Japan, U.S. postpone talks on new slots at Haneda

Kyodo

Japan and the United States have postponed negotiations scheduled for Tuesday over the allocation of slots for flights connecting Tokyo’s Haneda airport and U.S. cities, the transport ministry said Monday.

The U.S. government said it needs more time for some internal adjustments, according to the ministry.

The meeting was expected to focus on the expanded allocation of slots at Haneda for Japanese and U.S. carriers for flights to and from the United States in the “daytime,” meaning between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Currently, eight slots are allocated to flights linking Haneda with the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii for so-called nighttime flights.

The Japanese government is expected to propose slashing the slots for nighttime flights to two, while adding 10 new slots for daytime flights, sources close to the matter said.

The two countries failed to reach an agreement during the previous round of talks in Washington in December, apparently because of conflicting stances among U.S. carriers.

Daytime flights connecting Haneda and U.S. cities on the East Coast, including high-demand New York slots, would be newly launched if a deal can be reached.

Many long-haul international flights have used Narita International Airport, while Haneda has mainly been used for domestic routes.

The government, however, wants to open Haneda to more international flights to increase the number of foreign visitors and boost transportation capacity in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.