragments ejected during delta collapses can be thrown in all directions from the point of collapse, including out to sea.  Based on a review of nearly 30 years of delta collapse and ejecta distance observations in HVO records, a radius of 300 meters was determined as a reasonable minimum high hazard zone around a point of ocean entry.

A Broadcast Notice to Mariners has been issued via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the safety zone. Entry of vessels or people into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Honolulu or his designated representative.

To view documents in the Federal Register mentioned in this release, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0172 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.”  Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule. It may take up to five days for documents to publish in the Federal Register, once published public comments may be submitted for a period of 60 days.

The Coast Guard is also issuing a Notice of Proposed Rule Making to establish a permanent Safety Zone for this region. We solicit feedback from the public on this rule making process. You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0234 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

Written Comments: Written public comments will be accepted on or before 11:59 p.m. June 3, 2017, via http://www.regulations.gov. The Coast Guard strongly prefers comments to be submitted electronically; however, written comments may also be submitted (e.g. postmarked) by the deadline, via mail to Commander (spw), U.S. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, 433 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96850.

Oral Comments: The Coast Guard will provide the public an opportunity to make oral comments by holding a public meeting on May 08, 2017, at 5 p.m. at the East Hawaii County Building (Hilo) Aupuni Center Conference Room located at 101 Pauahi St. #7, Hilo, Hawaii 96720.

DBEDT Recruiting Hawaii Companies for 2017 Tokyo International Gift Show

For the sixth consecutive year, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) is promoting Hawaii-made products through a special Hawaii Pavilion at the autumn 2017 Tokyo International Gift Show (TIGS).

During Sept. 6-8, 2017, at the Tokyo Big Sight venue, the Hawaii Pavilion will be home base for up to 70 Hawaii companies seeking to export locally made gift products.  TIGS is the largest international trade show in Japan with more than 4,100 exhibitors showcasing personal gifts, consumer goods and decorative accessories.  Show organizers anticipate more than 200,000 buyers, wholesalers and distributers to attend the three-day trade show.

“The Tokyo International Gift Show provides the opportunity to showcase Hawaii’s unique products to an international audience,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “This helps us grow our trade sector and add value to the Hawaii brand, which is recognized around the world, especially in Japan.”

At last year’s Tokyo International Gift Show, 62 Hawaii companies reported projected sales of more than $15 million.

A sampling of Hawaii-made products showcased at last year’s gift show included:

  • Fashion: casual and resort wear and accessories
  • Specialty food and gift products: many of which are only found in Hawaii
  • Cosmetics and nutraceuticals: derived from our natural ocean and botanical resources
  • Agricultural products: such as candies and fruit jams, jellies and preserves; fresh Maui-grown pineapple and onion; Big Island macadamia nuts, papaya and coffee.
  • Locally designed jewelry
  • Wood products: utilizing koa and specialty woods.

Funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant, the Hawaii Pavilion at TIGS is part of a series of initiatives DBEDT has undertaken to increase the export of Hawaii’s products.

Export-ready Hawaii companies interested in participating in the 2017 Tokyo International Gift Show should email dbedt.tigs@hawaii.gov to receive an exhibitor’s packet or apply online at invest.hawaii.gov.

Deadline to submit application forms is Friday, April 7, 2017.

Big Island Police Identify Victim in Mauna Kea Access Road Crash

Police have identified the female who died from injuries sustained in a one car crash Sunday (March 12) on Mauna Kea Access Road.

She was identified as 35-year-old Aurelie Vincent of Vienne, France.

Police are also asking anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Erhard Autrata at 961-8118 or email: erhard.autrata@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Tourist from France Dies on Mauna Kea Access Road

An unidentified woman died following a one-vehicle crash Sunday night (March 12) on Mauna Kea Access Road.

Her name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of her family.

Responding to the 7:30 p.m. traffic crash, Hilo Patrol Officer’s determined that a 2001 Nissan sports-utility vehicle was traveling down Mauna Kea Access Road approximately 1.2 miles below the Visitor’s Center when the vehicle ran off the roadway and overturned several times.

The operator of the Nissan, the unidentified woman, was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where she was pronounced dead on March 13 at 12:29 a.m.

The front seat passenger, a 35-year old female of Lyon, France was also transported to the Hilo Medical Center in stable condition and later medevaced to Queen’s Medical Center on Oʻahu for treatment to her injuries.

Police have initiated a Coroner’s Inquest investigation and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police believe that speed was a factor in this investigation.

This is the fifth traffic fatality this year compared with five at this time last year.

According to Doug Arnott of Arnott’s Lodge:

OMG…an associate just called and the two girls involved in the Mauna Kea crash were our guests at Arnotts…they had rented a camper truck with a structure on top that folds out. Tragically one was killed in the accident and one is in Queens…They asked about activities to do and I had suggested the Volcano Park and asked them if the truck had 4 wheel drive…they were from Lyon in France and had planned to visit Kauai after the Big Island…

Apparently police were on scene for a previous accident when this one happened literally in front of their eyes…previous reports of one accident above VIS and one below were wrong…both were at the sweeping right turn at the bottom of the very steep paved section immediately below the VIS.

Island Air Launches Saver Fares for First and Last Flights

Island Air, the value leader airline in the Hawaiian Islands, is making it more affordable to travel interisland with the introduction of its “Hele Mai Saver Fare.” Starting immediately, travelers can save by booking the first and last flights of each of Island Air’s routes. Fares on the first and last flights will be $60* one way between Honolulu, Kahului and Līhu‘e, and $70* one way on flights between Honolulu and Kona.

“The Hele Mai Saver Fare is ideal for anyone traveling between the Islands for early morning appointments or all-day meetings, as well as those who want to enjoy an early dinner or sunset pau hana (happy hour) before catching the last flight out,” said David Uchiyama, Island Air president and CEO. “The Hele Mai Saver Fare is also a great way for travelers to maximize their time by getting an early start and having a full day to spend time with family and friends on our beautiful Islands.”

Island Air’s flight schedule can be viewed at: https://www.islandair.com/flight-schedules. Reservations can be made online at www.islandair.com or by calling (800) 652-6541.

*The Hele Mai one-way fare includes one federal transportation segment tax and one security fee. Other taxes and fees may apply.

 

Tour Group Caught in Closed Area in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

A tour guide based in France and a tour group of 13 people were caught early Monday morning sneaking into the closed area at Halema‘uma‘u, the erupting summit crater of Kīlauea volcano.

Visitors observing the summit eruption of Kīlauea from the observation deck at Jaggar Museum, one mile away from Halema‘uma‘u Crater. NPS Photo

National Park Service law enforcement officers spotted the group just after midnight, and issued citations for violating the terms of the closure to all 14 people. The tour guide was issued additional citations for operating a non-permitted business in the park and creating a hazardous condition. All 14 were escorted out of the park.

The 44-year-old male tour guide, affiliated with the French tour company Adventure et Volcans, must make a mandatory court appearance and faces a maximum penalty of $5,000 and six months in jail. His name is being withheld as the investigation continues. The violation of closure citations are $100 each, with a $30 processing fee.

“This is a serious violation,” said Chief Ranger John Broward. “Areas surrounding Halema‘uma‘u Crater are closed because of extremely hazardous volcanic conditions that include high concentrations of toxic gases and particulates, ongoing volcanic explosions and frequent collapses of the crater walls,” he said.

Explosions from Halema‘uma‘u can occur anytime, without warning. Last August, a summit explosion hurled a layer of volcanic rock, lava bombs and molten spatter nearly 300 feet beyond the crater rim, and covered an area about 720 feet wide along the rim. It destroyed the power system of a U.S. Geological Survey instrument that was used for scientific research and monitoring volcanic activity. Last October, two explosions blasted lava spatter, rock and glassy particulates a quarter mile from the crater to the closed portion of Crater Rim Drive. In November, spatter from another lava lake explosion damaged the cable on a USGS webcam located on the rim of the crater.

Halema‘uma‘u Crater, a 4.7-mile section of Crater Rim Drive, and sections of the Halema‘uma‘u and Crater Rim trails, have been closed since the most recent summit eruption began in 2008.

“Visitors need to be aware that, while much of the attention lately has been on the hazards of the 61g ocean entry at Kamokuna, the park staff remains very concerned about the ongoing hazards in the vicinity of Halema‘uma‘u,” Chief Ranger Broward said. “Rangers will continue to monitor and take appropriate action to reduce the occurrence of risky behavior in both areas.”

Since July 2016, rangers have issued 35 citations for closure violations at Halema‘uma‘u, and nearly 100 citations at Kamokuna.

Botanical World Adventures Wins Awards

Two popular local attractions have been recognized by frequent travelers and readers of a prominent magazine. In a “Best Hawaii Island Botanical Gardens” category and in a “Best Hawaii Island Zipline Company” category, readers selected the World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls and the Zip Isle Zipline as runners up. The adventure attractions at Botanical World Adventures won the awards in HAWAI’I Magazine’s 5th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards, just announced by the magazine.

“The magazine does not provide a list of choices for awards, so readers choose businesses based on their recall of their experiences,” explained Kika Nixon, Operations Manager at Botanical World Adventures. “This makes the honor of our selection even greater.”

In addition to the lush flower gardens, waterfalls, hiking trails and the zip line tours; visitors seek out Botanical World Adventures for the unique Segway rainforest tours and the world class permanent jungle maze, added the Operations Manager.

Botanical World Adventures is located 16 miles north of Hilo at mile marker 16 on Highway19. Additional information is available by calling (808) 963-5427; (toll free: 888-947-4753), and on the web at www.ZipIsle.com or BotanicalWorld.com

Hawaii Hosts Economic Summit with Leaders from Japan in Kona

The Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) and the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit educational organization, announce the first ever Japan-Hawaii Economic Summit to be held in Kona, Hawaii from May 9 to 11, 2017.

The summit seeks to accelerate regional and international exchange with prefectures in Japan that have interests in and connections with Hawaii.

“Hawaii and Japan have a unique and significant relationship,” said Gov. David Ige.  “We continue to look for ways to develop programs and initiatives with our global partners, as we strive to achieve new models for economic development, energy cooperation, people-to-people exchanges, youth, and education.”

Summit attendees will discuss shared issues and opportunities spanning business, tourism and energy, and will help forge connections that will pave the way for future collaboration and trade.

“The relationship between Japan and Hawaii continues to have a tremendous impact on Hawaii’s economy,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “This summit provides us with a chance to bring key leaders together to explore new opportunities to grow our economy and create new jobs.”

“Japan and Hawaii have a partnership that has been built and nurtured over generations. USJC supports strengthening ties through people-to-people relationships and public-private connections for the benefit of Japan, Hawaii and the continental United States,” said Irene Hirano Inouye, President of the U.S.-Japan Council.

Governors, vice-governors and businesses from Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Okinawa, Ehime, Shizuoka, Okayama, Oita and Nagano prefectures have been invited. These include prefectures that have sister partnerships with the state of Hawaii or are part of USJC’s Governors’ Circle, an initiative that promotes bilateral economic collaboration at the state-prefecture level. The Summit will also be attended by the Governor of Hawaii and other dignitaries in Hawaii, as well as assembly officials, academia and distinguished executives from the continental United States.

Hawaii is recognized as an ideal location for Japanese companies interested in pursuing global business activities. A number of success stories will be discussed at the summit. Hawaii companies interested in the Japan market will also have the opportunity to hear about trends and opportunities to help them launch their products and services in Japan.

Summit Discussion Topics:

  • Business Bridges: Crossing the Pacific to Global Success
  • Innovations in Education: Sparking Global Awareness
  • Tourism 2.0: Strategies to Engage the Next Generation Visitor
  • Governors’ Circle Panel
  • Food Fortunes:  Overcoming Challenges and Building Brands Overseas
  • Puu Waawaa Ranch Pavilion

For more information, and to register for the event, please visit: www.usjapancouncil.org/japan_hawaii_economic_summit.

About the U.S.-Japan Council

The U.S.-Japan Council is a 501(c) 3 non-profit educational organization that contributes to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations by bringing together diverse leadership, engaging stakeholders and exploring issues that benefit communities, businesses and government entities on both sides of the Pacific. The Council cultivates an international network of members, and collaborates with other organizations and institutions to develop programs that allow members to engage with their counterparts in the United States and Japan. The Council promotes people-to-people relations as crucial to a strong U.S.-Japan relationship. The Council was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Washington, DC, with staff in Hawaii, California and Tokyo.

About the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism

DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages.  DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens.  Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Roadway & Parking Lot Striping Work Begins Monday

Visitors and tour operators to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are advised that a project to re-stripe roadways and parking lots at Kīlauea Visitor Center and Nāhuku (Thurston Lava Tube) begins Monday, March 6 and will cause traffic delays up to 15 minutes.

Thurston Lava Tube

Work begins Monday at the Kīlauea Visitor Center’s (KVC) parking lot. When the KVC striping is complete, the project at Nāhuku will begin. Work should be complete by early May.

An NPS report shows that 1,832,660 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2015 spent $151,246,200 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,834 jobs on island, and had a cumulative benefit to the local community of $189,391,100.

United Airlines Adding Denver/Kona Route

Flights from Kona/Denver to begin this summer

United Airlines is revitalizing its route network with more destinations, more flights and more convenient connections for customers in both domestic and international markets. Subject to government approval, the carrier will add a seasonal route between San Francisco and Munich for the first time ever, and one of the carrier’s daily flights between Newark, New Jersey and Tel Aviv, Israel will be upgauged with the new Boeing 777-300ER. The airline is also growing its domestic network, adding even more connections and additional service to 30 destinations across the U.S.

“Starting this summer we’re offering more flights, to more destinations at more convenient times than in recent memory,” said Scott Kirby, president of United Airlines. “And with bigger and more modern aircraft for many of our flights, we’ll be getting you to the moments that matter most – relaxed and ready to go.”

United is also introducing daily summer service in six markets. Flights to Salt Lake City, Fort Lauderdale, Tucson and New Orleans not previously offered in the summer, will now move to year round service.

SSI and Hawaiian Airlines Launch New Rewards Program

SSI and Hawaiian Airlines announced a new rewards program today called Opinions Take Flight.  The program offers HawaiianMiles members the opportunity to earn award miles by participating in surveys and sharing their opinions.

Click to see how the program works

Currently in its 88th year of continuous service, Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaii’s biggest and longest-in-service airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland.  HawaiianMiles members who enroll in the free Opinions Take Flight program (http://www.opinionstakeflight.com) will grow SSI’s B2B U.S. sample membership and provide SSI clients more access to consumer and business travelers’ opinions.

As the program rolls out to other countries, SSI is expecting additional signups from HawaiianMiles members living and working in Japan, South Korea, China, Australia and New Zealand.  SSI is the premier data audience company with over 2 million B2B sample members globally.

HawaiianMiles members who newly enroll in the Opinions Take Flight panel will receive 350 award miles after completing their first survey.  Award miles will be directly deposited into member accounts and can be redeemed for air travel, car rentals, hotel stays and shopping.

“We are extremely excited for our HawaiianMiles members to experience the Opinions Take Flight program with SSI,” said Char Oshiro, senior director for HawaiianMiles, based in Honolulu.  “In our continuing effort to offer new opportunities to earn miles toward travel-related services, this relationship with SSI will be a first for HawaiianMiles.  We have great confidence in SSI and its team.  They have built a fantastic reputation as the world’s largest multi-mode sample provider to professionals around the globe seeking insights.”

SSI’s business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) audiences are part of the world’s largest and most trusted proprietary sample, which means participants are carefully recruited, verified and managed according to SSI’s high standards.  SSI reaches and engages even the most challenging targets from more than 90 countries.  Sixty-two percent of SSI research projects are multi-cultural.

“SSI is a company deeply rooted in creating data solutions and technology for consumer and business-to-business survey research.  We’ve held a leadership position in providing audience for insights and created the largest network of audience focused loyalty programs around the world,” said Bob Fawson, SSI chief product officer.  “SSI is dedicated to helping companies go from product discovery to product supremacy.  By joining the Opinions Take Flight panel, HawaiianMiles members will experience a simple and easy way to earn miles to help global companies improve their products and services.”

Hawaiian Airlines Remains Top Carrier for Punctuality – 13th Consecutive Year Holding Title

Hawaiian Airlines remained the nation’s top carrier for punctuality in 2016, as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), marking the airline’s 13th consecutive year holding the title.

Click to view Air Travel Consumer Report for February 2017

Hawai’i’s largest and longest-serving airline averaged a 91.1 percent on-time performance rating in 2016, earning the top ranking in all but one month and exceeding the industry average for the year by 9.7 percentage points. For December, Hawaiian Airlines posted a leading 85.1 percent on-time performance rating. The carrier also ranked first in fewest flight cancellations with 0.1 percent, or nine cancellations out of 6,347 flights.

“It’s no secret that our more than 6,000 employees work passionately every day to ensure our guests arrive at their destination on-time,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. “Our success the past 13 years is a direct result of their hard work, and I continue to be inspired by their dedication to our guests.”

Last month, Hawaiian was also named the world’s most punctual airline in 2016 by air travel intelligence company OAG in its annual ranking of on-time performance for all global airlines and airports.

Hawai’i’s largest and longest-serving airline provides daily non-stop service to Hawai’i from 11 gateway cities in North America – more cities than any other carrier – using Airbus A330-200 and Boeing 767-300 aircraft. Hawaiian Airlines also operates approximately 160 daily flights between the Hawaiian Islands using Boeing 717-200 aircraft.

The DOT’s monthly Air Travel Consumer Report ranking the nation’s 16 largest air carriers is available online at www.dot.gov/individuals/air-consumer/air-travel-consumer-reports.