Friday, December 24, 2010

The sign indicating the headquarters of AMR Co...AMR’s American Seeks Delay of JFK-Tokyo Haneda Route

By Mary Jane Credeur - Dec 22, 2010 3:20 PM MT
American Airlines asked U.S. regulators for permission to delay the start of flights between New York’s Kennedy airport and Tokyo’s Haneda by about a month, so the service doesn’t begin during a seasonal travel lull.

Waiting until March 1 instead of Jan. 31 as stipulated by the initial award of the route would let American avoid “start- up in the depths of the off-peak season,” the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier said in a filing yesterday with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

February is the slowest travel month between Tokyo and the continental U.S., with 25 percent fewer bookings than in March, AMR Corp.’s American said in the filing, which followed a Dec. 13 announcement that service would start on Jan. 20.

An extension would allow American to “benefit from this important seasonal upswing in Tokyo traffic,” according to the filing.

American already sold some tickets for Haneda and will offer passengers rebookings on its existing route from JFK to Tokyo’s Narita airport instead, or a refund, said Tim Smith, a spokesman for the carrier.

Delta Air Lines Inc. previously sought a similar extension on its Haneda flights from Detroit and Los Angeles, and now plans to operate that route on Feb. 19 instead of in January. Hawaiian Holdings Inc.’s Hawaiian Airlines began Honolulu-Haneda flights on Nov. 18.

U.S. carriers couldn’t previously serve Haneda airport, which is closer to downtown Tokyo than Narita airport, until an “Open Skies” treaty awarded four routes this year.

AMR slipped 10 cents to $7.95 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have gained 2.9 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mary Jane Credeur in Atlanta at  responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at

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