Governor Ron DeSantis Meets with Japanese Airline Industry Leaders to Discuss Future Direct Flights
Plans for direct flights from Japan to two major Florida airports
TOKYO, Japan — Governor Ron DeSantis met with executives from All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines to discuss new direct flight opportunities between Florida and Japan. The Governor was joined by Florida Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella and other members of the Florida delegation. While Florida has always been a great tourist destination, major cities like Orlando and Miami continue to offer strong business opportunities for countries like Japan. Direct flights would help those opportunities flourish in the coming years.
“Florida is excited to be strengthening our relationship with Japan,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Having more opportunities to travel between Florida and Japan can boost tourism and entrepreneurship and enhance relationships between businesses in Japan and those located in Florida.”
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of today’s crucial conversations regarding our next steps in building upon our already strong relationship with Japan,” said Laura DiBella, Florida Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida. “Today’s discussions were positive and informative, and I am eager to continue the conversations of bringing direct flights from Japan to the Sunshine State.”
Florida is home to two of the largest airports in the country. In 2022, Miami International Airport was the busiest airport in Florida and received a record breaking 50.6 million visitors. Orlando International Airport is historically one of the top ten busiest airports in the country and saw 50.1 million visitors in 2022.
Florida and Japan’s Economic Relationship
Florida serves as a convenient base for Japanese companies wishing to expand into the Southeastern US and into the Latin America and Caribbean region. Japan is the 6th largest foreign investor in Florida, with more than 200 Japanese companies employing more than 22,000 Floridians with holdings totaling more than $5.2 billion. Bilateral trade between Florida and Japan exceeds $6.6 billion annually, making it Florida’s 2nd largest bilateral merchandise trade partner in the Asia-Pacific region and Florida’s 7th largest partner overall.
In 2022, Japan imported approximately $636 million in goods from Florida seaports and airports. Automobiles and related products account for almost 81% of all exports from Japan to Florida, with the Port of Jacksonville consistently serving as one of the top three ports for unloading Japanese vehicles for the United States. Additionally, auto parts from Japan are shipped through Florida’s distribution centers to part centers throughout the United States.