U.S. Airlines Expand Routes Ahead of 2020 Olympics

(ATR) Olympic travelers to Tokyo should like the changes from Delta and United. Maybe not the airfares.

(ATR) The two largest U.S. airlines flying to Tokyo will add service to Haneda Airport ahead of the 2020 Olympics.

The expanded service from United and Delta begins next March.

Located just south of the city center, Haneda is considered a far more convenient arrival airport for Tokyo visitors than Narita, about 60 km east of Tokyo.

Haneda, Tokyo’s original international airport, was used by travelers to the 1964 and 1972 Olympics. Narita opened in 1978 and was the main airport for the 1998 Winter Games.

Delta will fly new service to Haneda from Atlanta, Detroit, Honolulu, Portland, and Seattle. Delta already flies to Haneda from LAX and Minneapolis. The result will be daily service from seven markets. At the same time, Delta will drop its flights from the U.S. to Narita.

United will offer nonstop service to Haneda from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York/Newark and Washington, D.C. Government approval is still needed. United already flies daily between San Francisco and Haneda.

"Our new service to Haneda gives our customers more choice and connections to more than 65 destinations throughout Asia. With service beginning next spring, we look forward to providing convenient service for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and beyond," said Patrick Quayle, United's vice president of International Network.

"United has offered nonstop service between the U.S. and Japan for more than 40 years and we are excited to expand our Japan network at Tokyo's Haneda Airport and continue to be the largest U.S. carrier to Japan," said Quayle.

United will maintain flights to Narita fromDenver, Guam, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, and San Francisco.

American Airlines already has non stop service to Haneda from Los Angeles and San Francisco. American will continue with its service to Narita as it is a major hub for partner Japan Airlines.

A check of United airfares around the Tokyo Olympics indicates Games-time travelers will pay a premium. A round trip booking departing a week before the start of the Games in July costs $3,000 for economy, $5,000 for premium economy and $15,000 for business class.

Delta was not able to price a similar fare at this time.

Reported by Ed Hula.