Celebrations were held at Tokyo Narita on 15 September to herald the start of flights to Kona. Among the festivities was a braking of the Kagami-biraki, a Japanese traditional ceremony which literally translates to ‘Opening the Mirror’. Among those taking part were: Yasuo Ishii, Head of Narita Airport; Junko Okawa, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Japan Airlines; Kazunari Koizumi, Mayor of Narita City; and Erik Takahata, Director of Tourism Bureau of Hawaii State.
Japan Airlines resumed flights to Kona in Hawaii on 15 September after a seven-year hiatus. Seen speaking at the launch is David Ige, Governor of Hawaii, who was joined by Masaru Onishi, Chairman of Japan Airlines. Both gentlemen then greeted passengers as they disembarked the flight from Tokyo Narita. The route will be flown daily on 767-300s.
- Japan Airlines resumed service to Kona (KOA) after a seven-year hiatus on 15 September, linking the Hawaiian airport to Tokyo Narita (NRT). Last flown in 2010, Japan Airlines will now offer a daily service on the 6,391-kilometre using its 767-300s. “Japan Airlines has been a partner with the state of Hawaii for more than 50 years and growing the visitor industry, being respectful of what makes Hawaii a special place,” said Hawaii Governor David Ige in remarks to the crowd at Kona Airport on the day of the carrier’s return. “The people, place and culture of Hawaii is what draws the visitors from Japan and they have been terrific guests here to our islands.” Along with Kona, Japan Airlines also serves Honolulu in Hawaii from Narita, while Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York JFK and San Francisco in the US are also served by the oneworld member from the Japanese airport. No other airline links Kona to Narita, however Hawaiian Airlines offers a three times weekly link from Kona to Tokyo Haneda, an airport pair which the latter airline operates on A330-200s. See how Kona Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.