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American Airlines Becomes First U.S. Carrier to Launch New York-Tokyo Flights

New daily flights between JFK and Tokyo Haneda this summer will complement existing flights operated by Japan Airlines

by Fergus Cole

February 26, 2024

Photo: American Airlines, Boeing 777-300ER. Courtesy of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

American Airlines (AA) will become the first U.S. carrier to offer nonstop flights between New York and Tokyo after gaining formal approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate the route last week.

Starting on June 28, the Dallas-based carrier will launch daily flights between New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND), complementing an existing twice-daily service between the two airports operated by AA’s partner and fellow oneworld member Japan Airlines (JAL).

Outbound flights are scheduled to take off from JFK at 11:25 AM each day and arrive in Tokyo Haneda at 2:30 PM the next day. Return flights will leave Tokyo at 4:30 PM and return to New York at 4:35 PM.

Photo: Courtesy of Miguel Angel Sanz / Unsplash

American Airlines will operate the route with its Boeing 777-200ER, which has a total capacity of 273 passengers across three cabins, including 37 in business class, 24 in premium economy, and the remaining 212 seats in standard economy class. Tickets were made available on February 26 via AA’s website or mobile app.

JAL is the only carrier to operate direct flights between JFK and Tokyo Haneda. The Japanese flag carrier offers two daily flights from JFK: at 1:20 PM using an Airbus A350-1000 and at 1:30 AM using a Boeing 777-300, which arrive the next day at 4:35 PM and 4:45 AM, respectively. Return flights leave Tokyo at 11:05 AM and 6:30 PM, arriving at JFK at 11:00 AM and 6:25 PM, respectively.

Japan Airlines Boeing 777-300ER take off from Tokyo Haneda International Airport / Photo: Kittikun Yoksap/Shutterstock

The partner carriers will offer three daily connections between the two cities this summer, offering passengers a convenient range of times. Within Japan and East Asia, American Airlines will have access to connections to over 30 destinations across the region via Japan Airlines, including Osaka (ITM), Sapporo (CTS), and Fukuoka (FUK).

“American looks forward to launching flights between JFK and HND this summer,” said Brian Znotins, Senior Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning at American Airlines. “This new service will complement flights offered by our joint business partner, Japan Airlines, giving more ways for our customers to travel between the U.S. and Japan.”

View of Tokyo Tower / Photo: Courtesy of Nikolas Koenig

While this new flight will be American Airlines’ first service between New York and Tokyo, it will add to the existing three daily flights between the U.S. and Japan.

Currently, American Airlines offers daily flights to Tokyo Haneda from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and two flights per day from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). In addition, JAL offers flights to Japan from Boston Logan (BOS), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO), and Seattle-Tacoma (SEA).