United Continental Seeks Tokyo Haneda Landing Slots

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Infinite1K, Apr 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Infinite1K
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    A little disingenuous on UACO part IMO, since they too have been cutting back on Tokyo service.

    But according to the WSJ, UACO wants DL or AA's Haneda slots since both have announced dropping flights to HND after the earthquake.
     
  2. Ygor
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    Isn't the Narita reduction meant to be temporary? And could this be slots for the Air Mike division?
     
  3. Infinite1K
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    Right. UACO itself has temporarily reduced flights, as have AA and DL. Yet UACO glosses over that reason in it's claim against AA and DL.

    I'm not familiar with the Air Mike division. What is that?
     
  4. Ygor
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    Continental Micronesia, which operates several destinations in Japan from Guam.
     
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  5. EWR764
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    The issue is not over reductions at Narita. There is much higher demand for slots at Haneda due to the limited number made available to US carriers and the fact that CO/UA were both conspicuously shut out from the awards while Delta (2), American, and Hawaiian each garnered route authority. If service is suspended for a sufficient duration, it will trigger a revocation of authority and slots will be reallocated to carriers selected as backups, in this case CO and UA. CO/UA are simply doing their due diligence to keep the pressure on the DoJ and AA/DL. You can rest assured that both American and Delta will resume HND service precisely at the moment this threshold is reached to keep the slots out of competitors' hands.

    While we are on the subject of disingenuous competitive behavior, it is worth noting that Delta's primary argument for route authority was that they planned to use 403-seat 747-400s on their routes, providing more capacity than competing bids from AA (777), CO (738 and 777), HA (A330), and UA (777). After deferring service launch as much as it possibly could, Delta promptly announced plans to drop the 747s and replace them with 268-seat 777s to both DTW and LAX after only a few days of operations and nearly a week before the earthquake.

    I am confident that UA will ultimately get slots at HND and be quite successful with them for a few reasons. First, the UA brand is strong in Japan and will certainly draw transpacific traffic in its own right. Second, the joint venture with ANA will give UA solid domestic feed at HND with extensive connections to every commercial airport in the country, and a much healthier partner than AA has in JAL. Finally, a link to GUM will generate a great deal of local traffic with more favorable flight times under the current restrictions. DL, IMO, has the most to lose here, with no immunized partner providing feed at HND (besides KE, which is redundant to the extent the service is duplicated at ICN) and the very real possibility of siphoning premium demand from their much larger operation at NRT.
     
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  6. colpuck
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    The rules for the HND slots state that if they are disused for 90 days they get returned to the government. UACO is doing this to light a fire under DL and get them to keep running an unprofitable route.
     
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  7. fozz
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    Partially, DL has been trying to stall the start of the service before the earthquake and they could use that to back their position. Plus, if HND slots are in such high demand, why cut those flights and not something ex-NRT.
     
  8. MSPeconomist
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    I smell an interesting fight brewing.

    UA/CO try to force DL to fly to HND sooner than they want now, given the economy and the aftermath of the earthquake. They also try to pressure DL to fly excess capacity into Tokyo now, which will depress everyone's fares, although perhaps more so for DL. The excess capacity uses the aging and relatively inefficient 747, which drives up DL's costs.

    For FFs this could be good news. If DL feels forced to fly the route, even if they cut back on NRT capacity somewhat, it could lead to some nice sale fares in a price war as well as increased availability of award and upgrade seats. It's too bad that the yen's exchange rate is so exorbitantly high now against the dollar and most other currencies.
     
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  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Given the $700 r/t from NYC fares that were available this spring I'd say the competitive forces are there in many ways already. Sure, I ended up in GUM and HKG instead, but the opportunity for a cheap flight to NRT was nice.

    As for the relative cuts in service, UACO is cutting less than the others. Plus there is more to it on the regulatory side than on the commercial side. Really not a surprise that they're pushing this. They'd be incompetent if they weren't.
     
  10. MSPeconomist
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    Rather than a cheap TPAC coach fare, I'm more interested in guaranteed business class seats. I took advantage recently of good availability to HKG and sometimes to PVG on fantastic aircraft, DL's 777-LR with herringbone flatbeds.
     
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  11. Infinite1K
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    Thanks. Starting to add to my CO knowledge, slowly but surely :)
     
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  12. sunseeker
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    I think we will all be learning far more about CO than we ever wanted to know!
     
  13. IndyDavid
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    The feeling is mutual!! :confused:
     
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  14. sunseeker
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    I agree! There is plenty of pain to share!
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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  16. Rob
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  17. RichardInSF
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    Are HND slots really that valuable if they arrive/depart in the middle of the night? I think it's time to get real and allow these slots at decent hours instead of when the entire Tokyo transport infrastructure is shut down (including to/from HND).
     
  18. ande777emt
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    That's the only time International flights (with the exception of GMP, PVG, and PEK) may use slots at HND, and there are limits to the number of flights for each country. Some countries, like France and Germany, have none of their availble slots being used.

    Besides, IMHO I think HND is way overrated as an airport.
     
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  19. Seacarl
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    I wouldn't be surprised if this is local politics and to protect NRT, and that over time these slots could become more flexible. There are certainly other intra-asia flights that operate from HND (Taipei, for example) and whether or not you think HND is overrated, it is certainly quicker and cheaper to get to much of Tokyo.
    I do think UACO for some reason got screwed in this process with DL getting their key Asia hub and a competitive O/D market and AA getting the same - and DL kind of manipulating the process by promising the 744 and cycnically removing it almost immediately. Good for UACO to hold DL and AA to their commitment to use or else lose
     
  20. RichardInSF
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    Indeed, everyone seems to believe these time restrictions are being done to protect NRT. HND is a great airport, and it's a shame that they lock up the trans-Pacific slots to the middle of the night.
     
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  21. Rob
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    According to Wikipedia, in 2010 Haneda was the fifth busiest airport in the world in terms of passengers. It seems more likely that they limit the slots to times when the airport isn't handling the primarily domestic traffic that gives it that busy-ness.
     
  22. Seacarl
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    Haneda airport was expanded with the addition of a fourth runway and a new international terminal. Given a new runway, there would have been new slots available all day long. It seems pretty clear that the timing of the new north American flight slots must be designed to protect NRT rather than based on HND capacity - and even so, shouldn't they award the HND capacity where it does the most good, especially considering the excellent Japanese railway system?
     
  23. Rob
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    With the new runway there are plenty of new slots available all day long and it sounds like lots will be used for increased domestic service. Narita shuts down overnight for noise abatement otherwise the new flights might have gone there.
     
  24. hulagrrl210
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    I could see HNL-HND to compete with HA, It might be awhile before the country of Japan gets back on its feet but a huge number of foreign tourists to the islands, specifically Oahu, come from Japan.
    And of course CO/UA wants those slots. Earthquake aside, HND is the cool new thing to do! AA, DL and HA...where's United?
     

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