United Airlines is requesting the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to “immediately grant” the carrier’s uncontested application for a soon-to-be-vacated slot at Tokyo’s Haneda airport. 

The Chicago-headquartered carrier requested the DOT’s blessing for its “first-ever daily non-stop” flights from Guam to Haneda in a 13 February filing with the regulator. The carrier is proposing seven weekly flights operated year-round on the route. 


Source: United Airlines

United currently operates semi-regular daytime flights from Guam to Tokyo’s Haneda airport with Boeing 737-800s 

Hawaiian Airlines recently notified the DOT that it would be returning its night-time slot at Haneda as of 1 April, citing headwinds in the slow-to-return Japanese air travel market. 

United requested permission to use the “underutilised” slot in September 2023 and again on 26 January. 

“As of the date of this filing, no other carrier has filed an application for the returned night-time slot and the time for answering United’s application has lapsed,” United says in its filing. “Accordingly, United application is uncontested and may be granted immediately by the department.”

The carrier argues that a prompt response from the DOT would “ensure that this valuable asset will immediately be put to its highest and best use as soon as it becomes available” on 1 April. 

Last month, Hawaiian said that it had re-introduced flights from Kona to Tokyo in October 2023 and incrementally boosted flight frequencies during its winter schedule. 

“However, current market conditions make continued operation of the flight economically unviable,” the airline said at the time. It added that “Asia and Japan specifically have been among the last markets to recover from the precipitous drop in travel demand” after the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Hawaiian says that it does not foresee the Kona-Haneda route rebounding in the foreseeable future.