One day after United Airlines submitted an application to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate more flights to Tokyo’s Haneda airport, its Fort Worth-based rival American Airlines has done the same.

American applied to operate daytime flights between New York’s John F Kennedy International airport and Haneda, the airline said on 10 November. The carrier hopes to access slots vacated by Delta Air Lines earlier this year.

American proposes to operate the flight daily and year-round with Boeing 777-200s.

“American looks forward to presenting our competitive application to provide new and enhanced service to Tokyo’s convenient Haneda Airport,” Molly Wilkinson, American’s vice-president of regulatory and international government affairs, says. “Joining American’s existing flights from Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles, JFK to Tokyo service adds an East Coast gateway for flights to Haneda, while offering the largest metropolitan area in the US more options for travel to one of the most-important business hubs in the world.”

American Airlines Boeing 777-200ER 2019

Source: Max Kingsley-Jones/FlightGlobal

American seeks rights to fly from New York JFK to Tokyo Haneda

“The new flight will complement existing frequencies operated by American’s partner, Japan Airlines, providing more convenient arrival and departure times in New York City and optimal connections across Japan and Asia with one stop in Tokyo,” American says.

American’s proposed Haneda flight would be the “only accretive service between the United States and Japan proposed by a US carrier”, it adds. The airline already flies to Haneda from Los Angeles and Dallas Fort Worth International airport.

Delta had held the slots, which permitted it to fly from Portland to Haneda, but lost them after failing to start the route this year. Now other airlines are vying to scoop up the right.

On 9 November, United applied to the DOT for the slots, saying it would use them to fly between Houston and Haneda. 

Also on 10 November, American said it added a new destination to its 2024 schedule: Tulum in Mexico. 

At the end of March, the airline plans to begin flying four times daily to Tulum’s new Felipe Carrillo Puerto International airport. The flights will include one each from Charlotte and Miami and two from Dallas Fort Worth.

Tulum’s airport is scheduled to open in December. Spirit Airlines, Delta and three major Mexican carriers – AeromexicoVivaAerobus and Volaris – also plan to fly to Tulum, which is about 131km (81mi) south of Cancun.

American also says it is increasing its number of flights to destinations across Mexico and the Caribbean region from June next year.