When you head to Tokyo, you've got an important choice to make: Do you fly into Tokyo-Narita (NRT) or Tokyo-Haneda (HND)?
Narita is better suited for travelers heading onward through Asia, as tons of international airlines fly in and out. But Haneda is great for business travelers and people looking to explore Tokyo itself, as its far closer to the city than Narita.
So with the 2020 Summer Olympics coming up in Tokyo next year, it's no wonder U.S. airlines made a move to launch more nonstop flights in and out of Tokyo-Haneda (HND). And now, federal regulators have given 12 routes from Delta, United, American, and Hawaiian Airlines tentative approval.
Once those go through, U.S. airlines would have a total of 18 flights into Tokyo-Haneda (HND). Delta already flies there from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) and Los Angeles (LAX); American has an existing flight from Los Angeles (LAX); United currently flies from San Francisco (SFO); and Hawaiian has flights from Honolulu (HNL) and Kona (KOA) on the Big Island.
In all, the four major U.S. airlines requested 19 new flights into the city airport. But just 12 daytime flight slots are available.
Here's a look at the new routes that could be coming soon:
Many of these flights would be brand new routes. Some, like Hawaiian's tentatively approved flight from Honolulu (HNL) or an additional American flight from Los Angeles (LAX) would just increase existing service from once daily to twice daily.
In Delta's case, it's a swap. Several of the routes here will just replace Delta's existing flights from those cities into Tokyo-Narita (NRT).
New Routes on the Way?
Here's the full breakdown of tentatively approved routes:
- Atlanta (ATL) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND): using Delta’s refreshed Boeing 777-200ER, featuring Delta One Suites, the new Delta Premium Select cabin and the widest Main Cabin seats of Delta’s international fleet.
- Detroit (DTW) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND): using Delta’s newest Airbus A350-900 aircraft which also features the new Delta One Suite.
- Seattle (SEA) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND): using Delta’s upcoming new international widebody aircraft, the Airbus A330-900neo which will feature the Delta One Suites, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin.
- Honolulu (HNL) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND): using Delta’s Boeing 767-300ER, which are currently being retrofitted with a new business class seat and interior throughout the plane.
- Portland (PDX) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND): using Delta’s Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which features 34 lie-flat seats with direct aisle access in Delta One, 32 in Delta Comfort+ and 168 seats in the Main Cabin.
- Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND): using American’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, the airline's second daily flight to Haneda after counting the existing flight.
- Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND): using American’s Boeing 777-200ERs.
- Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND): using United’s Boeing 777-200ERs.
- Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND): on United’s Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
- Newark (EWR) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND): would be operated on United’s Boeing 777-200ERs
- Washinton, D.C.-Dulles (IAD) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND): using United’s Boeing 777-200ERs.
- Honolulu (HNL) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND): using Hawaiian's Airbus A330-200s, making it the second daily flight between the two cities.
More flights to Tokyo are welcome news – especially when those flights are into a great, easy-to-access airport like Haneda. Stay tuned for when the final word comes down on these new routes.
Lead photo courtesy of InSapphoWeTrust via Flickr