The U.S. Transportation Department on Friday proposed to approve United Airlines’ application to serve Tokyo’s downtown Haneda Airport from San Francisco.
Under a U.S.-Japan agreement, U.S. airlines may operate up to four daily round-trip flights per day at Haneda Airport, where operations are limited. The four flights have been operated by Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu; Delta Air Lines from Los Angeles and Seattle; and, until December 2013, American Airlines from New York’s JFK.
DOT started a proceeding to award the newly available Haneda flight after American told the department it would be ending its New York-Haneda service. Two airlines applied for the spot, including United’s proposed service from San Francisco, Calif., and Hawaiian’s proposed service from Kona, Hawaii.
DOT said it has “tentatively determined that United’s San Francisco-Haneda service proposal would provide the best use of the one available opportunity.” Specifically, United’s proposal “would introduce a new U.S. carrier at Haneda and would promote competition by giving business and leisure travelers an additional choice for connecting service to Haneda via United’s well-established San Francisco hub,” it added.
Objections to DOT’s tentative decision are due by March 10. If objections are filed, answers to objections will be due March 17, DOT said.