Three U.S. airlines are fighting for the right to operate flights to Haneda, the closest airport to downtown Tokyo.
And on Monday, they all made their case to the Department of Transportation on why they should be the ones to get the slot.
-American Airlines said its proposed Los Angeles-Haneda route would increase competition on the trans-Pacific route and reiterated their position that Delta Air Lines has not been successful with its Seattle-Haneda route. It added that Hawaiian Airlines proposed route from Kona would primarily benefit Japanese tourists and not American travelers.
“Adding American to the U.S.-Haneda market is the best way to achieve the goals of enhancing competition and making sure that the rest of the country has access to Haneda,” the filing said.
-Delta insists that it is marketing its Seattle-Haneda route and will increase the number of flights it runs on the route next year.
“Delta’s Summer Season SEA-HND 2014 performance improved by 54% percent year-over-year. Encouraged by this strong summer 2014 performance, Delta has allocated aircraft, published schedules and is actively selling a full pattern of daily Seattle-Haneda service in summer 2015 and beyond,” the filing said.
It also says American already has access to Haneda through its joint business agreement with Japan Airlines and Hawaii has three routes to Haneda operated by three different airlines.
-Hawaiian Airlines points out in its filing that American and Delta are part of larger global alliances who have not fully utilized their Haneda slots in the past.
“The introduction of nonstop Haneda-Kona service will stimulate far more Japanese tourists to visit the United States than the competing applications,” the filing said. “Their spending will result in far more U.S. exports, economic growth and ultimately more U.S. jobs.”
To read the full filings of each airline, click here.
Currently there are four slots for U.S. airlines to use at Haneda. Hawaiian operates a Honolulu-Haneda service and United Airlines operates a San Francisco-Haneda route. Delta has two slots, one from Seattle and the other from Los Angeles.