On Sunday, British Airways joined the growing list of international airlines now serving Haneda Airport in Tokyo the Daily Yomiuri reports.
David Howell, a British minister of state at the British Foreign and Commonwealth office, was on board the inaugural flight from London Heathrow to Haneda and used the historic flight to call for further access to the airport which, until recently, only served regional and domestic flights.
“I think it is true to say that we would like to see a lot more flights. If we had full open skies and slots during the day, then I think even more flights would be in and out of Haneda and back to London,” Howell said.
Until recently, Haneda served as a primarily domestic and regional hub with larger international flights directed to Narita airport which is a 90 minute train ride to the east of downtown Tokyo.
But with Haneda’s proximity to downtown Tokyo (The airport is a 13 minute train ride from downtown), the airport seems to be the logical destination point for international travelers trying to access Tokyo.
For years though, Haneda wasn’t able to handle large international flights due to limited gate and runway space. With the construction of a new terminal building and a fourth runway, the airport is becoming a much more accessible airport for international carriers trying to access Tokyo.
With the arrival of airlines such as Delta, American, and British Airways, more airlines will certainly clamor for the airport to open up more gates to international flights.