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New Route of the Day – Americas (28 June 2024): American between New York JFK and Tokyo HND


American launched flights between New York JFK and Tokyo HND on Friday 28 June, becoming the only US carrier to fly between the two airports. The 10,900-kilometre route will be maintained daily with the 777-200 aircraft. The new service will complement American’s partner Japan Airlines, which flies between the two cities 2-daily, and will compete against ANA, which also runs 2-daily flights.

Flight AA167 takes off from New York JFK at 11:25 local time, arriving in Tokyo HND at 14:30 local time the following afternoon. The return service, operating as AA168, is wheels up from the Japanese capital at 16:30 local time, arriving back in the Big Apple at 16:35 local time.

What they said

Brian Znotins, Senior Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning at American, said: “This new service will complement flights offered by our joint business partner, Japan Airlines, giving more ways for our customers travel between the US and Japan.”

Jose Freig, Vice President for International Relations at American, added: “It has been another busy week for the American Airlines’ International team with the launch of our Tokyo Haneda to JFK route. Alongside our partners at Japan Airlines, we celebrated American becoming the only US carrier operating nonstop service between the two cities. While in Japan, I had the privilege to spend time with our Tokyo team and meet with our JAL partners, together delivering an outstanding operation at Tokyo Haneda. I want to thank the whole team for their efforts to make this inaugural a success and for letting me be a part of this exciting new chapter in American’s Japanese expansion.”

American beats United in Tokyo slot hustle

American’s new service was made possible after it received approval from the US Department of Air Transportation (DOT) to take over slots to the Japanese capital previously held by Delta. The Oneworld alliance member saw off competition from United for the daytime slot pair after the two went head-to-head to increase their Tokyo HND networks. United had hoped to commence a route from Houston, switching its existing service from Tokyo NRT.

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The DOT found that while both American and United presented attractive proposals for using the Tokyo HND slots, American’s route from New York JFK would better achieve the principal objective of maximising public benefits.

United flies daily between New York EWR and Tokyo HND, as well as daily between New York EWR and Tokyo NRT.

American now has eight Tokyo routes

American’s new route becomes the airline’s eighth to be served out of Tokyo. At Tokyo HND alone, the carrier already maintains daily operations to Dallas, and 2-daily to Los Angeles. From Tokyo NRT, American serves Boston, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles.

The new flights between New York JFK and Tokyo HND add almost 200,000 two-way seats per year between the US and Tokyo. The joint business partnership between American and Japan Airlines now offers up to 17-daily flights between the continental US and Japan.

Despite the growth, American is only the third-largest US carrier operating to Japan. United remains the largest based on available capacity, followed by Delta.

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