Four U.S. carriers are fighting for 19 slots at Tokyo Haneda Airport. Who will be left without a seat when the music stops?
A new bilateral aviation agreement with Japan gives U.S. carriers access to 12 new daytime slots at Tokyo Haneda. Daytime is the key word, as these highly-coveted slots will allow more convenient service to Tokyo’s more central airport. While Narita was once served longahul international travel while Haneda focused on domestic and regional traffic, Haneda has expanded into an international hub over the last decade.
With the chance to expand, American, Delta, Hawaiian, and United have submitted bids for 19 new routes to Tokyo Haneda. These will complement the existing six routes already in service:
- American – from Los Angeles
- Delta – from Los Angeles + Minneapolis
- Hawaiian – from Honolulu + Kona
- United – from San Francisco
AA has requested four new slots to Haneda, including:
- Dallas – DFW – 2x daily (777-200ER)
- Las Vegas – LAS (787-8)
- Los Angeles – LAX (787-8)
The Las Vegas route is most interesting, especially considering the former America West / US Airways hub is no longer a hub. It brings back memories of US Airways’ around-the-clock-service, with flights departing in the middle of the night. But with so much competition at LAS, I doubt we’d see a rebirth of this domestic hub for AA.
All four flights would represent new service (the LAX-HND flight would be a second daily flight).
Delta Air Lines
DL has requested six new slots to Haneda, including:
- Atlanta – ATL (777-200)
- Detroit – DTW (A350-900)
- Honolulu – HNL – 2x daily (767-300)
- Portland – PDX (A330-200)
- Seattle – SEA (A330-900neo)
Delta is not proposing any new service. Instead, it wants to abandon Narita and shift all of its Tokyo traffic to Haneda.
HA has requested three new slots from Honolulu to Haneda using A330-200s. This would be in addition to its existing daily flight to Haneda. The carrier has not confirmed whether the new Haneda service would replace or complement its service to Tokyo Narita.
UA has requested six new slots to Haneda, including:
- Chicago – ORD (777-200)
- Guam – GUM (777-200)
- Houston – IAH (777-200)
- Los Angeles – LAX (787-10)
- Newark – EWR ( 777-200)
- Washington – IAD (777-200)
The flights from Chicago O’Hare, Houston Bush Intercontinental, and Washington Dulles would replace existing flights to Tokyo Narita. The flights from Guam, Los Angeles, and Newark would be new services.
If I was a betting man, I’d make the following wagers about who will “win” the slots:
- American will receive one slot from Dallas and the new Las Vegas slot. The LA slot is redundant and the second Dallas slot is unrealistic, especially considering JAL also serves DFW. (2)
- Delta will receive two slots, one for Honolulu and one for Seattle. This is because this service change will still leave flights to Narita from both cities. Its other requests will not be priortized since they will lead to cuts from Narita. (2)
- Hawaiian will receive two slots from Honolulu. (6)
- United will receive a slot from all six cities. Three are a given–the new service to Guam, Los Angeles, and Newark. But I think the other three make sense because United does not face competition on these routes and consumers prefer Haneda over Narita. ANA will (presumably) continue to fly from Chicago, Houston, and Washington to Narita, meaning consumers will still have the choice to fly to either Tokyo airport. (12)
That totals 12!
I also agree with One Mile at a Time that it is curious that American has taken a more conservative route and is not vying for new service from its Charlotte, Philadelphia, or Phoenix hubs.
While I also prefer to fly into Haneda over Narita, I don’t really mind Narita at all. The train into central Tokyo is easy enough and Narita is a very pleasant airport to connect in. We should know in a few weeks which slots the U.S. Department of Transportation will award.
What new flight to Tokyo Haneda would you like to see from U.S. carriers?