16 MAY 2016
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Hawaiian Airlines on Friday secured the right to begin flying nonstop between Tokyo and Kailua-Kona after it was awarded a fiercely-sought-after new night-departure slot at Haneda Airport.
The move means there will be a regularly-scheduled direct flight between Japan and Hawaii’s Big Island for the first time since 2010.
Hawaiian says it will use the slot to fly to Kona three times a week and to Honolulu four times. The carrier already flies between Haneda and Honolulu.
The new route is about 6,540km (3,529nmi) with a flight time of about 8hr 26min.
Haneda is a strategically-important airport as it is closer to the centre of Tokyo than Narita and is a hub for flights from all over Japan.
However, international flights from Haneda are scarce and slots are fought over keenly. US airlines currently have four, all for “red-eye” operations so far, though they are scheduled to move to earlier flight times later this year.
Before Friday’s announcement, Hawaiian had one of the four and flies to Honolulu daily. United has one and flies to San Francisco. The remaining two are used by American and Delta, both to serve Los Angeles (LAX).
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