Story and Photos from Tokyo by Airchive.com Correspondent, Enrique Perrella
Tokyo International Airport, also known as Haneda Airport (HND), is one of the two main gateways into Japan’s capital city. Founded in 1931, it was Tokyo’s airport until its counterpart, Narita (NRT), was opened in the late 1970’s. It’s closer location to the city (9 miles) than NRT makes it the preferred choice for business travelers and domestic traffic. The airport has won several awards, among which ‘The most punctual airport in the world’ from Forbes magazine highlights its 94.3% rate of departure punctuality.
HND is an extremely modern and user-friendly airport. In 2010, an all-new International terminal was opened to the public and has been, since then, one of the most modern and impressive buildings in the Japanese transportation industry. The existence of this architectural marvel demanded the construction and opening of a fourth runway to the already prolific airport, which saw the inclusion of new international flights and midnight transpacific services towards the US.
The airport, before the expansion of its services, was host to several scheduled charter services to Korea and Hong-Kong, which were operated by large wide bodies such as all Boeing 747 types.
In 2012, HND handled almost 70 million passengers, becoming the second busiest airport in Asia and the fourth in the world, 20 million passengers short of its complete capacity. Altogether, HND and NRT help Tokyo become the third most congested air transportation cities in the globe – just a few steps behind the London and New York behemoths.
Curiously, HND is Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) main hub. The former is currently operating out of the ‘old’ Terminal 1, whereas the latter has been positioned in Terminal 2. Both airlines, as well as other regional operators use the new International Terminal which Airchive.com had the opportunity to visit.
The airport’s main hall is characterized of a gigantic metallic space, enlightened by large windows which allow for a perfect sense of space. Check-in desks are very well positioned, all guarded by the most educated Japanese clerks.
The lower side of the terminal hosts all airline offices and check-in desks, whereas the second mid-level floor hosts all the airport’s shops and traditional Japanese restaurants which overlook the entire check-in area.
The third floor, perhaps our favorite area, gives access to a gigantic viewing terrace, which overlooks one of HND’s main runways, often used for landings.
HND has a five-star First and Business Class Lounge offered by ANA in the new International Terminal. The Lounge offers its premium passengers all the necessary services to help the ANA be ranked as a 5-star SkyTrax Airline.
Even though HND has been a historically domestic and regional airport, international carriers began flying in from overseas given its close location to the city center and Narita’s far two-hour ride away. Here is a long-haul route map offered by the airport’s media center:
In addition to the map, here’s a list of the current cities and airlines that operate to/from HND:
- HONG KONG
- KUALA LUMPUR
- LOS ANGELES
- NEW YORK(JFK)
- SAN FRANCISCO
- All Nippon Airways
- Japan Airlines
- Air Asia X
- Air China
- American Airlines
- Asiana Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- China Airlines
- China Eastern Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Eva Airways
- Garuda Indonesia
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Korean Air
- Shanghai Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways International