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JAL to launch seven new London-Haneda flights

Kyodo

Japan Airlines Co. says it will launch new direct flights between Tokyo and London after it was allotted five new international slots at Haneda airport.

The seven new London round-trip flights per week will start March 30.

JAL also said it will double its weekly flights linking Haneda and Singapore and Haneda and Bangkok from the current seven, and use late night and early morning slots to launch seven flights a week between Haneda and Ho Chi Minh City, with all starting on March 30.

On the back of expected growth in travel and business demand between North America and Asia, JAL will also increase weekly round-trip flights from seven to 14 between Narita and New York and from three to four between Narita and Moscow.

President Yoshiharu Ueki said at a news conference Wednesday in Tokyo he was “disappointed” by the government’s decision in October to allocate his airline a significantly lower number of new slots at Haneda compared with the 11 given to rival All Nippon Airways Co.

Ueki said JAL wants to boost accessibility for customers if a proper environment for competition is ensured in the long run.

“We believe we can contribute to luring more foreign visitors to Japan” with the launch of new flights, he added.

In line with its recovering performance, JAL announced it will resume six domestic routes, including flights between Osaka’s Itami Airport and Shinshu Matsumoto Airport in Nagano Prefecture, that were closed following the airline’s bankruptcy in 2010.