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The decision is a major milestone for Delta that, once finalized, would increase traveler options and bring more competition to Tokyo.


Delta would become the leading U.S. airline serving Tokyo’s preferred airport under a preliminary decision announced May 16 by the Department of Transportation, with new slot pairs for flights between Haneda Airport and Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, Portland, Ore., and Honolulu.

Together with Delta’s existing service from Los Angeles and Minneapolis/St. Paul, these new routes will provide more convenient access for customers and better position the carrier to compete with other airline partnerships serving Tokyo’s preferred airport. The city’s other major airport, Narita, can increase travel time by up to two hours to downtown Tokyo compared to Haneda.

DOT’s tentative decision to award Delta five slot pairs is a major milestone for Delta that, once finalized, would increase traveler options and bring more competition to this critical market. It will better position Delta to compete with U.S. airlines that have previously been able to offer better access to Haneda through joint venture partnerships with Japanese airlines. It will also enhance the ability of Delta and its partner Korean Air to provide comprehensive service and connecting options across the region.

“This preliminary order demonstrates the DOT’s commitment to encouraging competition and providing more choice for customers traveling between the U.S. and Tokyo’s city center,” said Steve Sear, President – International and Executive Vice President – Global Sales. “This service will allow Delta to combine its superior service, product and operational reliability with the convenience of Tokyo-Haneda’s central location – an important win for customers.”

Pending final government approvals, the new routes would launch in the Summer 2020 flying season.

Delta and other airlines that have submitted proposals for additional Haneda service now have the opportunity to respond to DOT’s preliminary order. DOT will review airline responses and issue a final order awarding Haneda slots, expected in late summer 2019.

New routes to feature Delta’s award-winning reliability, product and service

Delta will operate the flights using the following aircraft types:

  • SEA-HND will be operated using Delta’s newest international widebody aircraft, the Airbus A330-900neo. Delta’s A330-900neo will feature all four branded seat products – Delta One suites, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin – giving customers more choice than ever.
  • DTW-HND will be operated using Delta’s flagship Airbus A350-900 aircraft, the launch fleet type for Delta’s award-winning Delta One suite, Delta Premium Select and Main Cabin.
  • ATL-HND will be flown using Delta’s refreshed Boeing 777-200ER, featuring Delta One suites, the new Delta Premium Select cabin and the widest Main Cabin seats of Delta’s international fleet.
  • PDX-HND will be flown using Delta’s Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which features 34 full flat-bed seats with direct-aisle access in Delta One, 32 in Delta Comfort+ and 168 in Main Cabin.
  • HNL-HND will be operated using Delta’s Boeing 767-300ER. This fleet type is currently being retrofitted with a new cabin interior and in-flight entertainment system.

All seats on these aircraft types offer personal in-flight entertainment, ample overhead bin space and free in-flight messaging. In addition to Delta’s award-winning operational reliability and service, all cabins of service include complimentary meals, snacks and beverages. Last year, Delta began partnering with Michelin consulting chef Norio Ueno to create meals for all cabins of service for flights to and from Japan.