American Airlines Cargo has launched daily Boeing 777 service between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Japan's Tokyo International Airport at Haneda, becoming what American says is the first U.S. airline to transport cargo between the continental United States and Haneda.
American, like many other airlines, already offers daily service between JFK and Tokyo's Narita International Airport. Narita, located 35 miles from the center of Tokyo, has long been Japan's international air-cargo hub. By contrast, Haneda, which is much closer to the city, has mostly handled flights within Japan.
One of the attractions for American was Haneda's recent development of—and continuing investment in—cargo infrastructure, said Jennifer Pemberton, a spokeswoman for the carrier's cargo division. By providing cargo service to Haneda, moreover, the airline can attract new customers and more effectively utilize domestic air and road connections with cities like the auto manufacturing center of Nagoya, she said.
Pemberton said American expects the Haneda service to attract high-value commodities, including pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics, and auto parts.
The additional service was made possible by a bilateral "open skies" agreement signed in 2010 between the United States and Japan. The new route will provide more opportunities for American to offer connecting service through intra-Japan partnerships that feed cargo into key hubs in Japan, said Dave Brooks, president of the cargo division.
The airline has scheduled the New York–Haneda service to support connections between JFK and Latin America. American expects to use the new service to move consignments of flowers from South America to Asia, as well as auto parts and construction equipment from Asia to destinations like Sao Paulo, Brazil.