Hawaiian Airlines Awarded Nighttime Flight to Haneda
New flights scheduled between Kona International Airport, Honolulu International Airport, and Haneda Airport in Tokyo will be flown by Hawaiian Airlines.
The United States Department of Transportation approved Hawaiian Airlines application on Friday morning.
DOT has provided Hawaiian Airlines until Jan. 29, 2017 to start the service.
“Hawaiian, and Hawaiian alone, requested the nighttime slot pair, and the Department finds that prompt approval of Hawaiian’s request is consistent with the public interest,” DOT wrote in an order issued Friday morning.
“This is a tremendous news for Hawaiian Airlines, for our employees, our customers, and for the economies of Kona and out entire state,” said Mark Dunkerly, Hawaiian’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Flights between Hawai’i and Japan are the most traveled and most beneficial to the U.S. 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 $35 million in visitor spending and $12.5 million in wages and benefits.”
Next, the DOT will decided which five of eight remaining applications by U.S. air carriers will be approved for daytime slots for travel to Haneda.
“Many thanks go to our entire Congressional Delegation for advocating so strongly for Hawaiian Airlines and Hawai’i in this proceeding,” Dunkerly continued. “Mahalo also to Governor David Ige, Mayor Billy Kenoi, and all of the businesses and individuals who offered letters of support for this service.”
The amended agreement will take effect on Oct. 30, 2016.
“Securing the daytime slots for our existing Honolulu-Haneda route will optimize these scarce route rights, since no other application comes close to providing the benefits to the community, travelers, and the economy when compared to our already successful service started six years ago,” said Dukerly.
Senator Brian Schatz noted that the announcement is welcomed and will provide for more visitors to fly into both the Kona and Honolulu airports.
“Secretary Foxx shared this good news this morning, and I continue to appreciate the excellent work the Secretary has done to add new routes between Tokyo and the U.S.,” said Senator Schatz. “It is important to keep in mind there are five more routes up for competition, and I will continue to strongly advocate for Hawaiian Airlines in their effort to secure more direct flights from Tokyo to Hawai‘i. Hawaiian has a proven record of success in the Tokyo market and there continues to be tremendous demand to fly into Hawai‘i.”