HONOLULU (KHON2) — Oahu welcomed All Nippon Airways’ ‘Flying Honu’, which is the world’s largest passenger airplane. The aircraft was full of travelers flying out of Tokyo that were greeted with hula, music and lei.

“So, watching the Japan visitors now arriving with smiles on their faces, it’s just a dream come true for them and for us,” said John De Fries, Hawaii Tourism Authority president and CEO.

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Gov. David Ige said after two long years, he is excited to welcome the Japan visitors.

When he visited Tokyo, Gov. Ige said government officials embraced the malama Hawaii message and “are committed to helping us pivot from more and more visitors to truly the visitors that we want. The ones who are mindful, who care about our culture and care about our environment.”

These aircrafts made a huge impact on the economy when they first arrived in 2019, bringing in 1.5 million international visitors, and Gov. Ige said the return of these planes “is definitely a reason to celebrate.”

Many travelers were embraced, and one visitor in a long-distance relationship was happy to have his girlfriend here for the first time ever.

“Oh wonderful, we’re super thrilled,” said Oahu resident John Hemmings.

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The aircraft can hold up to 520 passengers and on Friday, there will be seven roundtrips per week between Tokyo and Honolulu.