American joins Delta calling for increased Haneda access

Washington DC
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American Airlines is supporting an application by Delta Air Lines to codeshare on its flights to Tokyo Haneda airport, as it joins in the push for increased access to the Japanese capital’s close-in airport.

In a rare moment of aligned interests, Fort Worth, Texas-based American “supports” Atlanta-based Delta’s request to codeshare with Garuda Indonesia on flights between Haneda and both Los Angeles and Seattle/Tacoma, in a regulatory filing on 9 June.

“American Airlines supports the Delta/Garuda application and applauds Delta’s efforts to maximise its valuable limited authority to offer service to and from Haneda,” it says.

The comments come as US carriers increasingly push for greater access at Haneda. The country’s airlines are limited to just four daily frequencies with arrivals between 22:00 and 07:00 Tokyo time, and departures between midnight and 07:00.

Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines each hold one of two remaining frequencies after Delta.

Delta believes that there is enough capacity to support its roughly 20 daily flights, as well as those of other US carriers, at Haneda, the SkyTeam alliance carrier’s chief executive Richard Anderson told Airline Business in February. He called the existing limits “dark skies... not open skies”.

“It is clearly in the public interest for the Department [of Transportation] to seize any opportunity to negotiate sufficient additional designations without time constraints so that all US carriers have the opportunity to access Haneda from their respective gateways,” says American.

The Oneworld alliance carrier returned its single Haneda frequency to the DOT in December 2013. It said that the flight from New York JFK was unprofitable due to the “severely restricted hours” that it operated under.

Delta and Garuda applied to codeshare on the two routes with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) on 29 May.