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DOT nixes United's application for Guam-Haneda route

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The U.S. Department of Transportation has denied United Airlines’ bid to take over a nighttime slot pair at Tokyo Haneda International Airport currently held, but remains unused, by Hawaiian Airlines.

United filed its application in September seeking permission to open a route between Haneda and Guam, with plans to provide five flights per week between the destinations.

Even prior to the devastating wildfires in Maui, United pointed out that Hawaiian Airlines was not fully utilizing its Haneda slot and that there was no indication that Hawaiian intends to fully utilize the slot pair.

But Hawaiian challenged United's application, saying it planned to increase frequencies this month and return to daily service by March 2024.

“We have also noted Hawaiian’s express commitments to resume full daily utilization of the slot pair before the end of the 2023-24 winter season,” the DOT decision said.

“Against that background, we do not find a basis to conclude that reallocation of the authority is warranted at this stage or that we should specifically direct Hawaiian to resume daily service ahead of its announced plans.”

The department said it has “decided to take additional steps to ensure that Hawaiian reestablishes its service as it has proposed.”

Currently, United flies between Guam and Nagoya, Osaka, Narita and Fukuoka.

Besides United, Japan Airlines services the Guam route.

“A United Guam-Haneda flight will deliver significant public benefits as it will provide enhanced service to tourism and business travelers in one of the largest Pacific island gateways for U.S. -Japan traffic,” United said in its filing with the transportation department.

"It will provide significant benefit to Guam by giving the island the chance to compete with Hawaii in the Haneda-U.S. market, including for Japanese travelers who are critical to Guam’s economy and who prefer Haneda as an origin or connecting point for their travel needs,” United said.

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