The Business Times

Foreign partners pulled into JAL-ANA Haneda tussle

Published Tue, Oct 1, 2013 · 10:00 PM
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[TOKYO] Japan Airlines (JAL) and ANA Holdings' fight over additional slots at Tokyo's Haneda airport, Asia's second-busiest, is widening to include global airline partnerships seeking access to fly business people right into the heart of the city.

Haneda is set to gain about 40 new daytime landing slots for flights starting in March, said Akihiro Ohta, Japan's transport minister, in Tokyo on Sept 20. United Continental Holdings, which has teamed up with ANA, is seeking its first slot on its own while Delta Air Lines, the only major US carrier without a Japanese partner, wants 25 slot pairs. American Airlines has a partnership with JAL.

ANA, Japan's largest airline, is vying for a lion's share of the roughly 20 new international slots to be distributed among local carriers, saying government support of JAL's restructuring tipped the balance in favour of its rival. Rights to Haneda are important as business travellers will pay a premium to land near the city centre instead of flying into Narita airport, about 65 km east of Tokyo.

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