American pioneers Haneda service
American Airlines (AA) has launched a daily service to Tokyo Haneda from New York’s JFK Airport, the first U.S. airline to do so from the continental United States. The B777 passenger service follows an open skies agreement between the U.S. and Japan.
“Our new flight opens important new daily trade lane opportunities for our customers, with connections throughout the United States and Latin America from Asia and new connections throughout Japan from Haneda,” said Dave Brooks, president of American Airlines Cargo.
AA is now serving both Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports from New York. The carrier expects to move consignments of flowers from South America as well as seafood from the east coast of the U.S. on the westbound trans-Pacific flight. In the return direction, auto parts and construction equipment are likely commodities, connecting through to AA’s Latin American destinations such as Rio de Janerio and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Haneda re-started scheduled international flights for the first time in more than 30 years after the bilateral open-skies agreement, which was signed in October. The airport has seen a fivefold increase in cargo traffic since it opened a new international terminal and opened a fourth runway toward the end of last year.
A new temperature-controlled facility at Tokyo International Air Cargo Terminal (TIACT) enables the airport to export fish, fruit and other fresh produce.
No freighter operators to and from the U.S. have yet taken up the Haneda opportunity, because of restrictions on the permitted annual number of cargo flights, which are also limited to night-time slots between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.