Mike McCartney, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, has issued a statement regarding Japan Airlines' decision to temporarily reduce flights to Hawaii in the wake of the tsunami that devastated Japan and disrupted the Big Island.
"The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) understands the difficult decision Japan Airlines (JAL) has made to temporarily reduce flights from Narita to Honolulu in April 2011. We remain committed to working with JAL on efforts to drive demand and reinstate air seats to Hawaii when appropriate.
"The HTA has projected a shortfall in targeted arrivals from Japan in the coming month that factors in the anticipated reduction in passenger counts due to flight consolidations out of this market. In response to the decline, the HTA board approved more than $3.055 million to support efforts to stabilize all markets and maintain Hawaii’s market share position. We will be working with our marketing contractors and visitor industry partners to implement programs to increase the number of visitors from other major markets including North America, Oceania, China and Korea.
"We will continue to actively monitor the situation and assess the impact the short-term consolidation of flights will have on Hawaii. While it is important to Hawaii’s visitor industry that the airlines providing service to our state remain healthy and viable, right now, our main concern is for the Japanese people and helping them recover from this tragedy. We encourage others to join us in supporting the 'Aloha for Japan' fundraising efforts."