JAL and ANA switching U.S. routes to HND; adding new routes

In anticipation of the Summer Olympics 2020, Japan Airlines (JAL) added the SFO-NRT route in addition to their existing SFO-HND route, and a slew of premium awards became briefly available.  With HND's new slot openings, 12 slots have been distributed evenly between JAL and ANA, and both carriers are now switching their U.S. routes from Narita to Haneda, which is by far the more convenient option for those hitting up Tokyo.  Not all the U.S. routes are getting a switch, as some will be additions.



San Francisco (ANA new route)

On the heels of the JAL's new SFO-NRT route, ANA is adding a new SFO-HND route in addition to their existing SFO-NRT route.  This means that both Japanese carriers will soon fly nonstop from SFO to both NRT and HND for the first time ever.  The exact flight schedule for ANA's new SFO-HND route has yet to be announced, but it will inaugurate sometime in summer 2020 in time for the Olympics, and the tickets are expected to go on sale next month.


San Jose (ANA switch)

As of March 29, 2020, ANA will be shifting their daily San Jose flight from Narita to Haneda. The new flight will be operated by a three cabin 787-8 with the following schedule:

NH120 Haneda to San Jose departing 5:05PM arriving 10:30AM
NH119 San Jose to Haneda departing 12:20PM arriving 3:20PM (+1 day)

The new flight is expected to go on sale as of November 26, 2019.


Los Angeles

ANA switch

ANA already flies to LAX-NRT x2 daily and LAX-HND x1 daily.  Starting March 29, 2020, ANA will be switching one of their twice daily NRT flights to HND.  So that means that ANA will be operating one daily LAX-NRT and twice daily LAX-HND with the addition of the switched HND.

The new flight will be operated by a four cabin 777-300ER with the following schedule:

NH126 Haneda to Los Angeles departing 9:05PM arriving 3:05PM
NH125 Los Angeles to Haneda departing 5:05PM arriving 9:15PM (+1 day)

The new flight is expected to go on sale as of November 25, 2019.

JAL new route

JAL operates LAX-NRT x1 daily, but will now be adding once daily LAX-HND to their existing flight.

The new flight will be operated by a four cabin 777-300ER with the following schedule:

JL16 Haneda to Los Angeles departing 5:00PM arriving 10:50AM
JL15 Los Angeles to Haneda departing 1:45PM arriving 5:20PM (+1 day)

The new flight is expected to go on sale as of November 26, 2019.  The existing NRT flight will be downgraded from a 777-300ER to a two cabin 787-8 as of March 29, 2020. That flight will operate with the following schedule:

JL62 Narita to Los Angeles departing 5:20PM arriving 11:15AM
JL61 Los Angeles to Narita departing 1:05PM arriving 4:40PM (+1 day)


Seattle (ANA switch)

As of March 29, 2020, ANA will be shifting their daily Seattle flight from Narita to Haneda. The new flight will be operated by a three cabin 787-8 with the following schedule:

NH118 Haneda to Seattle departing 9:00PM arriving 2:10PM
NH117 Seattle to Haneda departing 4:40PM arriving 7:00PM (+1 day)

The new flight is expected to go on sale as of November 26, 2019.


Chicago (JAL switch and new route)

As of March 29, 2020, Japan Airlines will be shifting their daily Chicago flight from Narita to Haneda. The new flight will be operated by a four cabin 777-300ER with the following schedule:

JL10 Haneda to Chicago departing 11:45AM arriving 9:30AM
JL9 Chicago to Haneda departing 12:25PM arriving 3:35PM (+1 day)

The new flight is expected to go on sale as of November 26, 2019.  But what's confusing here is that JAL will be resuming their switched NRT flight in 2021.  As of February 15, 2021, Japan Airlines will operate a three cabin 787-9 daily between Narita and Chicago with the following schedule:

JL56 Narita to Chicago departing 6:00PM arriving 2:50PM
JL55 Chicago to Narita departing 10:40AM arriving 3:00PM (+1 day)


Houston (ANA switch)

As of March 29, 2020, ANA will be shifting their daily Houston flight from Narita to Haneda. The new flight will be operated by a four cabin 777-300ER with the following schedule:

NH114 Haneda to Houston departing 10:20AM arriving 8:40AM
NH113 Houston to Haneda departing 1:10PM arriving 5:00PM (+1 day)

The new flight is expected to go on sale as of November 27, 2019.


Dallas (JAL switch)

As of March 29, 2020, Japan Airlines will be shifting their daily Dallas flight from Narita to Haneda. The new flight will be operated by a three cabin 787-9 with the following schedule:

JL12 Haneda to Dallas departing 10:55AM arriving 8:25AM
JL11 Dallas to Haneda departing 10:55AM arriving 2:20PM (+1 day)

The new flight is expected to go on sale as of November 26, 2019.


Washington Dulles (ANA switch)

As of March 29, 2020, ANA will be shifting their daily Washington Dulles flight from Narita to Haneda. The new flight will be operated by a four cabin 777-300ER with the following schedule:

NH102 Haneda to Washington departing 10:55AM arriving 10:35AM
NH101 Washington to Haneda departing 1:10PM arriving 4:15PM (+1 day)

The new flight is expected to go on sale as of November 28, 2019.


New York JFK (JAL new route)

Currently JAL flies twice daily to New York, once out of Haneda and once out of Narita. As of March 29, 2020, Japan Airlines will operate twice daily between Haneda and New York with four cabin 777-300ERs. The new Haneda flight will operate with the following schedule:

JL4 Haneda to New York departing 6:30PM arriving 6:25PM
JL3 New York to Haneda departing 1:30AM arriving 4:45AM (+1 day)


Honolulu (JAL switch)

Japan Airlines flies 4x daily from Narita to Honolulu. As of March 29, 2020, the airline will shift two of those daily flights to Haneda. These flights will both be operated by three cabin 787-9s with the following schedules:

JL74 Haneda to Honolulu departing 9:00PM arriving 9:20AM
JL73 Honolulu to Haneda departing 12:05PM arriving 3:20PM (+1 day)

JL72 Haneda to Honolulu departing 9:55PM arriving 10:15AM
JL71 Honolulu to Haneda departing 3:45PM arriving 7:30PM (+1 day)


HND or NRT?

HND is definitely the more convenient option for those visiting Tokyo or connecting to domestic destinations in Japan.  Both JAL and ANA appear to be targeting the Olympics audience, but HND definitely does not have near the international connections that NRT boasts.  So these switches and additions will definitely help those visiting Japan and the Olympics, but is not so good news for those connecting onward to international destinations in Asia.

JAL's legendary Apex Suites on the B777-300

Booking these award flights

Like JAL's recent SFO-NRT addition, I expect the award floodgates to open for all these new and switched flights next week.  This will definitely be a good opportunity for those wishing to fly to Japan or to go to the Olympics.  JAL has been known to release at least 4 business class award seats and 2 first class award seats per flight, which is suitable for those flying with families.

Best redemption options for JAL business class (one-way):
1.  Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: 60k miles
2.  American Airlines AAdvantage: 60k miles
3.  British Airways Executive Club: 77,250 Avios + ~$117.90 fees

Best redemption options for ANA business class:
1.  ANA Mileage Club: 75k-90k miles (depending on distance and peak season) + ~$267 fees (roundtrip only)
2.  Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: 90k-95k miles (depending on distance) + ~$267 fees (roundtrip nonstop only)
3.  Avianca Lifemiles: 75k miles one-way

ANA business class

Bottom line

It's no surprise to see both JAL and ANA perform these dramatic shifts to coveted slots at HND.  These switches will definitely make visiting Tokyo and domestic transfers much easier, but likely at the cost of less international transfers.  The addition of the new flights will give travelers more options, and I expect a wealth of awards to be available when booking opens next week.  What do you make of both carriers switches to HND and the new flights?

H/T: OMAAT


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