Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement, congratulating the Port of Seattle and All Nippon Airways on its inaugural direct flight between Sea-Tac International Airport and Tokyo, Japan:
"This is a significant day for the Port of Seattle and All Nippon Airways -- and I congratulate both for their tireless work to secure this new direct flight between Seattle and Tokyo, Japan. I began lobbying for this connection during a trade mission in 2005, and am pleased to help celebrate the arrival of ANA's inaugural flight into Sea-Tac.
"I know that to improve our economy, there is no better strategy than face-to-face meetings. This new flight will strengthen business and trade between our state and Japan -- making it easier for businessmen and women on both sides of the ocean to meet and develop new relationships. At the same time, I expect this direct connection will lead to greater tourism in Washington state, as visitors from Japan now have an easier route to enjoy all of the world-class attractions our state has to offer.
"Additionally, those who fly this flight will eventually enjoy the best that the aerospace industry has to offer -- and that's the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. I look forward to later this fall, when ANA becomes the first to fly the 787 into and out of the state where the airplane was developed and manufactured."