Tokyo Haneda to open to four US carriers in 2010: Airport Share Wrap

Shares in Japan Airport Terminal Co Ltd, operator of Tokyo Haneda Airport terminals, lifted 1.0% yesterday as the US Department of Transportation (DoT) awarded four routes to Tokyo Haneda to American Airlines at New York, Delta Air Lines at Los Angeles and Detroit, and Hawaiian Airlines at Honolulu, with service to commence when the airport’s fourth runway becomes operational later this year.

The route applications were made possible due to the US-Japan Open-Skies agreement which was concluded in Dec-2009, permitting US carriers to introduce four daily round-trip services at Haneda. Previously, US carriers serving Tokyo had been limited to using Tokyo Narita Airport.

The approval makes final the tentative decision of 07-May-2010, with the selected carriers required to commence Haneda operations by 29-Jan-2011. Also applying for Haneda slots were Continental Airlines, Continental Micronesia and United Airlines.

Details include:

  • American Airlines: To operate daily, year-round, non-stop service between New York JKF and Tokyo Haneda, with the new services to complement the twice daily services oneworld partner, Japan Airlines, plans to operate between Haneda and the US. This will give oneworld the most daily non-stop US-Haneda flights of any alliance;
  • Delta: To operate daily, year-round non-stop service between Detroit and Los Angeles and Tokyo Haneda, with both routes to be operated with daily frequency. With its new flights, Delta will serve the largest mainland US-Tokyo market, to complement its existing service at Tokyo Narita (Delta currently offers flights between Narita and 11 US cities). Scheduled details of the new services will be announced at a later date;
  • Hawaiian Airlines described the approval of daily Honolulu-Haneda services as a "major step" in its expansion into Asia. Hawaiian's first-ever commercial service to Japan is scheduled to commence on 31-Oct-2010 and will add approximately 100,000 new air seats p/a to Hawaii from its second-largest tourism market. Hawaiian will initially serve Haneda with B767-300ER aircraft seating up to 264 passengers, before introducing its new 294-seat A330-200 aircraft on the route.

The DoT stated that “in its final decision, the Department said selecting Hawaiian Airlines, which currently does not serve Japan, will add a new competitor to the US-Tokyo market. Delta’s flight from Los Angeles would serve the largest West Coast and mainland US 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 US-Tokyo market and will also promote competition among several major airline alliances."

Meanwhile, Japan Airlines Executive Officer of International Affairs, Tsutomu Ando, congratulated American Airlines on “gaining the rights". He said: "The allocation of frequencies from the US DoT is a clear endorsement of the benefits that customers can expect with the commencement of the New York to Haneda route by American Airlines. JAL will initiate service to San Francisco and Honolulu from Haneda this autumn and we look forward to leveraging on the collective synergy that both oneworld members can create at one of the most strategic airports in a region of growth. This will significantly heighten competition with the other alliances and thereby deliver a host of benefits to consumers."

Another oneworld carrier, Cathay Pacific also announced plans to commence twice daily service to Tokyo Haneda Airport on 31-Oct-2010 in addition to continuing to serve Narita International Airport, increasing the carrier's operations to Tokyo from six to seven times daily. Cathay's Narita frequency will be adjusted to five flights a day – four non-stop and one via Taipei.

Abertis remains strong

Elsewhere Spain’s Abertis continued to lead the way up (+5.7%) following its 12.2% gain on Monday on the back of reports that two major shareholders, ACS and Criteria, are exploring plans to create a buyout vehicle by Luxembourg-based private equity firm CVC Partners.

Selected airports daily share price movements (% change): 06-Jul-2010