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JAL to seek 'rational explanation' from MLITT on slot allocations at Tokyo Haneda Airport

2-Oct-2013 5:25 PM

Japan Airlines (JAL) stated (02-Oct-2013) it received notification from Japan's MLITT regarding the current allocation of international flight departure and arrival slots to be added from FY2014 at Tokyo Haneda Airport. JAL had requested an equal allocation based on the idea that equal distribution among the two airlines operating international flights would lead to the maximisation of both convenience for passengers and benefit to the national interest. However, it has been notified that of the 16 additional slots at Tokyo Haneda for Japanese airlines, JAL was allocated five slots, compared to 11 allocated to All Nippon AirwaysJAL said it believes the decision "diverged greatly from an even allocation", adding that "the new criteria pertained to the establishment of a given new route which set the limitation for free business activities, and we sincerely regret that we cannot accept this". JAL added: "Decisions regarding the allocation of national assets such as departure and arrival slots were not made from the standpoint of maximisation of passenger convenience and the national interest. Additionally, no rational reason was given by MLITT as to how the current allocation would bring about such benefits. We received the explanation that this decision was made based on whether or not the criteria pertained to the establishment of a given new route. It has not been specifically explained why new criteria have been abruptly established, why it is that routes established at Tokyo (Haneda) Airport are to be regarded as "new", or how they might impede or distort an appropriate competitive environment". JAL will proceed to formally seek from MLITT a rational explanation and a correction of the content of this allocation. [more - original PR]