Delegations from the US and Japan signed an agreement Aug. 21 that will add two dozen new daytime services between US destinations and Tokyo Haneda Airport.

The amended US-Japan Open Skies Agreement allocates 12 new slot pairs for US carriers and 12 for Japanese carriers. The deal’s signing comes after the US Department of Transportation (DOT) on Aug. 9 awarded the available slots to four carriers: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines

DOT said it expects the new services to begin “on or around March 29, 2020, with the beginning of the IATA Summer 2020 traffic season, and in time for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, so passengers will benefit from Haneda’s convenient access to downtown Tokyo.”

Airlines for America (A4A) applauded the move in a statement, saying the new agreement “reflects the critical role aviation plays as a driver of jobs and economic growth in the US and throughout the world.”

“Japan is one of the most important global markets for US carriers. Enabling all US carriers to compete for access at Haneda—one of the world’s largest and busiest airports—helps to improve international relations with our Japanese partners, while yielding immense benefits for the traveling and shipping public,” the lobbying group said.

Under the amended agreement, Atlanta-based Delta will receive five new slot pairs; Chicago-based United, four; Dallas/Fort Worth-based American, three; and Hawaiian, one.

“This agreement will allow us to serve the traveling public with new flights from DFW and LAX beginning early next year,” American SVP-government affairs Nate Gatten said in an emailed statement. “Additionally, the agreement will continue to foster a healthy global aviation framework in the Pacific Rim and enhance the existing Open Skies agreement.”

United “appreciates the efforts of the US and Japanese governments to expand access” at Haneda, spokesman Jonathan Guerin said via email, adding that new flights between Haneda and the carrier’s hubs in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York Newark and Washington DC are now available for purchase for travel beginning next spring.

Ben Goldstein, ben.goldstein@aviationweek.com