Hawaiian Airlines welcomes first passengers from Osaka flight

By Mark Carpenter

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A day after commencing service to Osaka, Hawaiian Airlines completed its inaugural roundtrip from the Japan city.

Flower lei and live music were a part of the festivities as Hawaiian welcomed passengers from the first Osaka flight.

In addition to Seoul and Tokyo, the route is the airline's third to Asia.

"It's very exciting to have another flight from Kansai Airport. Very few right now," Osaka resident Yuji Murakawa said.

According to Hawaiian's President and CEO Mark Dunkerley, the airline is happy to provide service to Japan's second-most populous region.

"We are thrilled about getting our new Osaka route underway, and even more so about the tremendous response from our new base of customers in the Kansai region," Dunkerley said. "This route is going to be great for Hawaii's tourism industry and the people who depend on its success."

The Hawaii Tourism Authority estimates the new flight to Osaka will generate over $120 million in visitor spending and state tax revenue for the Hawaii's economy.

Etsuko Ando was one 209 passengers on the inaugural flight.

"It was great. It was a long flight, but it was so nice," said Ando, who is making her seventh trip to the islands.

Wednesday's flight from Kansai International Airport clocked in at just under eight hours.

Hawaiian says they will be adding approximately 100,000 new air seats annually from Osaka to Honolulu.

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