Japan Airlines Adds Six Haneda Flights To The US

Filed Under: Japan Airlines

When it comes to Tokyo Airports, Haneda is significantly more convenient than Narita, since it’s closer to the city. Historically a majority of long haul flights have been into Narita due to Haneda being significantly slot restricted, but that has slowly been changing.

For example, recently US airlines got access to an additional dozen slots at Haneda Airport, which were distributed between American, Delta, Hawaiian, and United.

Japanese airlines have also been granted an additional 12 Haneda slots for US flights, and those have been equally distributed between All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines. In a separate post I wrote about how All Nippon Airways will use their six US slots, and in this post I wanted to look at how Japan Airlines will use their six US slots.

Japan Airlines Adding Six US Flights From Haneda

With the recent changes to Haneda slots, we will see Japan Airlines add six new flights to the US out of Haneda. Most of these will replace Narita flights, though that’s not the case across the board.

Let’s take a look at the details.

JAL’s Dallas Flight Moves From Narita To Haneda

As of March 29, 2020, Japan Airlines will be shifting their daily Dallas flight from Narita to Haneda. The new flight will be operated by a three cabin 787-9 with the following schedule:

JL12 Haneda to Dallas departing 10:55AM arriving 8:25AM
JL11 Dallas to Haneda departing 10:55AM arriving 2:20PM (+1 day)

The new flight is expected to go on sale as of November 26, 2019.

Japan Airlines’ 787-9

JAL Eventually Goes Double Daily To Chicago

Currently Japan Airlines flies to Chicago daily out of Tokyo Narita.

As of March 29, 2020, Japan Airlines will be shifting their daily Chicago flight from Narita to Haneda. The new flight will be operated by a four cabin 777-300ER with the following schedule:

JL10 Haneda to Chicago departing 11:45AM arriving 9:30AM
JL9 Chicago to Haneda departing 12:25PM arriving 3:35PM (+1 day)

The new flight is expected to go on sale as of November 26, 2019.

Japan Airlines’ 777-300ER first class

However, in the case of Chicago they’re not just shifting the flight from Haneda to Chicago, but the plan in 2021 is to add a flight from Narita to Chicago. So essentially they’re just suspending their Narita to Chicago service for a bit under a year.

As of February 15, 2021, Japan Airlines will operate a three cabin 787-9 daily between Narita and Chicago with the following schedule:

JL56 Narita to Chicago departing 6:00PM arriving 2:50PM
JL55 Chicago to Narita departing 10:40AM arriving 3:00PM (+1 day)

I’m a little confused about that — will the plane really sit in Chicago for 20 hours every day?!

This new flight won’t go on sale for a while, given that it only launches in about 15 months.

JAL Adds Haneda To Los Angeles Flight, Maintains Narita Flight

As of March 29, 2020, Japan Airlines will launch a new daily flight between Haneda and Los Angeles. The new flight will be operated by a four cabin 777-300ER with the following schedule:

JL16 Haneda to Los Angeles departing 5:00PM arriving 10:50AM
JL15 Los Angeles to Haneda departing 1:45PM arriving 5:20PM (+1 day)

The new flight is expected to go on sale as of November 26, 2019.

Japan Airlines is also maintaining their Narita to Los Angeles flight, but they’re downgrading it from a four cabin 777-300ER to a two cabin 787-8 as of March 29, 2020. That flight will operate with the following schedule:

JL62 Narita to Los Angeles departing 5:20PM arriving 11:15AM
JL61 Los Angeles to Narita departing 1:05PM arriving 4:40PM (+1 day)

JAL Goes Twice Daily On Haneda To New York

Currently JAL flies twice daily to New York, once out of Haneda and once out of Narita. As of March 29, 2020, Japan Airlines will operate twice daily between Haneda and New York with four cabin 777-300ERs. The new Haneda flight will operate with the following schedule:

JL4 Haneda to New York departing 6:30PM arriving 6:25PM
JL3 New York to Haneda departing 1:30AM arriving 4:45AM (+1 day)

Japan Airlines’ 777-300ER

JAL Shifts Two Daily Honolulu Flights To Haneda

Japan Airlines flies 4x daily from Narita to Honolulu. As of March 29, 2020, the airline will shift two of those daily flights to Haneda. These flights will both be operated by three cabin 787-9s with the following schedules:

JL74 Haneda to Honolulu departing 9:00PM arriving 9:20AM
JL73 Honolulu to Haneda departing 12:05PM arriving 3:20PM (+1 day)

JL72 Haneda to Honolulu departing 9:55PM arriving 10:15AM
JL71 Honolulu to Haneda departing 3:45PM arriving 7:30PM (+1 day)

Japan Airlines’ 787-9 business class

Bottom Line

Japan Airlines will be adding six new Haneda to US flights. Of those, four are direct replacements of Narita flights (two Honolulu flights, one Dallas flight, and one New York flight), one is an addition (the Los Angeles flight), and one is a replacement that will eventually be a supplement (the Chicago flight, as the Narita flight is essentially just being suspended until 2021).

As I said with ANA, in general this shift to Haneda is good news for those actually visiting Tokyo, while it’s generally bad news for those connecting beyond Japan. The Haneda flights aren’t banked as well as the Narita flights were, so this won’t be ideal for connections.

It does seem to me like Tokyo is becoming less of an international hub for connections, and that’s probably largely because Chinese airlines have taken over so much transpacific market share due to their capacity dumping.

What do you make of Japan Airlines switching many of their US route network to Haneda?

  1. Dang it. I’m booked on JL9 out of Chicago next year, after the change of airport, using AA miles in First. Do you think I’ll have any issues with the change? Or will AA/JL simply shift my reservation as is (Two F tickets on the same flight are hard to come by!) and honor it?

  2. So the NRT-JFK flight will be cancelled and replaced? Your NYC section doesn’t explicitly state that but the comment in the “Bottom Line” implies so.

  3. Huh. I’m on an AS F award for JL 61 in May. I hope I get switched to JL 15 instead of downgraded to J.

  4. That ORD flight usually has decent award availability so interesting that there’s demand for a second service.

  5. After all of the announced changes commence, LAX-Tokyo becomes :

    Star……………. = 6 total : 3 HND 3 NRT
    oneworld ….. = 4 total : 3 HND 1 NRT
    DL / Skyteam = 1 total : 1 HND

    I think DL might feel the immense pressure at LAX

  6. I’m booked on JL 61 in F on the exact day that it is changing to a 787, 3/29. Booked with AA, really hoping I can get switched too!

  7. 11 daily flights between LAX – Tokyo? That’s quite a bit of capacity. I expect downgauges and eventual cutbacks.

    Its second only to Tokyo – HNL, which can support a frigging A380 because of how many Japanese tourists visit the islands. Even one of the neighbor islands supports 2x daily between KOA-TYO.

  8. It’s interesting that JL will fly to JFK exclusively from HND while NH still split between HND and NRT for JFK, even with partner UA flying EWR-NRT. The HND-JFK seems to be for the intra-Asia connections, HND-DEL for example (along with the SFO-HND feed)

  9. Some of these new flights actually arrive early enough that I may be able to catch the last connection to Kushiro without having to spend the night in Tokyo by taking a connection in the US…
    (Current BOS-NRT flight arrives around 4pm which does not give me enough time to catch the 5:45pm, I know there’s flights to CTS well into the night, but that leaves me on the other side of Hokkaido from where I want to be.)

  10. @henry LAX
    First, all of those NRT flights have to remain viable in order for about 1/3 of those Tokyo flights to matter to Delta. Given the significant amount of capacity to HND, it is hard to understand why there will be many high value passengers that will choose NRT if they are local Tokyo passengers. NH/UA and AA/JL are trying to operate two complementary and largely duplicative longhaul hubs at two different airports in the same city, one of which has far better geography, something no other airline does anywhere in the world.
    Second, US to Tokyo flights have long operated in a fairly narrow time band, not the much larger degree of departure choices that are being proposed even at HND. There is no assurance that business passengers will choose flight times that are markedly different from what has historically been offered.

  11. @Tim Dunn,

    The new overnight 1:30am-ish departures to HND from JFK may be historically unproven for the NYC-Tokyo market, but they’ll be in line with the departure times to virtually all of the other major Asian airlines’ hubs such as:

    – Cathay Pacific to HKG (77W);

    – China Airlines & EVA Air to TPE (both 77W; CI NOT daily);

    – China Eastern to PVG (also operates daytime departure, both 77W);

    – Korean Airlines to ICN (KE also has midday departure from JFK; midday 380 year round; 1am-ish 380 summer or currently 74H, depending on season);

    – Philippines Airlines to MNL (359; NOT daily).

    So, while longtime O & D flyers may be unaccustomed to departure times at 1:30am-ish from JFK, based on others’ service patterns, apart from being competitive for onward connections that arrive in nearby cities before midday, if not even earlier, offered by other Asian based airlines through their hubs, it also offers O & D business flyers the opportunity for a full-day’s work, plus even a business dinner in NYC, with a predawn arrival in Tokyo that allows for a full-day’s work on the other end instead of the current and historic schedules of morning, midday or mid-afternoon departures from NYC with arrivals in Tokyo smack in the middle of the day, mid-afternoon or evening as late as just after 9pm, all followed by the long trek from Narita to downtown Tokyo!

  12. @Howard Miller
    thanks for your reply.
    I am aware of overnight flights to other destinations in Asia. My point is that this has not been the norm to Tokyo which is not only not a growing market but that some of the carriers will be dividing their demand between an already-existing flight.
    I’m struggling to understand how all of this excess capacity including at times that have not been used to/from Tokyo is going to be filled at the same yields, even while trying to keep NRT alive as a connecting hub.

    We will have to see… but I suspect we are more likely to see the migration of high yield traffic in London from Gatwick to Heathrow when LHR opened to all US airlines, even w/ those people that argue LGW might be more convenient for some people.

  13. Odd that AA pulled ORD-NRT back to just a few days a week, from daily, and yet JAL plans to add a second daily flight. I wonder if this spells the end of AA’s few-days-a-week flight.

  14. @Tim Dunn,

    Hi Tim!

    Yes, the planned 1:30am-ish JFK departures to Haneda are vastly different than current & prior service patterns to date, and as such, may be unfamiliar to longtime road warriors, but I suspect that over time some of the advantages highlighted in my above comment (full day’s work in NYC; possibility of business dinner or dinner with one’s family before heading overseas; 4:45am predawn arrival at HND for either full day’s work on arrival, or onward connections with morning arrivals for domestic Japan connections, or intra-Asia cities for flights up to 5 hours that allow for midday or earlier arrivals versus the evening or late night arrivals to date for connections) will be borne out as there are unique historic reasons that explained the absence of the “red eye” flights to Tokyo versus those operated by other Asian-based airlines.

    Among them are:

    Since it’s opening in 1978 until only last year (2018), Narita Airport had a strict nighttime curfew for all flights (departures or arrivals) from 11pm until 6am, with exceptions for arrivals until 12mid due to bad weather and special situations only granted in recent years.

    So, with Haneda only being reopened for intercontinental flights in recent years, and at vastly restricted hours and/or very few slots at that until next year, these 1:30am-ish departure times from JFK were not possible since the 6am arrival window translated to 2:45-3am departure time from JFK, which made that uncompetitive versus airlines with hubs elsewhere, or possibly resulting in battling rush hour for the long trek for O & D traffic heading to Tokyo (I have not been to Tokyo, so cannot speak from experience when noting this; but any 6am arrival would suggest heading to Tokyo around 7am…).

    So, Narita’s curfew may have been a significant impediment to 1:30am-ish departures from JFK until now.

    That, plus in 1978, when Narita opened, (IIRC) only Pan Am operated nonstops between JFK and Tokyo using its Boeing 747-SPs that neither Japan Air Lines (as it was called until restructuring at the beginning of this decade), nor Northwest Orient (as it was called back then) had in their fleets, and instead operated 1-stop flights on this route.

    So, with JFK-Tokyo nonstops barely existing when Narita opened in 1978, and that airport having a rigid curfew in effect until only last year, the concept of the overnight, 1:30am-ish red eyes to Tokyo from NYC were not offered due to market specific government devised/politically motivated policies that largely predates even the widespread operation of nonstop flights between the two leading world cities.

    So, perhaps with clever marketing touting these new “business-traveler friendly” timed departure times from JFK, and early morning (pre-dawn) arrival times that allow for a full day’s work in Tokyo, or onward connections that arrive midday or earlier instead of dinner time until much later in years’ past/yet still, there just might be a big payoff for these new, overnight, departure times that the market might find exotic at first, but in time, comes to embrace when given the success of many other Asian-based airlines that have long operated flights that depart JFK for their hubs around 1am-ish and arrive as the sun rises in Asia the next morning!

    Or maybe people are so set in their ways, that these flights will quickly revert back to their historic daytime departure times in NYC and arriving the next afternoon and evening in Tokyo?

    We shall see…

    But yes, I agree, as most USA flights shift to Haneda, it’s hard to imagine Narita not becoming the “Gatwick of Tokyo” just as quickly happened after the very restrictive Bermuda 2 bilateral air services treaty was lifted to facilitate full implementation of the EU-USA Open Skies Treaty that requires access be made to all but two US-based carriers that until then were forced to use the ugly, unwanted & all but orphaned step-child, Gatwick Airport if they wanted to serve London at all!

  15. Wow I booked SFO-HND in First for the Olympics because the LAX-NRT flight booked up. I would’ve been so pissed if I booked LAX and my flight was downgraded. Hopefully I can change my flight to the new LA one when it opens!

  16. In the above, should be “that required access be made at London Heathrow to ALL US-based carriers (instead of just the two allowed during the very restrictive Bermuda 2 era) that until then were forced to use…Gatwick Airport if they wanted to serve London at all.”

    With apologies for the garbled copy there!

  17. JAL will likely fly one plane from NRT to ORD and fly back to HND, vice versa, so the plane won’t sit at ORD for 20 hours, just like how ANA operates right now.

  18. Was flying in May 2020 on JL9 NRT-ORD in J connecting from MEL, got moved to JL16 HND-LAX (still in J) with connection on AA to ORD, getting me in about 10hrs later into ORD. Bit annoying having to get myself across Tokyo and having to deal with LAX, on the upside get a half-day in Tokyo! Don’t know why I wasn’t offered the NRT-LAX flight though?

  19. I am fed up with this because my Jakarta flight was cancelled so I fly into Narita and out of Haneda to JFK with a 13 hour delay. So, thanks JAL, for a 13 hour wait, costs for food, costs for transport and the need to get luggage, drag it halfway across Japan and stand in line to recheck, plus lose 24 hours of my holiday. Absolutely lousy shitty deal.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *