New-look Haneda shows off new facilities ahead of launch

Tokyo's hugely upgraded Haneda airport opens its new international terminal on October 21 with facilities on the ground designed to cater to the thousands of new flights that will be landing and taking off from the new hub by the end of the month.

The finishing touches are being put on the state-of-the-art airport, which welcomed its first Airbus 380, the world's largest passenger aircraft, on October 18. The superjumbo flew in from France to ensure that the new terminal can meet its unique requirements in terms of passenger boarding bridges.

Japan's two main airlines, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, have ramped up their presence at Haneda.

ANA is launching new routes that connect Haneda with London, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Singapore, Bangkok and Taipei. To meet the needs of the steep increase in the number of international travelers, the airline is opening a series of new lounges and increasing its "Click" self-service check-in booths.

The ANA Suite Lounge is open to mermbers of the airline's Diamond Service, while the ANA Lounge will cater to frequent fliers and business class travelers. The lounges have shower facilities and other amenities, as well as serving light meals, snacks and drinks.

JAL is similarly opening new lounges and is laying on exclusive new flight connection services between the airport's domestic and international terminals.

The extension work has added 50,000 square meters to the airport, with six above-ground floors and two basement levels, increasing the total floor space to 250,000 square meters. The number of luggage inspection areas has been doubled to four to cope with the additional flow of passengers.

The expanded domestic terminal has a revamped dining area with more than 260 tables and chairs collected from around the world while another new addition is a museum, the first of its kind in a Japanese airport.

Additional information centers have been set up by railway firms that link the airport with central Tokyo, manned by staff who are able to speak English, Chinese and Korean.

The seven properties operated by the Preferred Hotel Group are marking the increase in services from Haneda with a range of special deasl, including a 10 percent reduction in the price of a stay at the Hotel New Otani, which is only 17 km from the airport, as well as similar deals at the Capitol Hotel Tokyu and the Grand Pacific Le Daiba.

The expanded floor space within the terminals has also given retailers new opportunities to show off their wares, with popular fashion brand Samantha Thavasa opening a cafe and sweets shop in the Terminal 1 departure lounge. The items on sale are all unique to the single store and will all be limited-time offers.

JR

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