The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has officially requested applications from US carriers for a single slot pair at Tokyo Haneda International airport, which American Airlines will return in December.
The regulator will focus on maximising public benefits with the allocation of the slot pair. It will also consider the proposed flight’s impact on the competitive environment between the US and Japan.
Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines have already applied for the slot pair. The former is proposing a Kona-Haneda flight on a 294-seat Airbus A330-200 from around 1 April 2014 and the latter a San Francisco-Haneda flight on either a Boeing 747-400, Boeing 777-200 or Boeing 787-8 from around 14 March 2014.
Hawaiian already serves Haneda once daily from its base in Honolulu.
United serves Haneda only via its joint venture and Star Alliance partner All Nippon Airways (ANA).
Other carriers must submit applications by 26 November with the window for answers and replies closing on 9 December.
American has used the slot pair for a daily flight between New York JFK and Tokyo Haneda on and off since May 2010. It will return the pair to the DOT on 2 December. The Oneworld alliance carrier will continue serve Haneda via its joint venture partner Japan Airlines (JAL).
Delta Air Lines, which operates daily flights to Haneda from both Los Angeles and Seattle, is pushing for the DOT to work with Japan to lift limits on US carriers’ access to Tokyo’s close-in airport. The SkyTeam alliance carrier would like open access for slots at the airport, such as at London Heathrow.