American to end Tokyo Haneda service

Washington DC
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American Airlines will end service to Tokyo Haneda International airport in December, citing poor performance.

“While we are disappointed to end this route, our Tokyo Haneda flight has been quite unprofitable, largely because we are allowed to operate only during severely restricted hours, limiting our customers' options for connecting flights to and from other Asian markets,” says Virasb Vahidi, chief commercial officer of the Oneworld alliance carrier, in a letter to employees today.

“We'll also continue to advocate for fewer restrictions on Tokyo Haneda in the future,” he adds. Departures from Haneda to the USA on US carriers are prohibited from departing before midnight.

The last flight from Haneda to New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport will depart on 1 December, according to the letter.

The announcement comes shortly after American announced new daily nonstops between Dallas/Fort Worth International about both Hong Kong and Shanghai Pudong from June 2013.

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded American the route authority in May 2010 but the airline only operated the flight for limited periods from February 2011 until July 2011 when it received dormancy waiver from the regulator. It resumed flights in June 2012.

The DOT is expected to call for applications from airlines for the newly available Haneda frequency. Applications for the last available frequency included one from American for the Los Angeles-Haneda route, Hawaiian Airlines for Kona-Haneda and United Airlines for San Francisco-Haneda.

There are four Haneda frequencies available to US carriers. Delta has two for flights to Los Angeles and Seattle, and Hawaiian has one for flights to Honolulu.