United Airlines has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for daily nonstop flights between Tokyo’s Haneda airport and Houston’s Bush Intercontinental airport.

If approved, United will become the first U.S. carrier to offer a nonstop service between Houston and Haneda.

In its pitch to the DOT, United argues that the new route would benefit the Houston region’s rapidly growing population, 240+ Japanese-affiliated companies, as well as consumers living in communities across the Southern U.S.

While Houston has only one flight to Haneda (operated daily by All Nippon Airways with Boeing 787-9 aircraft), New York/Newark has five, Los Angeles has seven, Chicago has three, and Washington, D.C. and Dallas/Fort Worth each have two.

United’s Tokyo service currently spans all of the airline’s seven U.S. hubs and includes multiple flights to each of Haneda and Narita airports.

United is the largest airline in Houston, with more than 400 daily departures, including over 70 international daily departures.

“Between its steadily growing population and its booming energy and innovation sectors, the Houston area has transformed into a critical hub for both business and leisure travel,” said Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of global network planning and alliances at United.

According to the Texas Development Corporation, over the last decade, Japanese companies recorded 119 investment projects in Texas that are responsible for US$6.9 billion in capital investment and 19,620 new jobs. Conversely, Texas companies recorded 25 investment projects in Japan, responsible for $799 million in capital investment.