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24 of 50 new slots at Haneda to be given to Japanese, U.S. airlines


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How has the increased international traffic at Haneda changed traffic at Narita? Is Narita close to capacity?Have they both grown by about the same number of international flights since 2010 when Haneda again resumed regular international flights? And, has the opening to Haneda as an international airport again affected Nagoya and Kansai International airports? This is an interesting article; I would like to read something more indepth about Japan's and Tokyo's air traffic flows.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It's hilarious that the government is saying it will make a decision after it gets input from citizens. The government had already made its decision and is merely paying lip service to the citizens.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

How were they allocated?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Last month, Japan reached a basic agreement with the United States to manage new routes for commercial flights in U.S.-military controlled airspace over part of Tokyo and surrounding areas.

Given that the additional slots arose from this agreement, one has to imagine that there was also an agreement between Japan and the U.S. regarding the number of slots U.S. airlines would get.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

How has the increased international traffic at Haneda changed traffic at Narita?

Still busy bustling. Narita was given a massive facelift about 15 years ago. Its passenger areas are a lot better now. Its speedy, direct and dedicated rail link, which Haneda lacks, also has more frequent departures.

Also, the "Haneda premium" still exists, based on my experience, ie flights out of the Tokyo airport tend to be more expensive than their Narita counterparts.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It was a great day when they resumed international flights at Haneda and domestic flights at Narita.

Remember the ridiculous nonsense of Narita being international only, and Haneda being domestic only, and needing to take a bus for 90 minutes to get from one to the other for a connecting flight?

It was the epitome of JP bureaucratic nonsense, at the time. I'm glad somebody came to their senses.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

More diversity needed.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Maehara’s dream was to turn Haneda into the hub of Asia (from currently Incheon, which Japan is insanely jealous of for some reason), but guess that’s not going to happen.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I have two recommendations and they both concern trains. First, that stretch between Narita Airport T2 station and Narita station is only served by one local train per hour. ONE! Two at most. And yet getting to Narita station lets you go onto so many other places. I personally live closer to Narita airport than Tokyo and yet it takes nearly twice as long to get there, thanks to slow, infrequent trains and buses. And don't get me started on early flights. Those living in central Tokyo can get the cheap buses near Tokyo station and be there in less than an hour!

Second, what is the point of having more and more flights if there is no flaming transport at night? Many a times I've had to wait hours and hours at the airport just to catch a 6:30am at Haneda. The airport hotel is a rip-off. It wouldn't be half as bad if they had night buses, but nothing! Sure, they can have 24hr anime cafes, vending machines, sex hotels and convenience stores. London now has 24hr train services during the weekends. And for years and years, they've had a great night bus service every night. I'm due at Haneda soon again, and I am not looking forward to sleeping there again.

5 ( +5 / -0 )


Also, the "Haneda premium" still exists, based on my experience, ie flights out of the Tokyo airport tend to be more expensive than their Narita counterparts

That's what I thought, but that's not always the case. Why else do you think I take the 6:30am flight from Haneda?

1 ( +1 / -0 )


I did check equivalent flights from Narita. Haneda had a premium of minus 20,000 yen!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Maehara’s dream was to turn Haneda into the hub of Asia

Hashimoto did too, albeit KIX in his case. And he wanted to close Itami! One of the few ideas he had that I liked. Meanwhile, 20 years after I first came here, the nonstop destinations from Osaka to North America remain a fraction of what was once on offer. You're forced to go through Tokyo or as I'm doing later this year, Beijing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The allocation of the new slots to U.S. flights seems quite strange if you consider the Japanese government's goal of 40 million visitors by 2020 and the fact that in 2018 only 1.5 million visitors came to Japan from the U.S., compared with 8.38 million from China and 7.54 million from South Korea. Of course, the unsaid main reason is that the U.S. military has agreed to open up its airspace around Tokyo. It may reflect Japan trying to diversify its tourism base, when you consider that about half of all inbound visitors were from generated by those from China and South Korea.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why give slots to the US carriers when the Green New Deal is going to eliminate all airplanes in 10 years?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Jcjapan: The reason many flights were cut from KIX is because they built the second runway despite all carriers saying it was a bad idea. Landing costs shot up, and companies switched to Chubu or just cut flights altogether, as you know. Politicians here are obsessed with making large white elephants in their hometowns (not limited to Japan, but with airports it’s above and beyond here, be it KIX, Haneda, Kobe, Ibaraki, etc.), and Haneda is certainly no exception.

as Pukey said, they should be working on things like night transport for existing facilities and services.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Shouldn’t new slots be attributed by tender, independently of airlines national origins?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

That's right, no other countries exist besides America!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

RecklessToday 10:02 am JSTI much prefer to use Haneda for domestic and international flights as it is much closer to Tokyo. Narita really has nothing going for it thanks to the 90 minute bus ride that you must take after a 12 hour flight, or a 70 minute train ride with nowhere to put your luggage also after a 12 hour flight. From Haneda there are bus, train and taxi options.

Don't take the NEX! The Keisei Skyliner hits Ueno in 35min for a fraction of the NEX ticket price, this is a lot faster than any route to Haneda unless you start out in Shinagawa or Shibuya.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Any route? Monday Morning , 17 minutes from Haneda Arrival taxi stand to Hatsudai. Landed at 6:03 - home at 6:45.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Shows you who is still the most powerful country in the world.

1 ( +2 / -1 )


On a serious note - Sadly, it doesn't work like that. Slots (worldwide) have long been governed by age old international agreements, which vary from strict quotas to 'open skies'. The agreements between the US and Japan are (I believe from the early 1950's) and have not changed 'that' much. In fact - the US airlines still argue that they are entitled to their Haneda legacy rights pre 1978, even though they all get transferred to Narita at the time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So, the US cedes those military controlled airspace rights and then two months later we get this hopelessly partial decision awarding US carriers landing rights vastly disproportionate to the US share of the Japanese inbound tourism market. Instead of behaving as if myopia was a virtue, America could and should have allowed Asian carriers the bulk of the new slots but insisted on a guaranteed slice of the revenue stream.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Two things annoy me about this:

1 - Are Japanese and Americans the only ones who fly en-masse into and out of Japan? Do we Europeans and other nationalities not make up any number of visitors at all? Or is this to appease Japan's US master?

2 - US controlled air space? Is Japan a sovereign nation or not? Why are the Americans allowed to control air space? What gives them the right?

Both of these aspects of the story are quite annoying

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Reckless: “If the routes are not profitable, then US airlines won’t even want them”

Are you serious? Name one airline which given a choice would prefer to fly into Narita rather than Haneda.

That US carriers don’t need these slots is a given. The numbers of other Asians entering Japan aboard non US airlines dwarfs the number of passengers who might be expected to use a US carrier. If the US strategy is to lease out the slots to these mostly Asian carriers and take a cut of the revenue then it makes sense. It would be fully in keeping with Trump’s mantra of capitalizing on America’s innate advantages, in this case air corridor spoils of war.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think it's disgusting that the US has control over any airspace above Tokyo. Absolutely disgusting.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


@Pukey2, just get a biz hotel at Shimbashi and you can train to Haneda in 20 minutes. Also the night before Shimbashi has so much to offer.

My flight leaves at around 6:30am. We are recommended to arrive at check-in at least 2 hours before departure. What exact train are of you thinking of? I'm not living in London or even NYC.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The last time I checked, most of tourists to Japan come from China and Korea, not USA.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting comments. Perhaps some of the reasoning behind giving US carriers additional landing slots is to increase tourism from North America. Although currently more tourists may come to Japan from China and Korea, as I understand North American tourists bring more revenue per tourist into Japanese pockets than those from China and Korea as tourists from these two countries often book package tours where most of the funds are repatriated abroad. Another possible reason is that there may be a renegotiation ongoing between Japan and the US to allow US planes more flights through Haneda and on to other Asian destinations - and allowing anyone to board in Haneda for only the Asian portions of the flights. I know that this has been a sticking point in US-Japanese air agreements in the past. I am not sure of its current status. That might allow Haneda to try to compete with Incheon as a regional hub for North American carriers. As for flying into Haneda or Narita, I prefer whichever airport gets me on the ground earlier, as I rarely stay in the Tokyo area. If I am headed to Tohoku or Hokkaido, Narita seems more convenient. If I am heading west, I like Haneda because I can train to a western destination in the same time it takes me to get from Narita to Tokyo.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The US controls airspace over Tokyo (west Tokyo) from the Yokota Air Base. It's the same airspace operations as seen in the USA and elsewhere in which airspace is used to route flights into and out of Yokota. Haneda would like to fly through that airspace in order to create additional capacity at Haneda.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

U.S.-military controlled airspace over part of Tokyo and surrounding areas

Oh NO! Japan cannot control her own airspace even after 74 years!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

U.S.-military controlled airspace over part of Tokyo and surrounding areas

Oh NO! Japan cannot control her own airspace even after 74 years!

That's not the case, the military controls the airspace around all of its instalations world wide. This is nothing unusual or a shortfall of Japan etc. Standard FAA / ICAO procedures in use, as globally agreed upon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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