ANA lands 11 Haneda slots; JAL is given five

Kyodo, Bloomberg

The transport ministry said Wednesday that All Nippon Airways Co. will receive 11 slots in the expanded international flight schedule next March at Tokyo’s Haneda airport while Japan Airlines Co. will get five.

ANA has been lobbying for a “fair” allocation of the new slots after JAL was rescued from financial ruin with taxpayer money.

The ministry, which plans to double the 40 round-trip slots per day for international flights, arranged to allocate 16 out of 20 slots for Japanese airlines.

ANA has argued that it would be unfair if it were to get the same slot allocation as JAL, which has climbed back into profitability thanks to the government’s help.

“ANA got more than I thought they would,” said Ryota Himeno, an analyst at Barclays Securities Japan Ltd. “It doesn’t mean they will get an immediate boost to their profits, but it’s definitely a plus.”

JAL was relisted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange last year after it wiped out shareholders and debts during bankruptcy as it was supported by ¥350 billion in government-backed financing.

International flights at Haneda during the busy hours of the day have so far been limited to those between Tokyo and other Asian cities, but the planned slot increase is expected to see the opening of routes with Europe, fueling hopes that foreign businesses will find better access to Japan. The allocations are for 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Haneda is closer to Tokyo’s business district than Narita International Airport.

The ministry aims to increase the number of international flights further for both Haneda and Narita to prepare for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.