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Okinawa getting direct window to the world

Date Posted: 2006-08-11

All Nippon Airways is taking the lead in opening Okinawa’s travel market.

Travellers to Okinawa will, beginning November 1, be able to fly direct from Tokyo Narita International Airport to Okinawa. ANA’s new route is the eighth domestic flight to use Narita from locations within Japan.

Currently, travelers heading to international destinations, or coming into Japan through Narita, must take a bus, train or taxi in transiting Tokyo’s domestic Haneda Airport. The nearly two-hour ride from Haneda to Narita, or vice versa, has long been an irritant to travelers.

ANA will use a Boeing 737-300 for the daily flights. A spokesman says a flight will leave Naha International Airport at 11:40am, arriving at Narita at 1:50pm. A return flight to Okinawa will depart Narita at 5:55pm, arriving in Naha at 8:35pm. The daily flights are designed to connect with inbound and outbound international flights at Narita.

An ANA spokesman says the company decided to open the new route after listening to countless complaints and requests from unhappy customers going through the hassles of going through Haneda. ANA says it views the new route as a boost to international tourism for Okinawa, because “This makes it more convenient for travelers to reach Okinawa from international routes.” He adds that “it is sure to increase Okinawa’s attractiveness among international tourists.”

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