United and American announce start dates for new Tokyo Haneda service

United Airlines is gearing up to launch a new route to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND) this spring, marking a significant expansion for the Chicago-based carrier. The new daily service from Guam is set to begin on May 1, following approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The announcement comes shortly after American Airlines revealed its own plans to start a route to Tokyo Haneda from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on June 28. Both airlines have been vying for coveted slots at Haneda, which is known for its proximity to the city center compared to Narita International Airport.

With limited slots available at Haneda, competition among carriers has been fierce. United initially hoped to secure a nonstop route from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, but the DOT ultimately awarded those slots to American for its JFK service. United did, however, succeed in obtaining nighttime slots at Haneda previously held by Hawaiian Airlines.

United’s new Guam-to-Tokyo route will be operated with a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, offering 166 seats including 16 in domestic first-class recliner seats. The flight schedule includes a departure from Guam at 7 p.m. and arrival in Haneda at 10 p.m. on the same day, with return flights departing Haneda at 11:55 p.m. and arriving in Guam at 4:45 a.m. the following day.

This new route represents United’s latest expansion in the Pacific region, adding to its existing flights between Guam and Narita. The airline’s route map to Haneda will include nonstop flights to all of its U.S. hubs except for Houston and Denver International Airport, where it currently operates flights to Narita.

American Airlines, on the other hand, will operate its new Tokyo service from JFK with a Boeing 777-200 aircraft. Flights are scheduled to depart from JFK at 11:25 a.m. and arrive in Haneda at 2:30 p.m. the following day, with return flights departing Haneda at 4:30 p.m. and arriving back at JFK at 4:35 p.m. American sees this route as a complement to its existing JFK-to-Haneda service operated in partnership with Japan Airlines.

In addition to its new route from JFK, American continues to operate daily nonstop flights to Haneda from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and multiple daily flights from Los Angeles International Airport. The airline’s ongoing expansion in the Tokyo market reflects its commitment to providing customers with more travel options and strengthening connections between countries.

Overall, the addition of these new routes to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport represents a significant milestone for both United and American Airlines. As competition for slots at Haneda continues to intensify, these airlines are positioning themselves for success in one of the world’s most competitive aviation markets. Travelers can look forward to more convenient and efficient options for traveling between the U.S. and Japan, thanks to these new routes set to launch in the coming months.

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