Customs and immigration checks are being set up at Kona International Airport in time for Hawaiian Airlines to begin operating nonstop flights there from Japan.
The first flight from Kona to Tokyo’s Haneda airport will depart on Dec. 20. The return flight will arrive the following day.
Gov. David Ige said in a statement Thursday the flight will boost tourism spending, create jobs and generate millions of dollars for the economy.
Hawaiian’s new route will bring a regularly scheduled flight from Japan to the Big Island for the first time since 2010. That’s the year Japan Airlines stopped flying its Tokyo-Kona route.
Hawaiian’s flight will operate three times a week.
The Kona airport has new security cameras and motion sensors. It has passport kiosks to process international passengers quickly.