American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has formally submitted an application to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) proposing to operate daily, year-round, nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND). Per the U.S.-Japan bilateral agreement, U.S. airlines may only operate a total of four daily round-trip flights at Haneda Airport. Currently that service is provided by Delta Air Lines from Los Angeles and Seattle/Tacoma, Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu, and United Airlines from San Francisco. American’s application seeks to transfer an existing route authority from Seattle/Tacoma, and would provide new service to Haneda from American’s hub in Los Angeles.
In December, the DOT instituted a carrier-selection proceeding to determine whether current service between Seattle/Tacoma and Haneda should be reallocated to another airline. Citing underutilization of a scarce resource, American seeks a reallocation of the Haneda authority. The airline intends to fly it year-round with daily service from Los Angeles. American’s application is in response to the DOT’s decision to consider the best allocation of the slots.
American would provide important consumer and competitive benefits in the Haneda market, by competing head-to-head with other carriers on the Los Angeles-Haneda route and bringing the first-ever oneworld service to the LAX-HND market to compete with other alliances. American’s proposal would also enhance the overall competition for service between the U.S. and Tokyo. Los Angeles is the largest continental U.S. gateway to Tokyo and demand in the Los Angeles-Tokyo market is almost five times larger than Seattle-Tokyo.
American will operate its proposed LAX-HND service with a Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The airline is retrofitting all 47 of its 777-200s to refresh the cabins and enhance the premium experience on international flights. The retrofitted 777-200 features a Business Class product designed especially for American Airlines customers, with a fully lie-flat seat, direct aisle access and a private flying experience. The plane has a modern interior – including a walk-up bar – with unique lighting, a dramatic archway and a spacious look. It also has Main Cabin Extra and all Main Cabin seats have in-seat entertainment systems.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-223 ER N753AN (msn 30261) arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.