U.S., Japan Agree on More International Slots at Tokyo's Haneda

  • Countries agree on 12 slots a day linking Haneda and U.S.
  • Japan will move some nightime slots to day time in deal

The U.S. and Japan agreed on the distribution of slots at Tokyo’s downtown Haneda airport, including some during daytime, after international take-off and landing rights at the hub were expanded in 2014.

The U.S. and Japan agreed on 12 slots a day linking Haneda airport with the U.S.  beginning October 2016, Keiichi Ishii, Japan’s transport minister, told reporters Thursday in Tokyo. Four slot pairs currently slated for night will be transferred to daytime hours, a fifth daytime pair will be added and U.S. airlines can continue operating one nighttime pair, the U.S. Embassy in Japan said in a statement Thursday.

Japan and the U.S. have been discussing granting rights for airlines from the two countries to fly from Asia’s second-busiest airport after they failed to come to an agreement when Japan distributed 31 international landing and take-off slots at Haneda two years ago. Delta Air Lines Inc., the only major U.S. carrier without a Japanese partner, said at the time it wanted 25 slot pairs out of approximately 40 up for grabs.

Delta won two nighttime flights to Haneda in 2010, while American Airlines Group Inc. and Hawaiian Holdings Inc. each got one. Delta ceded rights for a slot it was using for a Seattle-to-Haneda route in 2015 to American after it failed to offer daily flights year-round.

Japan moved international flights to Tokyo’s more-distant Narita International Airport in 1978 to ease overcrowding at the downtown hub. Haneda has since expanded, adding a fourth runway and opening a new international terminal in 2010, and is favored by business travelers who will pay a premium to land closer to the middle of the city.

The daytime flights allowed by the agreement would be the first between Haneda and the U.S. since 1978, according to the U.S. Embassy statement.

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