American & Delta Propose New Routes To Tokyo Haneda

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With the US Department of Transport currently negotiating a new airline agreement with Japanese authorities we should soon see new slots opened up at Tokyo Haneda for the use of US airlines.

United was first out with news that they’re applying to operate 6 new routes between the continental US and Tokyo Haneda and now Delta and American have put forward their applications for new Haneda routes in 2020.

Delta Applies For 5 New Haneda Routes

Delta already offers service to Haneda from Minneapolis/St. Paul and Los Angeles and now the carrier is proposing new services from the following US cities:

  • Atlanta
  • Detroit
  • Honolulu
  • Portland
  • Seattle

Three of the proposed routes would offer Delta’s 4-cabin configuration together with Delta One Suites.

a row of seats in a plane
Image courtesy of Delta

The proposed route from Seattle would be operated by Delta’s new A330-900neo aircraft, the route from Detroit would be operated by Delta’s A350s and the route from Atlanta would be operated by Delta’s refurbished 777-200ERs.

Delta is suggesting it would operate the Portland route using its A330-200 aircraft with 34 lie-flat Business Class seats offering all passengers direct aisle access….

a man sleeping in a bed
Image courtesy of Delta

…as well as 32 Delta Comfort+ seats and 168 regular Economy Class seats (no Premium Economy).

Lastly, Delta is proposing to operate the Honolulu – Tokyo Haneda route twice daily with its 767-300ER which the airline says is currently being retrofitted with a new cabin interior and inflight entertainment system.

There has been no mention what effect (if any) Delta’s proposed new routes to Haneda would have on the airlines existing services to Tokyo Narita.

American Applies For More Routes & Flights To Haneda

American Airlines has put forward proposals to start up two new routes – one out of Dallas and one out of Las Vegas – and it’s requesting permission to add a flight to its existing route between Los Angeles and Tokyo Haneda.

a street with signs and people walking around with Kabukichō, Tokyo in the background

American is proposing to operate two daily flights between Dallas Ft. Worth and Tokyo Haneda departing on the following schedule:

DFW 12:35 – 15:55 HND
DFW 15:00 – 18:30 HND

The flights would both be operated by American’s Boeing 777-200 aircraft so there wouldn’t be a First Class cabin on offer.

The proposed Las Vegas – Tokyo Haneda route would see the following outbound schedule….

LAS 13:30 – 17:25 HND

…and the route would be operated by one of American’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.

a plane parked at an airport

The extra flight proposed between Los Angeles and Tokyo Haneda would have the following departure schedule…

LAX 00:40 – 04:45 HND

…and would also be operated by an American Airlines 787-8 Dreamliner.

American’s current route between Los Angeles and Haneda departs LAX at 10:20 during the winter schedule and 10:35 during the summer schedule so the proposed new flight should complement this quite well.

The airline had made no comment about the fate of its daily Narita flights that currently operate out of Dallas and Los Angeles should its Haneda flights get the go ahead.

Final Thought

It’s believed that the US DoT will have the right to allocate up to 12 slot pairs at Tokyo Haneda and the 3 major US legacy carriers have applied for 16 new flights between them (United 6, Delta 5, & American 4) – while Hawaiian has applied for 3 (all out of Honolulu) so it will be interesting to see who loses out.

Logic would suggest that routes which open up travel from a new city (i.e. a city out of which the airline doesn’t currently serve the Tokyo metropolitan area) should get priority as they would be the ones giving the traveling public the biggest new options….but logic doesn’t always go hand in hand with DoT/airline industry thinking.

It will be interesting to see what happens from here.


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