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by  NYC Editors , 05/07/2010

 
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NEW YORK CITY ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR AMERICAN AIRLINES' AND CONTINENTAL AIRLINES' EFFORTS TO OBTAIN NEW AIR SLOTS AT JAPAN’S HANEDA AIRPORT UNDER RECENT OPEN-SKIES AGREEMENT


NEW YORK, NY (May 6, 2010)— NYC & Company, New York City’s official tourism, marketing and partnership organization, announced its support today for American Airlines and Continental Airlines in their efforts to obtain the new air slots at Japan’s Haneda Airport, which would increase flights between Japan’s and New York City’s regional airports. The year-round service from Haneda is anticipated to begin in late 2010, following the completion of the airport’s new fourth runway.

“We applaud the efforts of American and Continental Airlines, who understand the value of the Japanese market, and we look forward to seeing how their efforts could support travel to New York City in 2011 and beyond,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. “New York City has seen a turnaround in the number of Japanese travelers in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the same time period last year, which is a great sign for this market and its significant share of the business travel market.”

The four pairs of daily takeoff and landing slots at Haneda will become available for flights between Japan and the United States under the open-skies agreement signed in December 2009. American Airlines and Continental Airlines, two of the nation's largest airlines, have applied to the US Transportation Department for the Haneda slots, requesting service into New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport, respectively. Haneda Airport, which primarily serves domestic flights, is undergoing a large-scale renovation that will transform it into Japan's second global hub, after Narita Airport. Easily accessible from the metropolitan Tokyo area and other parts of Japan, Haneda will provide a particularly attractive option for business travelers.

According to the most recent data, New York City ranks as the nation's number-one Japanese business-travel market, with 35% of the market share in 2008. Japan has long been a key international market for New York City. An estimated 242,000 Japanese travelers visited the City in 2009, and they ranked fourth in spending among international travelers to New York, with an average of $2,096 spent per visit.

New York City, the number-one US destination for international travelers, welcomed more than 8.6 million visitors from abroad in 2009, representing 34% of all overseas travel to the US. Last year, more than 45 million people visited the City, spending approximately $28 billion across the five boroughs. New York City remains on track to achieving its ambitious goal of attracting 50 million annual visitors by 2012.