February 18, 2016

Increased Flights To Haneda A Boost to Tourism

Hirono Fought For Increased Access To Haneda Since Time As Lieutenant Governor

HONOLULU – Today, the U.S. Department of State announced a final agreement between the U.S. and Japanese governments to increase flights from the U.S. to Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Under the new agreement, five round trip flights during the day and one round trip flight at night will operate between the U.S. and Haneda. Currently, U.S. airlines operate four round trip flights to Haneda Airport, all during late-night hours. In addition to speaking with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx last week, Senator Mazie K. Hirono and the Hawaii congressional delegation had previously written to Secretary Foxx and Secretary of State John Kerry to swiftly finalize the aviation agreement expanding access to Haneda.

Since the 1990s, Senator Hirono has advocated for establishing and increasing U.S.-operated flights to Haneda, and especially flights between Hawaii and Tokyo.

“Increasing the number of flights to Haneda Airport will benefit the American economy, increase consumer choice, and serve to build an even stronger link with our close ally, Japan.” said Senator Hirono. “This agreement will provide a welcome boost to the visitor industry for Hawaii and across the country. As part of the continuing engagement to expand options in Haneda I spoke with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to urge continued negotiations.”

Senator Hirono has been a strong and consistent advocate for expanding flights to Hawaii within the Asia-Pacific since she urged U.S. and Japanese officials to open Haneda to international flights during her time as Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor. In the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, Senator Hirono has led and sent letters advocating for more Hawaii routes from Haneda. She has also urged the federal government to move the Haneda negotiations forward by engaging directly with top level Obama Administration officials throughout the process.