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Mayor Kenoi’s Statement On New Haneda-Kona Route

Hawaiʻi County Mayor Billy Kenoi said he is thrilled by today’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved the application by Hawaiian Airlines to provide passenger air service to Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport from Honolulu and Kona International Airports.
Kona tokyo

“Our economy is uniquely tied to air service,” said Mayor Kenoi. “Thousands of our working families depend on the visitor industry, not only at resorts and hotels, but also at attractions, activities, restaurants, and retailers. This is great news for our state, and especially for Hawaiʻi Island.”

Entrepreneurs on Hawaiʻi Island who specialize in agriculture and aquaculture niche markets will also benefit from added market opportunities since this flight will be able to carry air cargo. “These products no longer have to be sent to Honolulu before being flown to Japan,” said Mayor Kenoi. “This increases freshness and reduces cost.”

The new route will bring a regularly scheduled international flight to Hawaiʻi Island for the first time since 2010, the last year Japan Airlines offered service between Kona and Tokyo’s Narita airport. Hawaiian Airlines will start flying directly into Kona from Haneda three times a week by Jan. 29, 2017.

Assisting in the restoration of this route has been a priority of the Kenoi administration ever since Japan Air Lines ended its service. “The County of Hawaiʻi has done everything it could to support Hawaiian Airlines’ application for the flight, including discussions and communications with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Department of Homeland Defense Secretary Jeh Johnson regarding Customs and Border Protection in Kona.”

Mayor Kenoi thanked Hawaiian Airlines for never giving up its pursuit to expand its Hawaiʻi-Japan routes, significantly the direct flight into Kona. “Our residents are keenly aware of the great economic impact this will have for the entire island,” Mayor Kenoi said. “This is also a win-win as it strengthens the competitiveness of Hawaiian Airlines in this market, and fulfills a U.S. Department of Transportation mandate to strengthen smaller carriers.”

Governor Abercrombie Concludes Asia Trip, Returns To Hawai’i

Governor Neil Abercrombie will return to Hawai’i tomorrow after having spent nearly two weeks in Asia, where he participated in numerous meetings to strengthen relationships in Tokyo, Okinawa, and Beijing.

Neil Abercrombie Far East Trip

“It was an extremely productive trip that will benefit Hawai’i as we look to strengthen our economy,” Governor Abercrombie said. “Building upon our relationships with these countries is important not just for our visitor industry but our longstanding cultural connections as well.”

Neil Abercrombie Far East Trip

The Governor was also among a delegation of six governors that participated in the National Governors Association (NGA) U.S.-China Governors Forum.  The Forum was co-convened by NGA and the Chinese People’s Associations for Friendship with Foreign Countries.  The Forum was established to strengthen a subnational dialogue between the two countries and focused on economic development and job creation.

Neil Abercrombie Far East Trip

Hawai’i Tourism Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Michael McCartney who traveled with the Governor in Beijing returned from China this afternoon.

Neil Abercrombie Far East Trip

McCartney said, “Governor Abercrombie led a series of successful briefings that were very positive for Hawai’i and U.S. foreign affairs. This trip has helped to further advance our relationships, especially in China, which is an emerging market for our visitor industry.”

Governor Abercrombie Concludes Asia Trip, Returns To Hawai'i

Photos of the Governor’s trip can be accessed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilabercrombie/sets/72157627872287544/.  Governor Abercrombie will hold a news conference to discuss his Asia trip on Monday, October 24, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. in the Ceremonial Room on the 5th floor of the State Capitol.