DOT reconsiders Haneda Airport slots - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

DOT reconsiders Haneda Airport slots

Haneda Airport Haneda Airport
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaiian Airlines has another opportunity to seek a second flight slot at Tokyo's close-in Haneda Airport with Washington reviewing the existing assignments.

The U.S. Department of Transportation this week has announced it will reconsider its decision to give Delta Air Lines a Haneda slot to serve Seattle, after Delta dramatically reduced its use of the slot.

Hawaiian Airlines, which flies Haneda-Honolulu, has long sought a second slot for the purpose of serving Kona. The Seattle slot is also being sought by American Airlines, which currently has no access to Haneda and relies instead on its code share with Japan Airlines.

There are only four allocations available to U.S. airlines, the one Hawaiian uses to Honolulu, one for United Airlines to use to San Francisco, and two for Delta, used for Los Angeles and Seattle.

Delta originally got its second slot to serve Detroit, but the service did not make money and Delta eventually scrapped the service, successfully seeking to keep the slot for service to SeaTac. Since then, however, it has dramatically reduced the frequency of SeaTac flights. This winter Delta is planning only 17 flights in the corridor over 182 days.

“American asserts that Delta plans to serve the market for one week every 90 days, which is just enough to prevent the slot pair from automatically reverting,” DOT said in its announcement. American, which once held a Haneda slot to serve New York JFK but voluntarily returned it, filed a motion Oct. 2 to ask for reconsideration, saying it would use the slot to serve LAX in direct competition with Delta as well as with All-Nippon Airways, which also flies Haneda-LAX.

Hawaiian Airlines filed a motion Oct. 9 in support of its own desire to use the fourth slot for a second flight to Hawaii.

Delta says it merely made a seasonal cutback and will restore full service in the spring, to which American replied that Delta made no such seasonal cutback to any of its flights from Tokyo Narita. American openly accuses Delta of taking a Haneda slot simply to prevent anyone else from having it.

Haneda is mostly used for flights within Japan, while Narita handles the vast majority of international flights. But Narita can take two hours to reach from downtown Tokyo (and from Haneda). The four Haneda slots are time-restricted so that eastbound redeyes cannot leave before midnight. But that actually works well for Japanese visitors to Hawaii, who have all day to get from their hometowns to Tokyo, rather than taking an extra day of vacation getting from there to Narita.

Hawaiian Airlines has also said that a second daily flight would leverage the fixed costs of operating from Haneda.?

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