Hawaiian Airlines is confident about the success of its newly won nighttime frequency at Tokyo Haneda International airport, seeing robust demand in the market.

In May, the US Department of Transportation awarded the Honolulu-based carrier the sole night slot pair available to US carriers for a four-times weekly Haneda-Honolulu flight that will complement its existing daytime service and a new three-times weekly Haneda-Kona flight. Hawaiian intends to begin service around the beginning of November.

The Haneda flight coupled with a new daily service to Tokyo Narita that Hawaiian will begin in July will see its capacity to the Japanese capital triple this year.

“It’s a very large, very mature market,” says Mark Dunkerley, chief executive of Hawaiian, at the IATA Annual General Meeting in Dublin.

The carrier continues to see strong demand from Tokyo, despite the weak Japanese yen, he adds.

Hawaiian’s capacity growth remains unchanged for 2016 with the new Haneda flight. It had already factored a new long-haul route launch into its guidance of a 2.5% to 5.5% increase in available seat miles (ASMs) for the year, says Dunkerley.

The airline takes delivery of its 23rd Airbus A330-200 in June, enabling the planned new route, he says.

Hawaiian is awaiting a decision by the DOT regarding the future of its existing Haneda flight. The carrier, along with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, has reapplied for their existing flights and proposed four new routes for the fifth daytime slot pair that Japanese and US officials agreed to in February.

The four US carriers can operate their existing flights during daytime hours temporarily until the regulator awards the frequencies.

Dunkerley says he has no insight into the DOT’s decision making process, calling it a bit of a “black box”.

Source: Cirium Dashboard