Categorized | Business

JAL shoots Big Isle a Christmas present


Japan Airline landed again Saturday at Kona International Airport. The special charter flight carried 179 passengers from Japan who wanted to spend Christmas on the Big Island.

The flight arrived at 7:15 a.m. Christmas Day, and passengers from Japan were greeted with lei, cookies and live Hawaiian entertainment. Officials from the Big Island Visitors Bureau, the Department of Transportation and JAL were there in person to greet the arriving passengers.

“We told Japan Airlines that we’d always be here and we will be,” said George Applegate, executive director for the Big Island Visitors Bureau.

Applegate, along with BIVB’s Senior Director of Sales Debbie Hogan, Hawaii District Manager for State of Hawaii DOT Airports Division Chauncey Wong Yuen and Kevin Tanaka of JAL, were at the airport to greet the Christmas Day passengers.

It’s a one-time charter that the Big Island’s tourism industry hopes turns into more. On Oct. 29, JAL ceased flights into Kona from Narita – one of 15 international routes that the airlines suspended to help it recover from bankruptcy.

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