American Airlines Kicks Off Good Start for Its Haneda Route, Enhancing Partnership with Japan Airlines to Further Expand Sales
American Airlines (AA) on February 20 launched a new service to New York from Tokyoâ€™s Haneda Airport. On February 21, following the inaugural flight, the airline organized an open house at its new Asia/Pacific regional office, inviting a large number of tourism-related people. Speaking at the open house, Theo Panagiotoulias, Vice-President and Managing Director Asia/Pacific at American Airlines, said, â€œThe open house today symbolizes our joint venture business with Japan Airlines (JL) and we have no doubt that our relationship will become even more solid.â€ Commenting on the new Haneda/New York route, he said, â€œIn partnership with JAL, we can now provide our customers with a greater number of options with Narita and Haneda combined, by operating early-morning, daytime and evening flights,â€ adding that the airline is hopeful to further boost sales in enhanced partnership with JAL.
American Airlinesâ€™ Haneda/New York route sees its Economy class getting full until the end of March, registering a robust seat load factor, quoting Norio Inaba, the airlineâ€™s Director of Sales for Japan as saying. In terms of travel style, the ratio of those terminating trips in New York and those continuing beyond New York is, more or less, fifty- fifty â€œif cruise trips are included.â€ Leisure travelers, in particular, can now expect a travel style with improved customer-friendliness combined with cruises.
Inaba said that he feels that there is a possibility of producing new tour products featuring new destinations, thanks to the improved onward connections, such as Saint Martin Island and Virgin Islands which are up to now considered to be difficult to be merchandized. Although it needs time to promote new destinations, he added, they are expected to lead to a diversification of travel products. In terms of business travel demand, he said that he admits the airlineâ€™s Haneda/New York route has not yet received full market recognition. Therefore, he is of the opinion that it is imperative to enhance its market presence focusing on business travelers in general.
Even in striving to attract travel demand from the local areas within Japan, American Airlines so far had some difficulties to get space on Japanese domestic flights. Now that the joint venture business allows for the joint fares with JAL, he said, it should become extremely easy for the airline to produce travel products. The domestic flight schedules are needed to be adjusted by JAL, but should it be possible, the number of tour products will undoubtedly increase, said Inaba. American Airlines plans to sell Japan Airlineâ€™s Premium Economy class as well, thus, by the joint venture business, the airline aims to attract new travel demand and also to give a boost to its sales expansion.
Source: Travel Vision
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