JAL ends flight between Tokyo and Kona

Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - After 14 years of serving the Big Island, Japan Airlines has ended its flight between Tokyo and Kona International Airport.

The Big Island Visitors Bureau says passengers arriving Friday on JAL Flight 70 from Narita International Airport were greeted with lei and live Hawaiian music.

The bureau's executive director, George Applegate, says the JAL flight was without doubt the most important international route for the Big Island.

He called the daily flight's impact on the island's economy "highly significant," and added that he hopes to welcome JAL back someday.

JAL filed for bankruptcy protection in January with more than $25 billion in debt. Its restructuring plans include dropping unprofitable routes.

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