Coming soon: Europe to Haneda?

It looks like the legal framework is now in place for flights between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and the Netherlands. As mentioned in this space last year, the Japanese government has been pushing the notion that Haneda can replace Narita during late night and early morning hours as the capital’s terminal for long-range international flights, and this pairing seems to be the first beneficiary of the idea.

For those detached from the airline industry, KLM (the Netherlands’ main airline) is now owned by Air France, and has been partnered for something like 15 years with Northwest (the #3 international carrier in Tokyo) which is now owned by Delta. Haneda-Amsterdam service could be a boon for the AFKLDLNW bloc in securing a more solid position among frequent business travelers to Tokyo. JAL might be interested in the route as well, but they wouldn’t have the benefit of intra-European feed that KLM enjoys.