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United Airlines Looking to Expand Operations to Haneda Airport

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United Airlines — the wholly owned subsidiary of United Continental Holdings (UAL - Free Report) — filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in a bid to expand its footprint in Japan and attract additional traffic. Notably, this Chicago-based carrier has sought permission to operate daily non-stop flights to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport from six U.S. international airports.

In the summer of 2020, United Airlines plans to commence operations to Haneda after the slots are awarded from its hubs at Newark Liberty, Chicago O'Hare, Washington Dulles, Los Angeles International, Houston George Bush and Guam. The aviation agreement between the United States and Japan is expected to be completed later this year.

Per United Airlines’ application, the flights to Haneda from Newark, Los Angeles and Guam would be in addition to the daily flights between the above three hubs and Tokyo’s other international airport — Narita. However, the non-stop flights to Haneda from its hubs at Chicago O'Hare, Washington Dulles and Houston George Bush would be shifted from Narita.

With the Olympics to be held in Tokyo next year, the routes are likely to invite substantial traffic. Accordingly, other U.S. carriers — Delta Air Lines (DAL - Free Report) and American Airlines (AAL - Free Report) — have also applied for slots at Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

While Delta is bidding for five slots, American Airlines has sought permission for four. With leading carriers interested to fly to Haneda, investors would keenly look forward to DOT’s decision on the applications.

Zacks Rank & Key Pick

United Continental carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Investors interested in the airline space may consider Azul S.A. (AZUL - Free Report) sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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