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American Airlines to Expand Tokyo Haneda Service in 2020

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American Airlines (AAL - Free Report) provided details on the additional flights connecting Tokyo Haneda Airport with key U.S. destinations. The flights are scheduled to start operating from 2020. Notably, American Airlines joins the likes of Delta Air Lines (DAL - Free Report) and United Airlines (UAL - Free Report) in disclosing the specifics related to new Haneda flights.

Delving Deeper

From Mar 29, 2020, American Airlines will start operating daily flights between Dallas and Tokyo Haneda Airport. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) Fort Worth, TX-based carrier will utilize Boeing 777-300 jets, its sole long-haul international plane with first-class, for operating on the route. This will be American Airlines’ second Asian destination from Dallas. Currently, it operates flights connecting Dallas and Hong Kong.

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The Dallas route apart, American Airlines will operate a second flight connecting Los Angeles and Tokyo Haneda from Mar 29. American Airlines will utilize a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for operating on the route.

Tickets on the new routes will be available from Sep 30, 2019. Once the new flights become operational, passengers from Haneda Airport will have access to more than 220 destinations in the Americas through Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Haneda Airport Highly Sought-After

American Airlines’ disclosure came after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) finally awarded it two additional slots (Dallas and Los Angeles) pertaining to Tokyo Haneda operations. We remind investors that in February 2019, U.S. carriers — American Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian Holdings (HA - Free Report) , the parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, and United Airlines — had sought approval from the DOT to operate more flights at Haneda Airport. While the preliminary nod from the DOT came in May, final approval was granted in August.

Notably, the additional slots at Haneda Airport became available after delegations from the United States and Japan tentatively agreed to amend the aviation agreement between them in January. According to the revised agreement, the U.S. carriers can operate up to 12 additional flights connecting U.S. cities to Haneda Airport. While the DOT awarded two the 12 slots to American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines won five, four and one slot, respectively.

With the 2020 summer Olympics to be held in Tokyo, it is natural that flights to the Japanese capital will attract substantial traffic. Another advantage associated with the Haneda Airport is its convenient location compared with Tokyo’s another international airport — Narita International Airport. Owing to its nearness to downtown Tokyo, Haneda Airport is often preferred by passengers, particularly business travelers.

The preference enjoyed by Haneda Airport is evident from American Airlines’ decision to reduce flights to Narita, including the discontinuation of the Chicago-Narita service from Mar 30, 2020. Also, from March 2020, Delta intends to transfer its entire US-Tokyo operations from Narita to Haneda Airport.

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