The U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted approval to the U.S. big three carriers — United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta — and Hawaiian Airlines to fly to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.
The approval means that flights from all four airlines could be operating in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which are scheduled to kicked off on July 24, 2020.
Of the 12 new flight slots that had to be awarded by the DOT, American received two, United received four, Delta received five, and Hawaiian received one.
American is expected to fly new service from Dallas Fort Worth, along with an additional flight from Los Angeles International Airport, where American already offers Haneda service.
Delta is expected to fly new Haneda service from Atlanta; Seattle; Detroit; Honolulu; and Portland, Oregon. In a statement announcing the approval, Delta executive Steve Sear said the additional five routes would make it easier for Delta to compete with the other carriers who already have codeshare agreements with Japanese airlines.
“This preliminary order demonstrates the DOT’s commitment to encouraging competition and providing more choice for customers traveling between the U.S. and Tokyo’s city center,” he said.
Hawaiian Airlines already operates service between Haneda and Honolulu and Kona, and has been flying to Haneda since 2010, longer than any other U.S. airline. Now, the carrier will be able to add one more after DOT approval. It had originally requested three of the slots available at Haneda.
“Although we are disappointed that the tentative award does not grant our full request for three new routes, Hawaiian looks forward to the opportunity to expand its service between Tokyo Haneda and Honolulu,’’ said Peter Ingram, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, in a statement announcing the news.
United is expected to add service from Newark, Chicago’s O’Hare, Washington-Dulles, and Los Angeles. In total, United serves 31 markets in the Asian region, including the launch of 11 new nonstops from the U.S. mainland to Asia/Pacific destinations, since 2014.
"As the largest U.S. carrier to Asia, we are excited to see we were granted additional slots to Haneda to help more Americans travel between our nation and Japan's capital city, which will offer our customers an unparalleled experience while maximizing choice," said United Airlines President Scott Kirby.