Continental Airlines and its wholly owned subsidiary Continental Micronesia today said that their joint application to offer nonstop service from the carriers’ hubs at New York/Newark and Guam to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport should be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) because the airlines have made the best case for the route awards.
“DOT should award Continental’s proposal to operate daily New York/Newark-Haneda flights and Continental Micronesia’s proposal to operate daily Guam-Haneda flights in order to maximize the consumer benefits of the recent successful efforts to open the skies over Japan,” said a Continental spokesperson.
Valuable limited entry rights should be awarded to the applications that benefit the most U.S. consumers, rather than to airlines which already dominate the market and/or to airlines which propose to serve significantly smaller markets and markets that provide few connection opportunities to Tokyo Haneda. The Continental and Continental Micronesia applications provide these benefits and should be selected before any other proposal.
The new service to Haneda would begin in late 2010, pending government approval.
* The Continental and Continental Micronesia proposals would provide Tokyo-Haneda service at hub gateways in two of the four largest U.S.-Tokyo markets, while American has applied to serve two markets where it offers very few connections.
* Continental and Continental Micronesia’s proposals will enhance competition in the U.S.-Tokyo market as the carriers remain committed to their current Tokyo Narita service while opening up new travel opportunities to Tokyo Haneda.
* Continental has the smallest share of the Tokyo-U.S. mainland market among U.S. carriers operating at Tokyo and holds the fewest frequencies of any U.S. carrier in the Tokyo-U.S. mainland market.
* Delta, in a move to protect its Tokyo Narita hub from new competition, has applied for all four opportunities, including service at the two smallest markets at issue and two other markets where Delta has virtually no connecting flights.
* Hawaiian has never implemented previously granted Tokyo Narita authority but has asked for two opportunities to provide essentially a single service at the same time of day.
Continental and Continental Micronesia’s proposals are well supported among the airlines’ customers, business partners and communities and among employees, who have generated more than 12,000 letters of support. Continental thanks the four parties that filed pleadings in support of the Continental and Continental Micronesia applications: the carriers’ pilots, represented by the Continental Airlines Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), the Newark Regional Business Partnership (The New Jersey Parties), the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Government of Guam (The Guam Parties).
In addition, Continental thanks the numerous state and local officials and civic associations across the U.S. that have shown their support for the carriers’ proposals including:
Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo
Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie
Governor of Guam, Felix P. Camacho
Governor of Texas, Rick Perry
Governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland
Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker
Agat/Guam Mayor Carol S. Tayama
Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker
Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage
The Partnership for New York City
The Greater Houston Partnership
The Greater Cleveland Partnership
The New Jersey Alliance for Action
The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce