Delta, United, American and Hawaiian would all add
service at Tokyo Haneda Airport under a tentative decision announced by the Department of Transportation.
The DOT will dole out 12 daily landing and departure
allocations at the Tokyo airport pursuant to an agreement reached by the U.S.
and Japan in January. The arrangement will expand the number of daily
landing slots allocated to U.S. airlines at Haneda Airport from the existing
six to 18.
Airlines prefer Haneda to Tokyo Narita because it is closer to the
city's central business district. Carriers expect to begin offering the new
routes ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Under the DOT's tentative decision, Delta would be the
biggest winner, adding Haneda service from Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, Honolulu
and Portland, Ore. Those routes would augment existing Delta-Haneda service
from Los Angeles and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Delta had also applied for a second
daily Honolulu-Haneda route.
In its application for new Haneda slots, Delta argued that
approval of its routes would bolster competition in the Tokyo market because it
is the only applicant that doesn't partner with a Japanese carrier. United has
a joint venture with ANA, American is in a joint venture with
Japan Airlines (JAL), and Hawaiian codeshares with JAL while awaiting regulators'
decision on the carriers' 2018 joint-venture application.
United would get four of the 12 available
Haneda slots. The DOT tentatively
approved United proposals for flights from Newark,
Chicago O'Hare, Washington Dulles and Los Angeles. Those routes would augment
existing Haneda service from San Francisco. United also had applied for service from Guam and Houston Bush.
American would get two new daily flights -- one each from Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles.
Those would augment the carrier's lone existing Haneda route, which also flies
from Los Angeles. American had also applied for a second daily Dallas-Haneda
allocation as well as daily service from Las Vegas.
The DOT has tentatively approved a new daily
frequency between Honolulu and Haneda on Hawaiian, which would augment the 11
weekly flights Hawaiian already offers between those airports. Hawaiian had
requested three new daily frequencies.
In a March
interview, John Grant, senior analyst of airline data provider
OAG, said that Hawaiian might have been seeking those three daily frequencies
as part of an effort to optimize its schedule to connect passengers from Japan
to the U.S. mainland through Honolulu.
The DOT said that in making its decision, it attempted to
promote geographical diversity in routes between Haneda and the U.S. and
prioritized awarding allocations to airline hubs that don't currently offer
Airlines have until May 30 to object to the DOT's proposed