United’s Guam-Haneda proposal tentatively denied

United Airlines (PNC file photo)

Guam has missed out on the proposed additional daytime flight slots for Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

In February of this year, United Airlines petitioned the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to increase flights between the U.S. and Japan.

USDOT has now announced the provisional awarding of new daytime slots at Tokyo Haneda airport for United Airlines, and Guam’s A.B. Won Pat International Airport, is not one of them.

The only United routes provisionally granted by USDOT are flights from Chicago, Washington Dulles, Los Angeles (LAX), and Newark.

Had the Guam-Haneda petition been approved, flights would have started by the summer of 2020, just in time for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

In explaining why Guam was not included, USDOT said that including Guam would “require the allocation of a scarce Haneda slot pair to provide short haul flights in a leisure oriented market.”

USDOT further said that Guam was already well served by Narita airport, which was why the Guam-Haneda petition was not granted.

Guam tourism and airport officials were hopeful that approval of United’s Guam to Haneda petition would help boost Japanese tourist arrivals to Guam because Japanese arrivals have been steadily declining over the years.

The officials were especially hopeful that approval of the Guam-Haneda petition would increase tourism arrivals in general as visitors en route or on the way back from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could be enticed to stay on Guam for a few days.

Aside from Guam to Haneda, the Houston to Haneda petition of United was also denied.

Despite the two denials, United welcomed USDOT’s tentative route allocation decisions.

In a statement, United said that as the largest U.S. carrier to Asia, the airline is excited to see that it was granted additional slots to Haneda to help more Americans travel between the U.S. and Japan’s capital city, which will offer United customers an unparalleled experience while maximizing choice.

Said United Airlines President Scott Kirby: “We would like to thank the U.S. Department of Transportation for its work in reviewing our proposal and advocating for what is best for the American public and for our economy. We also recognize the efforts of the U.S. State Department’s work with the DOT to enable additional service at Haneda.”