A new agreement between the US and Japan will allow airlines to operate more trans-Pacific flights to and from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.
The deal will enable carriers to launch daytime flights to and from Haneda, which is the second busiest airport in Asia in terms of passenger traffic and the closest to central Tokyo. The new flights are anticipated to begin in September 2016.
Under the current bilateral agreement, US airlines are only allocated four daily slots pairs to and from Haneda, which are only permitted at night. The new deal will switch these four existing slots to daytime hours, and also paves the way for two new slots – one during the day and one at night.
Several US airlines have welcomed the move to open up more Haneda slots. United said that offering daytime services would “create appealing new business and leisure travel opportunities for our global customers”. At present United flies direct to Haneda from San Francisco.
Hawaiian Airlines has also welcomed the move. The airline already operates daily Honolulu-Haneda flights, but last year it failed in a bid to obtain an extra slot for a planned Kona-Haneda service.
The most recent US carrier to add new flights to Haneda was American Airlines, which launched flights from Los Angeles earlier this month.
The allocation of international slots at Haneda has been a contentious issue, with US carriers competing for the limited number of slots.