United Airlines is seeking to get approval to obtain the Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) slots that were vacated by Delta Air Lines in the second week of September 2023.
Delta Air Lines will cease its Tokyo Haneda operations in October 2023 after being denied flexibility in the route by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Seeing an opportunity to fill the vacant slots, United Airlines swiftly sent an application to get approval to operate flights between Houston’s George Bush International Airport (IAH) to HND airport.
United is also pursuing the possibility of obtaining Hawaiian Airlines’ slot of night-time flights between Kona and Honolulu airports to HND airport, to replace it with a flight between Guam’s Won Pat International Airport (GUM) to Haneda.
United Airlines said in a statement published by various media outlets that awarding the Haneda frequencies to United will ensure that the “underutilized” slots will be put to use.
“Awarding these unused frequencies to United will ensure that these underutilized Haneda slot pairs are finally put to their highest and best use,” the statement reads. “These awards will allow United to serve the traveling public with convenient, daily service between United’s key hub at Houston, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. where demand for flights to Tokyo is among the largest in the U.S., as well as provide first-ever Guam – Haneda service, enhancing travel opportunities for tourism, and business travelers flying to/from Guam.”
In July 2023, United announced its plans for major expansion in the Asian market, launching flights to Manila International Airport (MNL) and increasing services to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), Tokyo Haneda (HND) and Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport (TPE).
In total, the airline plans to fly long-haul flights to 15 different international destinations across Asia by Winter 2023.