US airlines jump at first opportunity at Tokyo Haneda Airport in 30 years

Haneda Airport with its close proximity to Tokyo's central business district, is expected to be opened to US and other foreign airlines later this year, for the first time in over 30 years, under the Dec-2009 Japan-US open skies agreement.

Continental Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines separately submitted or announced plans to submit applications, on 16-Feb-2010, to the US Department of Transportation (DoT), to provide services from select US destinations to Haneda Airport. The airlines are competing for four daily slot pairs. Details include:

  • Continental Airlines: Continental and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Continental Micronesia, submitted a joint application to provide nonstop service from the carriers' hubs in New York-Newark and Guam to Tokyo Haneda. The proposed nonstop service to Haneda would commence in late 2010, pending approval, and would use B777 aircraft from Continental's Newark hub, and B767-400 aircraft from Continental Micronesia's Guam hub;
  • United Airlines: Plans to provide services from San Francisco to Tokyo Haneda using B777-200 equipment;
  • Delta Air Lines: Plans to offer service between Haneda Airport and Seattle, Detroit, Los Angeles and Honolulu, effective 31-Oct-2010, subject to approval. The carrier plans to service the routes with A330-300, B747-400, B747-400 and B747-400 equipment, respectively. Delta stated the importance of its application is “underscored by the fact that Delta's SkyTeam Alliance is the only global network without the ability to compete at Haneda”;
  • American Airlines: Plans to operate year-round daily scheduled services from New York JFK and Los Angeles to Haneda, effective 01-Oct-2010 with B777 equipment;
  • Hawaiian Airlines: Plans to introduce twice daily services between Honolulo and Tokyo Haneda, effective in late Oct-2010, utilising B747-300ER and A330-200 equipment. Japan is Hawaii’s second-largest market for visitors.

There may be more to come as these hearings progress. The issue of slot allocations at each of Haneda and Narita will perhaps not be resolved quite as simply as the Japanese authorities would wish. Many observers in the US were unhappy at the restrictions Japan placed on US airline expansion at Tokyo in the course of their recent open skies negotiations. Increased allocations could consequently become an issue in the current hearings on the applications by Star and oneworld carriers for antitrust immunity.

JAT shares ease

Shares in Japan Airport Terminal Co, operator of terminal facilities at Tokyo Haneda Airport were static, slipping only 0.2% yesterday.

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Selected Chinese airports resumed trade yesterday, following the Chinese New Year holiday, including Hainan Meilan (-0.8%) and Beijing (+1.0%). Elsewhere, shares in Italy’s Aeroporto Toscano led the way up yesterday (+4.6%), rebounding off a 6.2% decline on Monday.

Selected airports daily share price movements (% change): 16-Feb-2010

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