A new agreement between the United States and Japan has opened up daytime slots for flights between the US and Tokyo Haneda airport.
The deal will see US carriers granted five new airport slots between 0600 and 2300. Meanwhile, the existing four landing rights between 2200 and 0700 will be reduced to one.
This development is good news for both American and United Airlines, who have close ties with Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways respectively.
“Offering daytime services to and from the heart of Tokyo will create appealing new business and leisure travel opportunities for our global customers,” said United in a statement.
“We look forward to providing more convenient access to this key market from our San Francisco hub, where United offers more non-stop transpacific flights than any other carrier.”
However, Delta Air Lines has expressed disappointment over the aviation deal and claimed that the policy changes could threaten its Tokyo-Narita base, particularly the Atlanta–Tokyo Narita service.
The airline has pointed to factors such as Haneda's preferable proximity to the city centre, and the other US carriers' close ties with Japanese airlines, that could see it lose a significant share of the US-Japan passenger market.
“Tokyo-Haneda will remain a severely restricted airport with limited competition,” said Delta’s chief legal officer Peter Carter in a statement.
“Delta is committed to doing our best to maintain the viability of our current Asian route structure and our Narita hub for as long as possible, recognising that commercial impacts are imminent. Delta will make a careful assessment and adjust our network accordingly.”