Haneda the Crown Jewel
Back in October I wrote that American Airlines was looking to launch an LAX-HND route. Currently there are only four slots available from the U.S. to Tokyo Haneda airport.
As of now, Delta owns two slots for flights from LAX and SEA to HND, United has one for a SFO-HND flight and Hawaiian owns one route for HNL-HND.
In recent history, Delta has only been operating the SEA-HND route on a scarce basis in order to keep in from reverting back to the DOT for reallocation. American’s argument is that they are squandering a scarce resource and the DOT agreed in December to put the slot under review.
American Applies for the Route
Today American Airlines filed an application with the United States Department of Transportation to operate a daily year round flight between LAX and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND) in lieu of the current Delta SEA-HND service.
American’s new flight if awarded will compete with both Delta and ANA who both operate a LAX-HND daily flight. It looks as if the competition may heat up.
The main reason airlines fight so hard for the coveted HND spots is that the airport is much closer to the city. I recently had my first HND experience and much preferred it to the distant Narita Airport.
Another Airline Is Interested Too
American isn’t the only airline vying for the spot that is now under review. Hawaiian Airlines also filed an application today. They are looking to fly from Kona to Haneda.
Only time will tell who will win the slot or if Delta will keep it. Either way there is no doubt that it will be a fierce fight and one that American is not going to give up easy.