MIAMI — The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approved today Hawaiian Airlines’ application to serve Honolulu and Kona from Haneda airport in Tokyo. The airline has until Jan. 29, 2017, to start the new service.
“This is tremendous news for Hawaiian Airlines, for our employees, our customers and for the economies of Kona and our entire state,” airline CEO Mark Dunkerley said in a statement.
The announcement comes as a result of an agreement the U.S. and Japan reached in February, intended to increase the number of slots between Haneda International Airport and the U.S. from four to six routes.
Hawaiian Airlines has now officially secured one of those routes and is pursuing another. Currently, Hawaiian has one of the four slots and flies to Honolulu daily. United has one and flies to San Francisco with it. The remaining two are used by American and Delta, both to serve Los Angeles.
The DOT must still decide which five of eight remaining applications by American Delta, Hawaiian and United for daytime slots at Haneda it will approve. American Airlines filed for two daily flights from Los Angeles and Dallas/Ft. Worth; Delta requested three daily flights from Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Atlanta; United asked for two daily flights from San Francisco and Newark while Hawaiian filed for a Honolulu service.
Applicant carriers had until May 5 to submit arguments and evidence supporting their respective service proposals, also known as, “answers” to provide additional detail into the business cases for their route bids. Those are then published to the public, and in turn, the bidders have until May 12 to respond to these “answers.”
After these dates, the DOT will then conduct its own internal review of the applications and determine how it intends to distribute the slots. Once the routes are chosen, airlines could begin their flights after October 30.