Delta Wants to Start Six New Flights From the US to Tokyo Haneda

Feb 21, 2019

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On the heels of United, American and Hawaiian, Delta Air Lines has submitted on Thursday its bid for six of the 12 newly available traffic slots at Haneda, one of the two airports serving Tokyo — and the more convenient of the two to the city.

According to its filing with the US Department of Transportation, Delta, like United, is proposing six routes into Haneda, while American wants four and Hawaiian three. There are 19 applications with the US Department of Transportation for 12 slots, so seven of the requests won’t be honored.

If Delta gets all of its requests, US-based passengers will be able to fly into HND from Seattle; Detroit; Atlanta; Portland, Oregon; and Honolulu.

Delta flies a very heterogeneous fleet, and that’s reflected in the mix of planes proposed for the Japan routes, which includes every type of twin-aisle jet Delta has, plus one that isn’t even in service yet:

  • Seattle (SEA) – Haneda (HND): Airbus A330-900neo with Delta One suites and Premium Select, Delta’s true premium economy product. The new A330-900 won’t be delivered to Delta until later this year.
  • Detroit (DTW) – Haneda (HND): Airbus A350-900, also with Delta One and Premium Select.
  • Atlanta (ATL) – Haneda (HND): Refurbished Boeing 777-200ER with Delta One and Premium Select, as well as economy class in a 3-3-3 layout, with wider seats than competing US carriers featuring a 3-4-3 configuration.
  • Portland (PDX) – Haneda (HND): Airbus A330-200, with lie-flat Delta One (not the suite version) seats and no Premium Select.
  • Honolulu (HNL) – Haneda (HND): Both daily flights would be on the Boeing 767-300ER, the oldest widebody jet in the fleet, featuring Delta One lie-flats and no Premium Select.

The opening of the 12 new slots is the result of negotiations between the US and Japanese governments. Delta said that its six requests should all be granted on competitive grounds: “Delta’s proposal will deliver sorely needed competition to the dominant United/ANA and American/JAL joint ventures” at Haneda, the filing said, calling HND “Tokyo’s preferred airport.” United and ANA are members of the Star Alliance and American and JAL are in Oneworld, which compete with SkyTeam, the other player among global airline alliances.

According to a chart Delta added to its filing, SkyTeam has a measly 3 percent of daily departures at Haneda.

Delta would also keep its existing flights to Haneda from Minneapolis (MSP) and Los Angeles (LAX), according to a statement on Delta’s site.

This story has been updated with the correct number of total applications for routes into Haneda. 

Featured image of a Delta Boeing 777 by Alberto Riva/TPG

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