ANA’s mid-sized aircraft arrives at New Ishigaki Airport

ANA's mid-sized aircraft arrives at New Ishigaki Airport

At 3:30pm on March 31, New Ishigaki Airport in Shiraho, Ishigaki, had its first mid-sized aircraft arrival.


April 1, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

On March 31, the first flight using mid-sized aircraft on the Haneda-Ishigaki route operated by All Nippon Airways (ANA) arrived at New Ishigaki Airport. ANA uses the 270-seater Boeing 767-300. Because it can also transport cargo, it is hoped that the aircraft will encourage tourism and the export of local products. This is the first time that ANA is flying on this route in seven years.

New Ishigaki Airport is a recently completed airport equipped with a 2000-meter runway, making it possible for mid-sized aircraft to land and take-off, something not possible at the previous airport. The airport does not have aircraft weight limits and is able to handle direct flights to the Japanese main islands without needing to refuel at other airports.

The first incoming flight and outgoing flights were almost fully booked. The Ishigaki City Tourist Association welcomed passengers with snacks and certificates commemorating their arrival to Japan’s southernmost point.

The outgoing flight carried local products such as okura, bitter melon, flowers and prawns. Previously, cargo had to be flown to Naha using small aircraft before shipping it on to the main islands, but now products can be transported directly to the large market in Tokyo. It is said that this will resolve the issue of leftover pineapples and mangoes during the summer.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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