Twelve more slots are becoming available at Tokyo Haneda International Airport. However, U.S. airlines are applying for 19 slots altogether. And of that those 19 flights, Hawaiian seeks three more flights to Haneda.
According to FlightGlobal, the Japanese government is releasing 12 more slots at Tokyo Haneda for U.S. Flights. Those slots become available in 2020, shortly before the Summer Olympics open. Exact dates, though, are not yet available. What we do know is, as was the case last time, the U.S. Department of Transportation gets the final say regarding how to award the slots to American carriers.
Unsurprisingly, the carriers that applied for the first slots to become available are the ones applying again. Those airlines include American, Delta, Hawaiian, and United. If you’re wondering, by the way, all four of them do operate Haneda flights today:
- American: once daily from Los Angeles
- Delta: once daily from Los Angeles and Minneapolis/St. Paul
- Hawaiian: once daily from Honolulu and Kona
- United: once daily from Los Angeles
So, of those 19 proposals from U.S. airlines, who’s asking for what? Let’s take a look:
- American – 6 slots with 2x daily from Dallas/Fort Worth, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles
- Delta – once daily from Seattle, Detroit, Portland (Oregon), Atlanta, and twice daily from Honolulu
- Hawaiian – THREE(!!) daily flights from Honolulu
- United – once daily flights from Chicago O’Hare, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, and Washington Dulles
A Closer Look at Hawaiian
Hawaiian asking for three additional slots for service from Hawaii is a bit of a surprise to me. After all, the Airline already offers a daily Haneda flight from Honolulu and Kona, as well as a daily frequency between Honolulu and Tokyo Narita. Furthermore, Hawaiian operates flights between Honolulu and Osaka, as well as Honolulu and Sapporo. That’s a LOT of flights between Hawaii and Japan, especially when you consider that Japan Airlines, ANA, United, Delta, Korean, AirAsia X, and Scoot (ends May 2019).
According to Hawaii News Now, though, Hawaiian has room to grow. Supposedly, Hawaiian’s Haneda flights operate with a 92% load factory. That’s a higher load factory than Delta’s Haneda – Los Angeles flight. Plus, Hawaiian apparently gets about 52% of its passengers from outside of Tokyo, while Haneda provides better connectivity throughout Japan than Narita does.
Things to Consider
Aside from the service already present between Hawaii and Japan, it’s worth noting that American and Japan Airlines, and United and ANA both have immunized joint venture agreements. Plus, Hawaiian and Japan Airlines are working on an immunized joint venture agreement too. The real game-changer, though, could be ANA’s new A380 service between Honolulu and Tokyo Narita. Especially since we know that all three A380s are going to fly to Honolulu. So, the Honolulu-Japan market is a crowded market that is only going to get more crowded shortly.
Hawaiian Seeks Three More Flights to Haneda, Final Thoughts
Which airlines receive the slots ultimately depends on which routes provide the most significant overall benefit to American consumers. And, given the intense competition between Honolulu and Tokyo, I’m not holding my breath for Hawaiian. Honestly, I think Delta has a better shot, especially since they have no joint venture partner to Japan. But we’ll see. After all, Delta did have a Seattle – Haneda flight that they squatted on and utlimately lost.