Oct 21, 2013

AAL to terminate Haneda-JFK flight in December

American Airlines (AAL) announced on October 16 that it will discontinue its Haneda-New York/JFK service effective December 1 this year, ending its operations at Haneda. International long-distance flights at Haneda are limited to the late night-to-early morning zone (10:00PM-6:00AM, including the relay time) and AAL finds it hard to continue its commercial operations at the said airport. As a result, it has decided to discontinue the above service route, which was launched in February 2011, and terminate its operations in the area. It did not disclose if it plans to keep or give up its landing slots at the airport. Meanwhile, it will continue to run three flights to/from Narita.

"We do not sufficiently see the latent possibilities of Haneda Airport, as well as the merits that are generated for the users in Japan in the airline industry," claimed AAL. Operation of international long-distance flights at Haneda is limited to the late night-to-early morning time zone, including the relay times (at 10:00PM and 6:00AM). Four slots for international flights are allocated to U.S. airline companies, comprising AAL's route to New York, the flights to Los Angeles and Seattle by Delta Air Lines, and the route to Honolulu that is offered by Hawaiian Airlines. United Airlines, a member of the Star Alliance group, does not have a slot at Haneda.

According to the announcement made by AAL, in the case of the New York route, its flight from Haneda departs at 6:50AM and arrives in New York at 5:25AM (the accompanying table is the list of Tokyo International Air Cargo Terminal). "The long-term advantages of the internationalization of Haneda Airport are clear, so we steadily fought to eliminate the restrictions there," said an AAL official.

But while the ex-Japan New York-bound route of AAL will disappear, it will continue to operate three trade routes to/from Japan's Narita Airport. In its winter schedule (October 27-March 29), AAL's flights in the Japan route in/after December 1 will be comprised of twice-daily flights between Narita and Dallas and one daily flight each between Narita and Chicago and Narita and Los Angeles. The Tokyo-New York service will be kept as a direct flight out of Narita that is operated jointly with Japan Airlines (JAL).

Meanwhile, Haneda Airport's summer schedule for 2014 (which will kick off at the end of March next year) shows that there will be an increase in the number of slots for the daytime arrival and departure of international flights (to 30,000 flights per annum, or 40 flights/80 times per day). Negotiations with the U.S. this aviation issue have yet to be held as of today.

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