The carrier launches the new service on February 18 from New York John F. Kennedy International Airport and on February 20 performs the first...

American Airlines will become the first U.S. airline to launch service between the continental United States and Tokyo’s near-downtown Haneda International Airport since the United States and Japan signed a historic Open Skies Agreement in October 2010.

The carrier launches the new service on February 18 from New York John F. Kennedy International Airport and on February 20 performs the first return flight from Haneda.

Hawaiian Airlines has already begun service to Haneda from Honolulu, becoming the first U.S. carrier to serve Haneda as a result of the U.S.-Japan Open Skies agreement.

American Airlines will be the only carrier to fly between New York and Tokyo Haneda – located only 30 minutes from downtown Tokyo – in more than 30 years.

Haneda is the most convenient airport serving Tokyo for customers traveling to or from the city center. With almost 70 million annual passengers, it is the second-busiest airport in Asia after Beijing Capital International Airport and the fourth-busiest airport in the world. It is also Japan’s main hub for domestic flights, providing the widest range of options for connections to and from cities throughout the country.

American Airlines operates a fleet of 47 Rolls-Royce Trent 892-powered Boeing 777-200ERs on long-haul routes from the U.S. across the Pacific and the Atlantic, as well as to South America

With its New York-Haneda service, American will be the only airline to serve both Narita and Haneda Airports from New York, while the oneworld alliance will have more flights between the U.S. and Haneda than any other alliance.

In addition to its new service to Haneda, American will continue to provide service to Tokyo’s Narita Airport from New York-JFK, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth. These American Airlines cornerstone markets are also some of the most traveled U.S.-Japan markets. Passengers traveling to or from one of these AA cornerstone markets represent approximately 43 per cent of Continental U.S.-Tokyo traffic, according to 2010 MIDT airline database information cited by American.

This announcement is the latest in a series of moves by American and oneworld to strengthen their position in New York. Less than a year ago, American announced it was adding 31 flights on 13 new routes from New York, including some new international routes, and investing $30 million in its JFK and LaGuardia terminals. New York is a key city for both of American’s joint businesses – across the Atlantic with British Airways and Iberia, and across the Pacific with Japan Airlines.

Japan Airlines will codeshare on American’s New York-Haneda flight and JAL itself also serves the New York-Tokyo market via Narita. Together, American and JAL will provide a choice of three daily round-trip flights for customers traveling between New York and Tokyo. In addition, Japan Airlines also offers service to Narita from Los Angeles, Chicago and Honolulu and to Haneda from San Francisco and Honolulu. American markets and codeshares on these Japan Airlines flights.

American will offer triple AAdvantage miles for First and Business Class travel and double AAdvantage miles for Economy Class travel on American’s new JFK-Haneda route through May 31, 2011. For customers purchasing a First Class or Business Class fare, this adds up to more than 20,000 miles for a one-way trip (including base mileage plus bonus miles earned) to reward customers for their loyalty. To participate in this offer, customers must register prior to travel at, where they can obtain complete details of the promotion.

“New York and Tokyo are the economic engines of the U.S. and Japan, and the principal network gateways of American and Japan Airlines,” says Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer. “Open Skies between the U.S. and Japan will stimulate both national economies, enable us to bring more service benefits to our customers, and promote cross-cultural exchanges. American and Japan Airlines are key partners in realizing this strategy, and we are focused on delivering these benefits as quickly as possible.”

American’s schedule between New York JFK and Haneda (HND) will see flight AA135 departing JFK at 6:10 p.m. and arriving at HND at 10:15 p.m. the next day, local time (the flight crosses the International Dateline). From February 20, return flight AA134 will leave HND at 6:40 a.m. local time and land at JFK at 5:15 a.m. the same day, local time, again after crossing the International Dateline.

The new AA flight will be operated by Boeing 777-200ERs with 247 seats – 16 in First Class, 37 in Business Class and 194 in Economy Class. The First Class cabin Flagship Suite offers privacy dividers and 1-2-1 cabin seating in each row plus a wide variety of in-flight entertainment options. American’s Next Generation Business Class cabin features fully customizable lie-flat-at-an-angle seats and a library of entertainment. Bose QuietComfort Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones are available in both First and Business Class.

Premium-class passengers can also partake of award-winning wines and chef-inspired dining in First and Business Class, including a new breakfast service on flights from Tokyo Haneda. American collaborated with celebrity consulting chef Sam Cho, to create several new Asian-fusion menu items for this flight.

Passengers in First or Business can also choose to pre-order Japanese-style entrees prior to their flight at no cost. The pre-order option provides convenience to customers traveling to and from Japan. In addition, a variety of teas, including green tea, are available onboard for premium customers traveling between Tokyo Haneda and New York JFK.

Premium passengers on the JFK-HND flight can also avail themselves of minimum check-in times that reduce the time required to be at the airport, which is one hour for check-in with bags and 45 minutes for check-in without bags.

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