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American Airlines announces Los Angeles-Tokyo Haneda flights will start in February

An American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes off at DFW Airport (Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins)
An American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes off at DFW Airport (Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins) Star-Telegram

American Airlines announced on Wednesday that it will launch daily flights between Los Angeles and Tokyo’s Haneda airport on February 11.

The Fort Worth-based carrier, which had received route authority to fly to the downtown Tokyo airport in October, had delayed the start of its service because it could not get “appropriate” landing and take-off slot times in Tokyo. American said it now has those slots and can start the LAX-Haneda service.

“This new flight is a fantastic addition to our growing network to Asia and a great complement to our existing service to Tokyo Narita,” said American’s chief marketing officer Andrew Nocella in a statement. “We thank the Japanese authorities for working with us to find appropriate slot times, and the U.S. Department of Transportation and the State Department for facilitating the process and recognizing the importance of American offering year-round service to Haneda.”

The daily flights will leave Los Angeles at 6 p.m. and land in Tokyo Haneda at 11 p.m. the following day. The return flight departs Tokyo Haneda at 1:30 a.m. and arrives in Los Angeles at 6:20 p.m.

American said it will use a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route which has 28 lie-flat business class seats, 48 main cabin extra seats and 150 main cabin seats.

Customers will be able to book tickets starting on Sunday, Nov. 8.

Last month, Delta Air Lines asked the U.S. government to take the slots away from American because American had yet to schedule service to Tokyo Haneda airport as it had promised.

Delta had previously held the slot to fly from Seattle to Tokyo Haneda back to the DOT in June and flew its last flight between the two cities on September 30. When Delta gave back its slots in mid-June, American was then given the slots. However, the slots could not be used until October 1. Delta said in its filing that American did not meet a 60-day start-up condition that had been discussed with the DOT.

“It is still our position that AA is required to start flying LA-Haneda by Dec. 1. The fact that they have announced a date in February is a violation of their authority and their commitments. So we continue to believe the slot should be returned to the DOT,” said Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter in an e-mail.

Currently there are four slots for U.S. airlines to use at Haneda. Hawaiian Airlines operates Honolulu-Haneda service and United Airlines operates a San Francisco-Haneda route. Delta has one slot from Los Angeles and American has the other slot from Los Angeles.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk