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By Joe Brancatelli

Business travelers headed to Tokyo have spent the last generation flying to the distant, charmless Narita Airport. Closer-in (albeit equally charmless), Haneda Airport has beenoff-limits to virtually all international flights since 1978. But thanks to a recent open-skies agreement between the United States and Japan, Haneda will again be open for intercontinental flights beginning late in the fall.

After a brief period of consultation and petitioning, the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Haneda flights to American Airlines, Delta Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. American will get to launch a daily New York/Kennedy-Haneda flight, Delta gets daily flights from Los Angeles and its Detroit hub and Hawaiian Airlines will be permitted to launch daily service from Honolulu to Haneda. And that’s not all: Bankrupt Japan Airlines will move its San Francisco flights to Haneda from Narita and launch its own Honolulu-Haneda service.

For those familiar with Tokyo’s extensive rail network, Haneda is accessible via the Keikyu Airport Line. The travel time to Tokyo Station is about 30 minutes. Extensive bus service is also available; the travel time to central Tokyo hotels is about 50 minutes.

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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2009 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.

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