(BIVN) – The first international flight to Hawaiʻi under the State’s pre-travel COVID-119 testing program landed in Honolulu on Friday.
64 travelers from Japan arrived on an All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight from Haneda Airport in Tokyo. With negative results from the certified pre-travel COVID test, the visitors will be able to avoid Hawaiʻi’s mandatory 14-day quarantine.
After the arrival, as the passengers cleared customs, a news conference was held by state officials.
“Today we welcome additional visitors from Japan who are participating in the pre-travel testing program,” said Governor David Ige. “This allows us to revive our economy while keeping our community, the people who work here, and those in the hospitality industry, safe.”
“This program helps us welcome back friends and loved ones traveling from Japan, thanks to the governor’s strong leadership,” said Lt. Governor Josh Green. “We are excited to reunite people and restore some hope.”
Officials hope the restart of tourism from Japan will boost an ailing economy.
“A single Airbus at 85% percent passenger capacity is estimated to bring spending of $105 million to Hawai‘i, generating $12 million in taxes, and supporting 1,100 jobs,” Lt. Gov Green said.
ANA, Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines have a total of eight flights from Japan to Honolulu this month, the State of Hawaiʻi reports. ANA has another flight scheduled to arrive on Nov. 20. Japan Airlines flights are scheduled for Nov. 10 and 23. Hawaiian Airlines flights from Japan are scheduled for each Saturday in November. The state is working with the governments of Canada, South Korea, Taiwan, and New Zealand, as the next international destinations to resume travel under the Safe Travels Program.