Japan Airlines will stop flights to the Big Island

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi says an effort to keep Japan Airlines flying to the Big Island has failed. JAL announced earlier this year that it would end direct flights from Tokyo's Narita International Airport to Kona International Airport.

Kenoi said Thursday that JAL executives have confirmed the airline will suspend the flights Oct. 29. The mayor says although he and other officials in Hawaii worked hard to convince JAL to reconsider its decision, he understands the airline is under enormous pressure to restructure.

Kenoi says JAL's move to centralize its Hawaii operations in Honolulu is a cost-cutting step that is part of a much larger strategy. JAL has provided the daily service to the Big Island since 1996.

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