Japan, U.S. finalize deal on additional daytime flights from Tokyo's Haneda

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and Japanese officials in Tokyo agreed to increase daytime services between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and U.S. destinations for two dozen new flights daily, the U.S. Transportation Department said on Wednesday.

The amendment to the U.S.-Japan Open Skies Agreement allocates 12 new slot pairs - 12 arrivals and 12 departures daily - for U.S. air carriers and 12 new slot pairs for Japanese air carriers.

Tokyo International Airport, also known as Haneda, is the main gateway into Japan as it is closer to the city center than Narita, the other main airport that serves the city.

The department announced earlier this month that American Airlines Group Inc AAL.O will get flights from Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles; Delta Air Lines DAL.N won flights from Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, Portland, Ore., and Honolulu; Hawaiian Airlines a flight from Honolulu, and United Airlines UAL.O flights from Newark, N.J., Chicago O’Hare, Washington-Dulles and Los Angeles.

The flight services are expected to begin around March 29, 2020, with the beginning of the Summer 2020 season, and in time for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

The new flights were possible after the United States struck a deal with Japan in January to let commercial flights use airspace controlled by its forces in Japan. The extra capacity will help Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government make tourism a pillar of growth and to boost arrivals by 28 percent from last year, to 40 million by 2020.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Dan Grebler