Tokyo Haneda Airport now only 88% domestic flights, down from 97% five years ago

CEO Akbar Al Bakar

Speaking to the press at the launch of Qatar Airways’ daily 787-8 service from Doha on 19 June, CEO Akbar Al Bakar became the latest member of an increasingly international club of airlines serving the airport, including Air France, Lufthansa and Garuda Indonesia which returned to the airport after a 36-year break.

Unlike its global peers of Atlanta, Beijing, London Heathrow and Chicago O’Hare, sitting at the top table of the world’s busiest airports, Tokyo Haneda (fourth busiest in the world) is undergoing a seismic shift in its traffic base in S14. Following in 2010, the opening of a dedicated international terminal in conjunction with the completion of a fourth runway, allowing long-haul flights during the night, in March this year Haneda opened up to long-haul services during the daytime.

The results of this shift are stark. Looking at Innovata schedule data (for week commencing 23 June) in 2014 the airport offers services from 23 carriers on non-stop routes to 25 airports in 17 countries. Rewind five years and the counts are very different, with Haneda only being served by six airlines (Shanghai Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Air Lines, China Eastern Airlines, All Nippon Airways and Asiana Airlines) on four non-stop destinations (Hong Kong, Seoul (Gimpo and Incheon) and Shanghai Hongqiao) in three countries (Hong Kong, China and Korea).

Top 12 country markets Tokyo Haneda Share of weekly seats

Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 23 June.

Five years ago, 97.1% of Haneda’s flights and 96.5% of seats were flown on domestic routes. As a result of the opening up of the Tokyo airport earlier this year, international route figures have increased markedly to 11.7% of flights and 13.1% of seats.

The start of the S14 season signalled a wave of new routes from new airlines and incumbents alike from Haneda. Dominant players ANA and JAL increased their international presence on 30 March with the start of services to Hanoi, Jakarta, London Heathrow, Manila, Munich, Paris CDG, Vancouver (ANA) and Ho Chi Minh City and London Heathrow (JAL).

Chart: Top 12 airlines at Tokyo Haneda  Weekly seats on international services

Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 23 June.

Air France, which started 10 times weekly services from Paris CDG on 30 March (and now operates the city pair double daily), returned to the airport after a hiatus that stretched from 1978, when its international flights were moved from Haneda to Tokyo Narita. It was the same story for Lufthansa with its Frankfurt service, while on 15 June, after a similar break in services, Garuda Indonesia also returned to Haneda and began daily A330-300 flights from Jakarta.

More international services to come

Looking ahead, using’s New Route Database, there are still more international routes to come which will further decrease the amount of domestic traffic at Haneda. While Hanoi and San Francisco are already served from Haneda, by All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines respectively, Toronto Pearson will be a new destination available from the airport when it launches on 2 July. Air Canada will also be a new airline at Haneda, with its Toronto route switching from Narita, while existing routes from Vancouver and Calgary will remain at Narita. Vietnam Airlines will also be new to Haneda, however its existing Narita flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will be added to by a four times weekly service to Da Nang flights on 16 July. The 8,306-kilometre sector from San Francisco will be United Airlines’ first Haneda flights, and will see its twice-daily operation into Narita reduced to daily as a result.

Launch date Airline From Aircraft (WF)
1 Jul Vietnam Airlines Hanoi (HAN) A321 (7)
2 Jul Air Canada Toronto (YYZ) B788 (7)
28 Oct United Airlines San Francisco (SFO) B777 (7)
Source:’s New Route Database.


  1. Paul says:

    It’s not a surprise that airlines would prefer to use Haneda as opposed to Narita. Arriving into Haneda puts you right in Tokyo whereas arriving at Narita means an hour long bus journey into the capital. I wouldn’t be surprised if ANA shifted all their operations to Haneda rather than Narita.

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