American Airlines has applied to operate daily flights between Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and Tokyo’s Haneda airport.
The route request was part of the Fort Worth-based carrier’s application with government officials to change its night-time slots for its current Los Angeles-Tokyo Haneda route.
“What the new DFW service does is it will allow us to offer passengers convenient flight times and operate the flight times that people want to fly to Japan,” said Howard Kass, the airline’s vice president of regulatory affairs. American proposes using a Boeing 777-200 aircraft, which carries 247 passengers, on the DFW-Haneda route.
If it is approved, there will be four daily flights between DFW and Japan. American offers two daily flights to Tokyo’s Narita airport and Japan Airlines launched its daily flight to Narita in November.
American and JAL are oneworld alliance partners and the existing three flights are part of a joint venture agreement between the carriers. Under the agreement, the airlines share revenue, sales and marketing on certain flights between Japan and the U.S.
“Demand for service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Tokyo will only rise, because many Japanese companies are relocating or expanding operations in the Dallas/Fort Worth region due to its friendly business climate,” American says in its application to the U.S. Department of Transportation, citing Toyota’s decision to move its U.S. headquarters to Plano and Kubota Corp.’s headquarters move to Grapevine.
Earlier this year, U.S. and Japanese government officials amended the “Open Skies” agreement between the two countries to allow for daytime landing and take-off slots at the popular downtown Tokyo Haneda airport. Previously, U.S. carrier were only allowed to land and depart at night.
Currently, American operates daily service between Los Angeles and Tokyo Haneda with flights arriving in Tokyo at 11 p.m. and departing at 1:30 a.m. for Los Angeles. The airline said the flights, which started in February, have been extremely successful with a load factor of 91.5 percent.
There are four take-off and four landing night-time slots available for U.S. airlines to currently 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 while American has the other slot.
These slots can shift to daytime slots, starting in October, for a period of six months. The carriers with these slots have to reapply to maintain the route authority. The DOT will then award a fifth additional day time slot and one night-time only slot as part of the Tokyo Haneda slot allocation proceedings.
Hawaiian has asked for an additional slot to operate flights between Honolulu and Kona, Hawaii to Tokyo Haneda. United has also requested an additional slot to offer flights from Newark to Tokyo Haneda. Delta applied to keep its Los Angeles route and add routes from its hubs in Minneapolis and Atlanta.