Denver today. Asia tomorrow.


As we reported previously, new connections are being forged between American and Japanese communities by the arrival of the new 787 Dreamliner jet. Our friends at the Japan America Society of Colorado, have shared a story on the new direct connection between Denver and Tokyo and its impact on the Mile High City.

Japan America Society of Colorado

Written by: Laura Jackson, Senior Director for Research & Market Intelligence, Denver International Airport

City and community leaders were a “mile high” on May 22 when United Airlines officially announced new daily nonstop service between Denver and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport beginning in 2013. This will be Denver’s first-ever nonstop service to Asia, and culminates efforts that spanned at least three decades. Most recently Denver International Airport had worked to coalesce communities of interest as part of the Ascent to Asia campaign to secure this service.

“This flight represents United’s investment in Denver, Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region,” stated Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “We must now invest in United by purchasing tickets and flying as passengers. We must work to make this flight successful to ensure the greatest benefit to our regional economy.

With new nonstop service between Denver and Tokyo, the Mile High City will not only be connected with the capital of Japan, but with cities across Asia. United provides service from Narita to major Asian business centers, including Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. And United’s Japanese partner All Nippon Airways provides connections to nine cities in Japan as well as more than 20 cities across Asia. In addition, Star Alliance carriers Air China, Asiana Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International operate services from Narita. Passengers can be in Denver one day, and at their final destination in Asia the next day.

United’s flight will provide ‘hub-to-hub’ service, connecting two of the most efficient airports in the world,” said Aviation Manager Kim Day. “The Star Alliance network at Narita is unparalleled and passengers will seamlessly transfer to a growing network provided by All Nippon Airways and other partner airlines.”

Estimates show that the new service will generate more than $130 million in annual economic impact to the State of Colorado and create up to 1,500 new jobs. Much of the impact will come from new visitors to the state. Demand for travel between Denver and Tokyo is expected to double in the first year of service, and demand for travel to other destinations across Asia is also forecasted to grow.

The service will be operated on United’s new Boeing 787 aircraft, configured with 36 seats in BusinessFirst, 72 seats in Economy Plus and 111 seats in Economy. Following is the flight schedule:

United 123: Depart Denver at 11:55 a.m., arrive Tokyo/Narita 3 p.m. (next day arrival)

Travel time: 12 hours, 5 minutes

Service start date: Mar. 31, 2013

United 122: Depart Tokyo/Narita at 4:40 p.m., arrive Denver at 12:30 p.m. (same day arrival)

Travel time: 10 hours, 50 minutes

Service start date: Apr. 1, 2013

(This article was originally published in the Japan America Society of Colorado's newsletter Kakehashi.)