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American Airlines, British Airways launch Haneda flights

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American Airlines and British Airways on Sunday launched their new Haneda International Airport flights, strengthening still further the leading position of oneworld, the foremost quality global airline alliance, at Asia’s newest international hub.

Both airlines’ inaugural services from Haneda's newly expanded gateway departed within minutes of one another.

American is now offering the only flights between Haneda and New York, with its daily JFK schedule complementing Japan Airlines’ established service between Haneda and San Francisco. Both services carry the codes of both airlines.

British Airways is operating Haneda’s only route to the UK, serving the airport an initial five times a week non-stop from its London Heathrow hub, in addition to its established daily Tokyo Narita schedule.

With Japan Airlines serving Paris CDG from Tokyo Haneda since October, oneworld was already the only alliance with airlines connecting the Japanese airport with Europe – and now its airlines offer a choice of two European routes.

Sunday's debut services were marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Tokyo Haneda hosted by American’s Vice President and Managing Director Asia/Pacific Theo Panagiotoulias and British Airways’ Area General Manager Asia Pacific Jamie Cassidy, joined by Japan Airlines President Masaru Onishi.

Panagiotoulias said: “We are very excited by this new flight that links two of the world’s largest financial markets and offers passengers the ability to fly from New York to Haneda, the closest airport to downtown Tokyo, and which hasn’t had service from the USA since 1978 when Tokyo’s Narita International Airport opened. We also are pleased to be offering this new service as part of our new transpacific joint venture with our valued oneworld partner, Japan Airlines.”

British Airways’ Cassidy added: “Today is a historic day for British Airways as we start our new route from Haneda which compliments our existing service from Narita. The start of this route allows us to offer our customers greater choice and flexibility. We are proud to be the only carrier operating from Haneda direct to the UK. The start of this service demonstrates our commitment to Japan and the deepening of our growing relationship with JAL.”

JAL's Onishi stated: “Japan Airlines began operating on new international routes from Haneda at the end of October last year. Passenger numbers have been very encouraging and are a good indication of the demand for flights to and from Haneda. The launch of American’s and British Airways’ flights today is undoubtedly great news for the traveling public in Japan and is certain to strengthen further oneworld’s service offerings to customers.”

In addition to the new flight from Haneda to New York JFK, American and its partner Japan Airlines also offer non-stop daily service from Narita Airport to JFK. American flies between the U.S. and Tokyo using Boeing 777 aircraft with 247 seats -- 16 in First Class, 37 in Business Class and 194 in Economy Class.

Flight AA135 will depart JFK daily at 6.10 p.m., arriving at Haneda at 10.15 p.m. the following day. The return AA134 will depart Haneda at 6.40 a.m. daily, landing at JFK at 5.15 a.m. the same day.

With the launch of the its new five-a-week service from Haneda in addition to its daily Narita schedule, British Airways will operate 12 flights a week between Tokyo and London Heathrow.

Flight BA7 will depart London Heathrow on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8 a.m., landing at Haneda at 5 a.m. the next day. The return flight BA8 will depart Haneda on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 6.25 a.m., arriving at Heathrow at 10 a.m. the same day.

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No commercial flights to the USA from Haneda since 1978?? Incredible to know that anyone wanting to go to the USA etc..had to treck out all the way to middle of nowhere Narita!

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I'm going to ignore the Mexicans comment above. He has been here long enough and contributes to this forum enough (on travel issues) to know better. I doubt if there are many readers of this webpage who are not aware of the roles of Narita and Haneda over the last thirty years in Tokyo - it has been covered EXTENSIVELY on this website. People, we now have a choice on some routes, for the first time ever in Tokyo. You may not like the times of departure and/or arrival - You may not like the fact you may have to pay a little extra for a flight from Haneda but you have a choice. For a lot of people living in Tokyo, Haneda may not even be closer timewise. If you live in one of the eastern wards or in Chiba then Narita is still closer. The Narita Express now stops at more stations than ever before - You have the choice of the new Keisei train too. I agree that Narita is NOT close but transportation links have improved incredibly in the 20 years I have been here. The mexicans comment that Narita is in tne middle of nowhere is a bit strong.

I have used the Haneda international terminal and thought it was fantastic. I flew with SQ and had a choice for the first time where to depart from AND where to come back to. It suited me because of connection to return to Narita.

The ministry of transporation should be commended for allowing both airports to operate international flights finally. Is it perfect? No. Will it improve, I believe so. Up until now, everybody living in Tokyo has had to go to Narita, we've all put up with it for years and would not have known any different if Haneda had not reopened. So, cut the negative comments (that I know are coming..probably from goddog) and start enjoying the fact you have another airport to fly from.

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BA7 and BA8? I used them to and from Narita once or twice in the past. Nice to see them back, they used to stop them off season and then bring them back in the summer I think, now they've moved them to Haneda the only negative point is the departure time, especially from Haneda.

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I like AA's ad. One window on the plane shows Tokyo Tower and the next window shows The Empire State Building.

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@dammit: Thats's right. In fact, they went seasonal after 9/11. Prior to that they were 7 days a week. Late afternoon out of Heathrow and early afternoon out of Narita. Not much they can do about the departure time with Haneda only operating 10 PM-7AM for long haul flights (>3000 km). As far as I undestand BA wanted a late night slot out of in/out Haneda BUT couldn't secure a very early morning arrival slot into Heathrow, hence the current timings.

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I recently flew ANA into Haneda from LAX. Not having to get on the limousine bus was nice! But I still had to wait 3 hours for my flight out of Haneda. Oh, well, it's not perfect but it's progress!! Great new terminal!! As far as OneWorld being the premier airline alliance I disagree. If you look at the Star Alliance's member airlines you see a big difference in terms of "quality service", although OneWorld isn't far behind. Skyteam, well, they're trying!!

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Two airlines with bad service in the last decade trying to find new ways to get customers. The others dont need to try so hard.

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Needing to be at Haneda before 5am for check-in will not get me to switch from Narita. Narita may be an hour out of Tokyo, but at least the flights leave at a reasonable time.

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@888naff: So, you are happy to put Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines in the same basket are you? They too are continuing flights from both airports.

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@elbudamexicano: The article is actually wrong about not having flights to the US since 1978 because until 2002, China Airlines of Taiwan flew from Haneda to Honolulu.

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@rainman1

what part of two didnt you understand?

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@naff: I understood just fine, thank you. I actually flew BA back to London towards the end of last year. Whilst not Virgin Atlantic, for what I paid, (very cheap biz class) it was above my expectations.

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Thank you, but no thank you BA, These flight times are insane. I am better off hitching a bus to Narita and boarding a lovely VA flight around noon.

AA time from NY is perfect, but NY bound is rubbish. how the hell I get to airport for a 6AM departure and what the hell I am going to do at NY at 5AM??!! Are they doing any thinking before booking these times?

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@nisegaijin: I take it that you are not aware that Haneda is only only open for long haul flights 10pm-7am. The airlines are not insane, working with the parameters that they have been given. I too prefer to fly Virgin, but that lunchtime flight does waste a whole day. Leaving here early morning and being in London for lunch is not a bad thing.

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