American Airlines and British Airways today launched their new Tokyo Haneda International Airport flights - strengthening still further the leading position of oneworld®, the foremost quality global airline alliance, at Asia's newest international hub.
Both airlines' inaugural services from the Japanese capital's newly expanded gateway departed within minutes of one another this morning.
American is now offering the only flights between Tokyo Haneda and New York, with its daily JFK schedule complementing Japan Airlines' established service between Haneda and San Francisco. Both services carry the codes of both airlines.
British Airways is operating Haneda's only route to the UK, serving the airport an initial five times a week non-stop from its London Heathrow hub, in addition to its established daily Tokyo Narita schedule.
With Japan Airlines serving Paris CDG from Tokyo Haneda since October, oneworld was already the only alliance with airlines connecting the Japanese airport with Europe - and now its airlines offer a choice of two European routes.
Today's debut services were marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Tokyo Haneda hosted by American's Vice-President and Managing Director Asia/Pacific Theo Panagiotoulias and British Airways' Area General Manager Asia Pacific Jamie Cassidy, joined by Japan Airlines President Masaru Onishi.
American's Vice President & Managing Director Asia/Pacific Theo Panagiotoulias said: "We are very excited by this new flight that links two of the world's largest financial markets and offers passengers the ability to fly from New York to Haneda, the closest airport to downtown Tokyo, and which hasn't had service from the USA since 1978 when Tokyo's Narita International Airport opened. We also are pleased to be offering this new service as part of our new transpacific joint venture with our valued oneworld partner, Japan Airlines."
British Airways' Area General Manager Asia Pacific Jamie Cassidy added: "Today is a historic day for British Airways as we start our new route from Haneda which compliments our existing service from Narita. The start of this route allows us to offer our customers greater choice and flexibility. We are proud to be the only carrier operating from Haneda direct to the UK. The start of this service demonstrates our commitment to Japan and the deepening of our growing relationship with JAL."
Japan Airlines President Masaru Onishi stated: "Japan Airlines began operating on new international routes from Haneda at the end of October last year. Passenger numbers have been very encouraging and are a good indication of the demand for flights to and from Haneda. The launch of
American's and British Airways' flights today is undoubtedly great news for the traveling public in Japan and is certain to strengthen further oneworld's service offerings to customers."
Today's new route launches consolidate oneworld's position as Haneda's leading alliance, offering:
- The airport's most extensive international network, serving 12 destinations with 19 departures most days, including the only flights between Haneda and Europe, with services to both London Heathrow and Paris CDG, and New York and San Francisco, in the USA.
- More international capacity to and from Tokyo Haneda than any other alliance.
- The biggest domestic schedule at what is also Japan's biggest domestic hub.
- Minimum international-to-domestic connecting times considerably faster than competition, at just 70 minutes
- A host of new facilities for passengers, to ensure the smoothest and most comfortable of journeys on the ground whether they are arriving, departing or transitting.
Haneda is the most convenient airport serving Tokyo for customers travelling to or from the city centre. From its own station served by the Tokyo Monorail and the Keikyu train line, it takes less than 30 minutes to travel to or from downtown. As Japan's main hub for domestic flights, it also provides the widest range of options for connections to and from cities throughout the country.
It was reopened to international scheduled services in October after a 32-year break as it inaugurated a fourth runway and third passenger terminal - a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to international flights.
Japan Airlines, Japan's most experienced international airline, serves 10 international destinations from Haneda - Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul Gimpo, Shanghai Hongqaio, Singapore and Taipei Songshan. Cathay Pacific operates from the airport to its Hong Kong hub.
Domestically, JAL is also Haneda's biggest operator, with 185 daily departures serving 33 points across Japan.
While passing through the airport - whether arriving, departing or transitting - oneworld passengers will experience world-class customer facilities at Tokyo Haneda.
JAL's lounges for premium passengers at Tokyo Haneda - shared with all its oneworld partners - were last week rated among the best five airport lounges in the world in a review for USA Today by Frommer's Travel Guides.
About American Airlines' new Tokyo Haneda-New York JFK service
In addition to the new flight from Haneda to New York JFK, American and its partner Japan Airlines also offer non-stop daily service from Tokyo's Narita Airport to JFK. American flies between the USA and Tokyo using Boeing 777 aircraft with 247 seats - 16 in First Class, 37 in Business Class and 194 in Economy Class.
Flight AA135 will depart JFK daily at 6.10 pm, arriving at Haneda at 10.15 pm the following day. The return AA134 will depart Haneda at 6.40 am daily, landing at JFK at 5.15 am the same day.
About British Airways' new Tokyo Haneda-London Heathrow service
With the launch of the its new five-a-week service from Haneda in addition to its daily Tokyo Narita schedule, British Airways will operate 12 flights a week between Tokyo and London Heathrow.
Flight BA7 will depart London Heathrow on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8 am, landing at Haneda at 5 am the next day. The return flight BA8 will depart Haneda on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 6.25 am, arriving at Heathrow at 10 am the same day.
oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Mexicana, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru. airberlin and India's Kingfisher Airlines are both members elect. Between them, these airlines:
- Serve almost 900 airports in nearly 150 countries, with some 9,500 daily departures.
- Offer more than 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
- Carry 340 million passengers a year.
- Operate a combined fleet of almost 2,500 aircraft.
- Generate around US$90 billion annual revenues in total.
oneworld enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges. oneworld also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors.
oneworld is current holder of three of the four leading international awards for airline alliances - named the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2010 Awards, World's Best Alliance in the 2010 World Airline Awards and the World's Leading Airline Alliance in the 2010 World Travel Awards, retaining that title for the eighth year running.