MIAMI — United Airlines (UAL) will launch flights between San Francisco and Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport on October 26, 2014.
The new daily flight (UAL 875) will depart San Francisco at 6:35 PM, and it will arrive at Haneda at 10:05 PM the following day. The return flight (UAL 876) departs at 12:05 AM, arriving in San Francisco at 5:15 PM. All times local.
Once United launches flights to Haneda, the carrier will reduce its flights to nearby Narita airport to once daily instead of two.
The airline will operate a Boeing 777 on this route. The aircraft will offer 269 seats: eight in United Global First, 40 in United BusinessFirst and 221 in United Economy, including 113 extra-legroom United Economy Plus seats. Each seat comes equipped with a personal Audio Video On Demand IFE system, and eventually, United plans to offer Wi-Fi on its Boeing 777 aircraft.
In March, United Airlines received tentative approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to operate flights between San Francisco and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The DOT said the airline had to launch the new flight within the next 180 days, but the carrier asked for a 35 day extension for scheduling purposes.
The DOT’s decision to pick UAL for the new slots came several months after the carrier applied for the rights to fly into Haneda.
The DOT said UAL flight from San Francisco “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.”
Slots into Tokyo’s Haneda Airport are highly coveted as it is the closest airport to the city of Tokyo. Flights from the U.S. to Haneda are part of an open-skies accord between the US and Japan, which allows four daily roundtrip flights. Hawaiian operates service between Handea and Honolulu, and Delta serves Haneda from Los Angeles and Seattle.
Almost immediately after American Airlines announced that it would discontinue service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport and Haneda last year, UAL applied to take over American’s takeoff and landing rights.
Hawaiian Airlines also sought after takeoff and landing rights for flights between Haneda and Kona, Hawaii.
Once launched it will be United’s third new destination in Asia this year, joining Chengdu and Taipei.