The Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded four routes to Tokyo’s downtown Haneda Airport to American Airlines at New York , Delta Air Lines at Los Angeles and Detroit , and Hawaiian Airlines at Honolulu. The service begins when the airport’s fourth runway becomes operational later this year. The DOT’s action makes final the tentative decision of May 7.
The opportunities were negotiated in connection with the U.S.-Japan Open Skies agreement which was concluded last December. They permit U.S. carriers to introduce a total of four daily round-trip services at Haneda. Previously, U.S. carriers serving Tokyo have been limited to using Narita Airport, which is considerably farther from the city.
“These new flights will provide travelers with more convenient access to Tokyo,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The Department granted one opportunity to Hawaiian for service from Honolulu, two opportunities to Delta for service from Los Angeles and from Detroit, and one opportunity to American for service from New York’s JFK Airport. Also applying for Haneda slots were Continental Airlines, Continental Micronesia and United Airlines.
In its final decision, the DOT said selecting Hawaiian Airlines, which currently does not serve Japan, will add a new competitor to the U.S.-Tokyo market. Delta’s flight from Los Angeles would serve the largest West Coast and mainland U.S. market to Tokyo.
Delta’s flight from its Detroit hub will provide Haneda access to a broad area in the central and eastern United States. American’s New York flight will serve the second largest mainland U.S.- Tokyo market and will also promote competition among several major airline alliances. The carriers will be required to begin Haneda operations by January 29, 2011.