American Airlines Back In The Hunt For A Haneda Slot

It looks like Delta is going to have to re-compete for their right to operate a flight to Tokyo’s Haneda airport, according to a recent report on the DOT decision.  I was surprised to read Seth’s post about the DOT decision.

When I wrote about this a couple months ago, I was skeptical the DOT would actually upset the apple cart and open up the bidding process again.  And, it looks the process is being expedited a whole bunch:

This decision has been fast-tracked, with applications due next week and a final decision rendered only four weeks later:

  • Petitions for Reconsideration:   December 22, 2014
  • Answers to Petitions:    January 2, 2015
  • Applications/Supplements/Amendments: January 5, 2015
  • Answers:     January 12, 2015
  • Replies:     January 20, 2015

In part, the decision lays out the reasons:

The principal objective in this proceeding will be to maximize public benefits with this scarce resource.

Yup, makes sense.  And, as Seth points out, it’s unclear (though unlikely) anyone is actually operating one of the Haneda flights profitably.  American Airlines actually had the rights to fly to Haneda out of JFK and gave the slot back to the DOT.  So, it’s a bit unclear if American (or Hawaiian) are after the slot to grow their network or if they’re trying to hedge their bets like Delta was and hold onto the slot as long as possible with the possibility of growth while shutting others out.

Or, they may just have been trying to mess with Delta and want no part of the slot.  But, given the short timetable for responses, we’re definitely going to find out.  The domestic big three are, for the most part, betting on growth in Asia to fuel some portion of profits in the future.  I sure would like to be a fly on the wall for the internal discussions that will take place over the next week.  I hope they make the submissions available to the general public for review.

As a side note, I thought it was a little humorous (and redundant) that applications needed to contain:

Estimated number of gallons of fuel to be consumed by aircraft type on an annual
basis as a result of the proposed service, and indicate the availability and method of
obtaining the necessary fuel;

I guess it’s possible that there was a time recently where being able to obtain jet fuel was questionable, but I can’t recall it.

Why all the commotion over a Haneda slot?  Depending on who you talk to, Haneda is valuable because of greater connecting traffic than at Narita (Tokyo’s other airport) and/or because it’s much closer to downtown Tokyo.  At any rate, in this beauty contest, Haneda is the current belle of the ball.

And, it appears we’re going to get to speed-dating, airline edition.

 


The post American Airlines Back In The Hunt For A Haneda Slot was published first on Pizza In Motion.

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4 Comments

  1. Given the ungodly arrival/departure times for flights into/out of HND, I’ll stick to NRT for any possible trips to Tokyo.

    1. Brian, I haven’t been to HND, but I had no problem with the train ride from NRT. I’d likely make the same choice as you.

    2. If you’ve ever lived in Tokyo or near there, the trip to Narita is a pain. Sure, the limobuses are convenient and have wifi, but it’s still a ~1.5-hour commute (without traffic) and the seats are small and close together. And the NEX is expensive, doesn’t run frequently enough, but is at least more comfortable than the limobuses. As for the arrival/departure times, the arrivals from the US are super early, but that’s great if you don’t mind paying 500-1,000 yen to freshen up in a shower room and head straight to work. I did that many times and was fine. A bit tired but fine.

      In the end, I’d rather jump on the Tokyu or Keikyu Line (I forget which) and be at Haneda/Tokyo/Yokohama in about 30 minutes than sit in a small seat on a bus or on the expensive NEX just to get out to Narita because it’s the primary airport. Heck, it’s not even in the same prefecture as Tokyo.

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