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U.S. carriers to compete for Tokyo Haneda slots

Tokyo Haneda Airport is bracing to see a slugfest. Leading U.S. carriers are readying to battle it out amongst themselves for slots at Tokyo Haneda to be availed after a competitive bidding process. Media reports said that four slots at the airport reserved for U.S. carriers have witnessed repeated clashes during past few years. The airlines fiercely competing with each other include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines and United Continental.

According to the reports, the competition is going to become fiercer all over once again. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) had last week finally decided that the competitive bidding process for slots at Tokyo Haneda Airport will start from the scratch. The DOT said that U.S. carriers will now be no longer limited to conducting overnight operations there.

Tokyo Haneda Airport has decided to expand and ready to welcome more airlines. The airport was previously closed to the flights from the United States from 1978 to 2010. The long-haul international flights had to utilize the newer Tokyo Narita Airport for operations, which is about 40 miles from central Tokyo.

The U.S. government has however been permitted to allocate four daily flights to Tokyo Haneda Airport since late 2010. However, all the landings and takeoffs had to be done during the 10 pm to 7 am window.Though, Japanese airlines are allowed to conduct another another four daily roundtrip flights services to the United States from Tokyo Haneda.

The four leading U.S. carriers currently serving Tokyo Haneda during the undesirable 10 pm to 7 am window have been mounting pressure on the U.S. government for negotiating better access to Japan’s key airport. Delta Air Lines has though been quite strict and advocating for open access to Tokyo Haneda.

Media reports said that this wish of the U.S. carriers seems to finally getting fulfilled to at least some extent. The governments of both Japan and the United States had signed a new agreement in February 2016 allowing U.S. carriers to conduct six daily roundtrip flights to Tokyo Haneda Airport, with five flights being operated during the daytime.

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