Air France Confirms Launch of Tokyo Haneda Link

Air France has outlined details of a planned new Paris Charles de Gaulle – Tokyo Haneda service from summer 2014 after the European flag carrier was awarded slots as part of the structured growth of international air links from the airport serving Japan’s capital city.  The airline had previously served the facility up until 1978 but like other foreign air carriers has subsequently been serving Narita International Airport.

The SkyTeam alliance member will launch the new ten times weekly flight from March 30, 2014, increasing to a double daily operation between June 16, 2014 and August 31, 2014.  The route will be served using a mix of Boeing 777-200ER and 777-300ER equipment with the 309-seat 777-200 (35 in Business Class, 24 in Premium Economy and 250 in Economy) operating the day flight and a 303-seat 777-300 (8 seats in La Première, 67 in Business Class, 24 in Premium Economy and 200 in Economy) operating the night flight.

The new link will complement the carrier’s existing twice daily operation to Tokyo Narita, although it says in a statement that this route will be served “daily” in summer 2014 (Air France currently uses an Airbus A380 on one of the two rotations).  Air France already provides its customers with flights to Tokyo Haneda via a codeshare arrangement on Japan Airlines’ existing flight, while All Nippon Airways (ANA) has also revealed its own plans to launch flights between Tokyo Haneda and Paris Charles de Gaulle from the end of March 2014.

Tokyo Haneda is a popular option for network carriers serving the Japanese capital.  Located closer to the city centre than Narita, it is particularly popular with business travellers, while it also facilitates good connections into Japan’s domestic air network. 

According to MIDT data, an estimated 772,000 bi-directional O&D passengers flew between Paris and Tokyo in 2012 with approximately 638,000 flying to Narita and 134,000 on the less frequent flights to Haneda.  The popularity of the Haneda flights with the higher-yield premium travellers was clear in the average one-way air fares being offered to the two destinations: $1,465 to Narita and $1,894 to Haneda.