All Nippon Airways has started direct flights between Tokyo’s Haneda airport and Miyakojima, an island in Okinawa Prefecture.
The unit of ANA Holdings Inc. aims to attract repeat visitors to Okinawa by offering one round-trip flight per day between Haneda and the island, which is popular among such tourists.
On the new route, which began Sunday, the flight leaves Haneda at 11:40 a.m. and arrives at Miyakojima about three hours later. ANA expects an average seat occupancy rate of 70 percent.
On Sunday, the airline also launched a daily round-trip service between Kansai International Airport in Osaka and Miyakojima.
“We want to deepen our relationship with Miyakojima, which has wonderful nature and the best ocean in the East,” ANA Senior Executive Vice President Koichi Uchizono said during a ceremony held at Haneda marking the departure of the first flight on the new route.
He also expressed hopes that the new flights will lead to a demand by foreign tourists visiting Japan.
At the ceremony, Miyakojima Mayor Toshihiko Shimoji said, “I want (people) to come and enjoy the island,” highlighting its beautiful coral reefs and high mango production.
Japan TransOcean Air, a Japan Airlines unit based in Naha, the prefectural capital, already operates one round-trip per day between Haneda and Miyakojima.