Tokyo is slated to host the 2020 Olympics and in anticipation of this prestigious event the local government has decided to open up international slots at the Tokyo Haneda Airport.
And this is causing US carriers to scramble for as many of these new slots as possible. 50 new slots will be opening up and of these 12 will be released to US carriers, 12 for Japanese carriers and 26 remaining for carriers from various other nations.
Why is this so important? Because currently, there are two airports that service the city of Tokyo. Tokyo’s Narita Airport (NRT) only handles all international landing and departure slots while Tokyo Haneda Airport expanded from only handling all domestic flights to including some international night arrivals and departures in 2010. Then in 2014 it began to include daytime slots. And because of the impending 2020 Olympics the government is opening more daytime slots at Haneda Airport.
Tokyo Haneda Airport is also closer to the city of Tokyo and so they have decided to place a greater focus on the more premium travelers who will be attending the 2020 Olympics. The two airports are over an hour from each other.
Petitions for consideration for the extra slots had to be made by February 14, 2019 and answers to the petitions will be sent between February 19 through 28, 2019 and replies need to be made by March 7, 2019.
Only four US carriers have applied for the 12 slots. The four airlines have submitted a variety of routes which looks like they will work well and promote a lot of business for them all. However there are 19 routes and only 12 slots that will be available and so there may be a couple of airlines that will come away disappointed when the slots are meted out.
Hawaiian Airlines has asked for 3 slots with one route from Honolulu to Haneda Airport and since Hawaii is very popular with the Japanese, it’s most likely Hawaiian will will at least receive one slot.
American Airlines has applied for 4 slots and their proposed routes will be from Los Angeles, and Las Vegas once a day and from Dallas(twice a day) to Haneda Airport. The route from Tokyo to Las Vegas will be the first direct flight from Tokyo to the desert entertainment city.
United Airlines has requested 6 slots with routes to Tokyo from Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston, Washington and Guam.
Delta airlines has also requested 6 slots and wants to fly routes from Portland,
Seattle, Dallas and Atlanta via Hawaii twice a day.
Whichever routes are accepted and given out will begin operations in March
The Summer Games of the XXXII Olympiad will take place from July 24 through
August 9, 2020.