Tokyo's Haneda airport will have night-time scheduled flights to at least 10 countries after it becomes an international airport from October 2010, as it works toward being a 24-hr international hub.

The Government will also start allocating slots for daytime flights to and from the USA and Europe, says an official in the Land, Infrastructure & Transport Ministry's international transport policy division.

Initially, Haneda was expected to handle flights to the USA and Europe only during the late night or early morning hours.

Agreements have been signed for night-time flights to Germany, the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, adds the official.

Haneda airport currently has chartered flights to Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing. It will handle international scheduled flights from October 2010, when a fourth runway opens.

This will increase the number of daytime take-offs and landings to 410,000 a year from 300,000, says the official. Transport Minister Seiji Maehara told Japanese media that most of the new slots will be for international flights.

Of the additional 110,000 slots, 50,000 will be allocated by 2011. The remaining 60,000 slots will be allocated in or after 2011.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news