American Airlines formally submitted an application Monday to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposing to operate daily, year-round, nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Tokyo's Haneda Airport (HND). Per the U.S.-Japan bilateral agreement, U.S. airlines may only operate a total of four daily round-trip flights at Haneda Airport. Currently that service is provided by Delta Air Lines from Los Angeles and Seattle, Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu, and United Airlines from San Francisco. American's application seeks to transfer an existing route authority from Seattle, and would provide new service to Haneda from American's hub in Los Angeles.
"With only four authorized daily flights for U.S. airlines between Haneda and the United States, it is imperative that American be allowed to compete," said American's President Scott Kirby. "We are the only U.S. global network carrier without the authority to operate our own aircraft at Haneda. American's proposed Los Angeles-Haneda service will increase competition in the Haneda market and make the most of underutilized operating rights by giving millions of consumers and shippers a new, viable travel option to Haneda that they don't have today."
In December, the DOT instituted a carrier-selection proceeding to determine whether current service between Seattle and Haneda should be reallocated to another airline. Citing underutilization of a scarce resource, American seeks a reallocation of the Haneda authority.
American will operate its proposed LAX-HND service with a Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The airline is retrofitting all 47 of its 777-200s to refresh the cabins and enhance the premium experience on international flights. The retrofitted 777-200 features a Business Class with a fully lie-flat seat and walk-up bar.