Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines backed their respective proposals for one daily frequency at Tokyo Haneda airport, in their responses to the other’s application with the US Department of Transportation (DOT).
Hawaiian emphasises the fact that United’s proposed flight from San Francisco International airport would duplicate existing services, while United emphasises how Hawaiian’s proposed flight from Kona International airport would create fewer benefits to US consumers, in separate filings with the DOT on 9 December.
Honolulu-based Hawaiian proposes to fly a 294-seat Airbus A330 on its flight with service beginning on or around 1 April 2014.
Chicago-based United would fly either a 268-seat Boeing 777-200 or a 219-seat Boeing 787-8 on its proposed flight with service beginning in the third quarter of 2014.
Hawaiian says that United’s proposed flight would “insert more capacity into an already over-served market, where existing service is being withdrawn and down-gauged”, according to its filing.
Japan Air Lines (JAL) already flies between San Francisco and Tokyo Haneda, while United and its Star Alliance and metal neutral joint venture partner All Nippon Airways (ANA) fly between San Francisco and Tokyo Narita International airport.
Hawaiian also claims that the flight would help strengthen the carrier, which is significantly smaller than United.
On the other hand, United says that Hawaiian’s flight would serve a “small gateway that would offer comparatively far less benefits to US consumers and virtually no connecting opportunities for communities served behind Kona”, according to its filing.
The DOT has emphasised flights that provide significant public benefit in its previous allocations of Tokyo Haneda frequencies to US carriers.
Replies to these answers are due by 16 December, after which the DOT will evaluate the proposals and issue a tentative decision.
American Airlines returned the Tokyo Haneda frequency that Hawaiian and United are seeking to the DOT on 2 December, after discontinuing its flight between New York JFK and Haneda.
Delta Air Lines, which serves Haneda twice daily with flights from Los Angeles International and Seattle Tacoma International airports, is pushing the DOT to drop the gateway requirement on the frequencies and allow airlines to serve Haneda from any point in the USA.
Hawaiian supports Delta’s request for gateway flexibility only if all four of the available Haneda frequencies are reallocated through a competitive proceeding.