American Airlines vs United Airlines: The Fight for Tokyo Haneda Slot

The competition for the coveted Tokyo Haneda slot is heating up between American Airlines and United Airlines. This comes after Delta Air Lines decided to relinquish its slots for flights from Portland International Airport to Tokyo Haneda.


American Airlines is proposing to operate daily, year-round nonstop service from New York JFK to Haneda. They argue that their proposal would break United's monopoly on nonstop service from New York to Haneda and improve the competitive balance for Haneda service. This would be a net new flight from New York to Tokyo, a route America doesn’t currently serve. On the other hand, United Airlines wants to fly from Houston to Tokyo Haneda. Their joint venture partner ANA already flies this route. United would move its Tokyo Narita flight to Haneda airport, resulting in no net increase in flying to Tokyo.

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United Airlines has criticized the American Airlines plan, stating that the Department of Transportation (DOT) should prioritize connectivity over origin and destination (O&D), which was a precedent set in the 2019 HND slot allocations.


The battle for the Tokyo Haneda slot is a significant one as Haneda is one of the busiest and most connected airports in the world. The outcome of this battle will have a substantial impact on the operations of both airlines and could potentially reshape the competitive landscape in the aviation industry. The decision now lies with the DOT, which will have to weigh the benefits of each proposal and make a decision that best serves the public interest. The aviation industry eagerly awaits the outcome of this battle, which will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the future of air travel.

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