ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Transportation

ANA to remain top carrier at Haneda, beating JAL for new slots

Hundreds of millions of dollars at stake for rival carriers

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways planes sit at the international terminal of Tokyo's Haneda Airport. (Photo by Tsuneyuki Kenmochi)

TOKYO -- All Nippon Airways is poised to edge out Japan Airlines in a decision over 25 new departure and arrival slots at Tokyo's Haneda Airport, which is undergoing an expansion in traffic that means hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue.

Under the final draft of a plan being discussed by regulators, ANA would receive 13.5 slot pairs while JAL would take 11.5. That means ANA Holdings unit ANA would retain its lead in international slots at Haneda including its current share.

New airspace will be made available to flights leaving and arriving at Haneda next March as a result of negotiations between the U.S. and Japan over the American military's Yokota Air Base.

This will mean an increase of 50 slots at the airport ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Half of the total will go to international carriers such as Delta Air Lines, which will move its Japan hub to Haneda from Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture.

One Haneda slot reportedly translates to billions of yen (1 billion yen equals $9.4 million) in additional revenue for either of the two Japanese airlines.

For JAL, the proposed allocation represents a relaxation of restrictions that the carrier had borne as a result of its 2010 taxpayer-funded bailout.

The flag carrier's government-backed rescue came with conditions, including restrictions on expanding its business, meant to preserve fair competition with private-sector airlines that did not receive public support.

One stipulation was that ANA would be granted priority when the transport ministry awarded flight slots. In 2013, JAL received only five slots at Haneda while ANA scored 11.

The new allocation now under discussion at the transport ministry will take into account airlines' passenger traffic and other factors. The official assignment of slots will be announced as soon as next month.

Haneda Airport was originally the main international gateway for Tokyo but had focused on mainly domestic flights once Narita Airport opened in 1978.

But popular for being located far closer to central Tokyo than Narita, Haneda has rapidly increased international services in recent years.

Under the U.S.-Japan deal, the number of annual arrival and departure slots for Haneda's international flights will rise to 99,000 from the current 60,000. The newly available flight path will let commercial planes travel over central Tokyo.

Up to 24 of the 50 new flight slots will be assigned to Japan-U. S. routes. The rest likely will go to China, Australia, Russia and Turkey, among other destinations.

For routes with multiple slots, such as those to the U.S. or China, new slots will in principle be distributed evenly between JAL and ANA.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media