Sunday, July 27, 2014

ANA to resume Haneda – Nagoya in October.

As rumored, All Nippon Airways (NH/ANA) has officially announced they will launch Tokyo/Haneda (HND/RJTT) – Nagoya/Chubu Centrair (NGO/RJGG) from October 26th, the beginning of the Winter 2014/2015 timetable. Although schedules and fares will be released at a later date before it goes on sale on August 26th, ANA plans to time the arrival into Haneda to enable onwards connections to their expanded daytime international operations (ANA's Summer 2014 international expansion.) at Tokyo's downtown airport.
Airbus A320-211 JA8947 and Boeing 737-781(WL) JA14AN await their next assignment at Nagoya's Chubu Centrair on an early spring evening. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

It will use one of the Haneda slot-pairs to be freed by ANA's transferring of some Haneda Yamaguchi-Ube (UBJ/RJDC) flights to Star Flyer (7G/SFJ) (Star Flyer to add Yamaguchi-Ube; but reduce Fukuoka.), cutting two round-trips operated with their own metal on the route.

Japan's largest carrier currently operates two round-trips between Tokyo/Narita (NRT/RJAA) and Chubu Centrair to feed ANA and Star Alliance partners' international network from Narita. These flights are flown by either 166-seat Airbus A320s or 126-seat Boeing 737-500s and managed to record a load factor of 75.3% in FY2013, above the domestic system-wide average of 73.9%. With their Haneda international network having grown to 23 round-trips covering 17 routes, ANA will go ahead to resume the link which was axed 32 years ago in June 1982. Nagoya's older Komaki (NKM/RJNA) was the main airport serving the city then.

Archrival Japan Airlines (JL/JAL) launched the same route on March 31st, 2013 for the same purpose with one daily round-trip, and increased to double daily from March 30th this year. It operates with 144-seat 737-800s (12 Business, 132 economy) and 244-seat 777-300ERs (eight First, 49 Business, 40 Premium Economy, and 147 economy), both international-configured aircraft, making good use of the time between international flights rather than have them just sit on the ground. Load factor was 61.0% for FY2013. Fares start from as low as 8,300 JPY one-way.

From a point-to-point perspective (not considering international connections), the Tokyo – Nagoya link is conveniently served five times every hour, going up to eight during rush hours, by the super-efficient Shinkansen (bullet train) as a section of the Tokaido Shinkansen line which goes to Osaka. Travel time is one hour and 40 minutes and fares start from 10,360 JPY. However, next year AirAsia Japan (Mk II) is widely expected to launch an initial hub at Chubu Centrair (AirAsia Japan is officially reborn; first flight June 2015.) with flights to Tokyo rumored as well. The choices are Ibaraki (IBR/RJAH) and Narita, since Haneda slots are still unavailable, but it could potentially spark a fare war. ANA's launching of the Haneda – Chubu Centrair route may have this in mind as well.

Reference: All Nippon Airways, July 23rd. (in Japanese)
Reference: Aviation Wire, July 23rd. (in Japanese)

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