launched its new flight service to Tokyo’s “close-in” airport, Haneda on 19th February 2011.
After the opening of the new airport at Narita, Tokyo, in 1978, Haneda airport was taken up by the domestic flights. With the introduction of new flight service the airport will be reopened to the long-haul traffic in October.
British Airways will be the first European airline that will operate direct flights to Haneda. A five time-weekly service will operate between the two cities except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The B777 four class carriers will be used on the new route.
The flights will leave Heathrow at 08.05 am will arrive in Haneda at 04.55 am, on the following day. The flights departing from Haneda at 06.23am will land in London at 10.00 am on the same day. From 27th March 2011 the flights will depart one hour earlier than the scheduled timings. There will no change in the flight service to Narita from London.
“The timings are clearly down to slot constraints. I don’t think they’re far off being right – intuitively, to delay the service by an hour out there and an hour back would probably be about right. We’ll certainly be pushing to get the best timings we can, because we’re investing a lot in the service. The priority was to get the service up and running. It’s a build-up of the service. We’ve tried to hone in on the peak days. If demand and slots allow, we’ll take it up to daily as soon as possible. I think we can sustain the two routes quite nicely. In 2008 we reduced our Narita services to one a day, but we’ve now seen the traffic build up so it was opportune to look at our Tokyo capacity again. It seemed right to serve both airports – it allows us to start adding capacity back in but offer our passengers the choice,” said, Richard Tams, BA’s head of UK and Ireland sales.
The new service will offer domestic connections as JAL the oneworld partner with British Airways operates daily to 33 destinations in Japan. JAL has also helped the British Airways to enter Haneda and thus by providing the domestic flight service to the British Airways passengers the partner airline will further make British Airways commercially viable.
Haneda is now the hub for the oneworld’s fellow members. American Airlines also launched the services to Haneda on the same day as British Airways. JAL has been serving a total of ten international destinations and Cathay Pacific has been serving flights from Hong Kong to Haneda airport.