Hawaiian Airlines is now virtually guaranteed two daily routes between Hawaii and Haneda International Airport in Tokyo.
The U.S. Department of Transportation tentatively granted Hawaiian one of five available daytime slots today for U.S.-Haneda service after awarding Hawaiian the lone available nighttime slot in May.
Hawaiian was allowed to retain the existing nighttime daily Honolulu-Haneda route it has been flying since November 2010 and switch it to daytime. In May, Hawaiian was awarded a split nighttime flight from Haneda that will fly to Kona three times a week and Honolulu four times a week. The first flight from Kona will begin on Dec. 20. Hawaiian was the only applicant for the nighttime slot.
Other airlines tentatively granted daytime slots were American Airlines (Los Angeles-Haneda), Delta Air Lines (Los Angeles-Haneda and Minneapolis-Haneda) and United Airlines (San Francisco-Haneda).
Objections to the DOT’s decision are due by Aug. 1.
Earlier this year, an agreement between the U.S. and Japanese governments opened up five daytime slots and one nighttime slot at Haneda. Previously there were only four slots allowed U.S. carriers, who were restricted to nighttime departures and arrivals at Haneda, which is located near the core area of Tokyo.
Haneda is a more desirable destination — yet generally more expensive — for many travelers than Narita International Airport, which is about 40 miles from the center of Tokyo.
Hawaiian begins daily service between Honolulu and Narita on Friday.