All Nippon Airways (ANA) plans to launch passenger services from Tokyo Haneda airport to Europe and the USA.

Haneda's fourth runway opens in October 2010 and ANA plans to launch long-haul international services from there once the new slots become available, the Star Alliance carrier's executive VP, Keisuke Okada, told ATI yesterday at the IATA AGM in Kuala Lumpur.

He say the new international services will include Europe and North America.

"Haneda used to be the international airport... and we believe Tokyo Narita and Tokyo Haneda will survive" as international gateways because the population in and around Tokyo is so huge, says Okada.

Tokyo Haneda is primarily a domestic airport and Narita is the international airport. But in recent times the Japanese Government has allowed international flights from Haneda to a select few airports such as Shanghai Hongqiao airport and Seoul Gimpo airport.

Once the fourth runway opens in October 2010 there will be more slots available which means ANA and Japan Airlines will also no longer have to operate such large aircraft on domestic routes.

Okada confirms that ANA is now looking at selling its Boeing 747-400Ds. This is a special model of 747 that Boeing developed specifically for the Japanese domestic market. The 747-400D has more passenger seats than the standard 747.

According to Flight's ACAS database ANA owns and operates ten 747-400Ds and these were built between 1992 and 1995.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news