The carrier begins nonstop service to Tokyo Haneda from Detroit and Los Angeles on February 19. Delta Air Lines will launch new routes from...

Delta Air Lines is about to expand service to two key international airports – Haneda Airport in Tokyo and Heathrow Airport in London – as it continues its focus on key markets for strategic growth in 2011.

The carrier begins nonstop service to Tokyo Haneda from Detroit and Los Angeles on February 19. Delta Air Lines will launch new routes from Boston and Miami to London Heathrow Airport on March 26.

“While Delta’s overall capacity growth in 2011 will be measured due to rising fuel costs and economic conditions, we’re investing in high-growth and restricted markets such as Heathrow and Haneda,” says Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s executive vice president – network planning, revenue management and marketing. “These are destinations with great market potential, not just for the short term but in the long term as well.”

Under multinational air service agreements, Delta has only been allowed to serve Heathrow since 2007 and is gaining access to Haneda this year. Delta says it is now the fastest-growing U.S. carrier to Heathrow, adding that with its new Haneda flights, it will become the largest U.S. carrier to both of Tokyo’s major airports – Haneda and Narita.

Heathrow is London’s preferred airport for business travelers. Since 2007, when the U.S. and U.K. governments liberalized air service access between their two countries, Delta says it has added more nonstop service to Heathrow than any of its U.S. competitors. The airline has grown from no service to Heathrow in 2007 to 10 daily flights from six U.S. cities planned for summer 2011, with nonstop service from its hubs in Atlanta, Detroit, New York JFK, and Minneapolis-St. Paul, as well as Boston and Miami.

“Delta’s industry-leading growth in Heathrow service underscores our commitment to the market,” says Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s senior vice president – Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Heathrow is the airport our international business customers consistently tell us they prefer when flying to London.”

The Boeing 777-200LR is the longest-haul aircraft type in Delta Air Lines' huge fleet. Delta operates 10 of the ultra-long-haul widebodies

In conjunction with its new service, Delta is offering special introductory fares for travel on its new routes between Heathrow and Boston and Miami. Special fares also are available on connecting flights to Heathrow via Miami from Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida. Delta is adding new nonstop flights between the three cities and Miami International Airport to enable convenient connections to Heathrow for customers across Florida. The intra-Florida flights will be operated by Delta Connection carriers Comair and Pinnacle Airlines using 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets.

The special each-way fares (based on a round-trip purchase and not including taxes and fees) are $199 in Economy and $619 in Business Elite from Boston, Miami, Tampa (via Miami), Orlando (via Miami) and Jacksonville (via Miami) to London Heathrow.

These fares are only available at Tickets will cost $25 more if purchased from Delta over the phone, and $35 more at a Delta ticket counter or ticket office, and these amounts are nonrefundable. Tickets must be purchased no later than March 1, 2011. Travel in Economy to London Heathrow must begin between March 26 and April 17 or May 1 to May 15 and all travel must be completed on or before June 15, 2011. Using these fares, no travel in Economy is allowed from London Heathrow to Miami  from April 4 to April 13.Travel in Business Elite to London-Heathrow may begin between March 26 and May 15 and all travel must be completed on or before June 15, 2011.

In addition to Heathrow, Delta is expanding into Tokyo Haneda, which is preferred by many business travelers because of its proximity to central Tokyo.

“Our new nonstop service to Haneda Airport in Tokyo is a natural addition to our industry-leading Asia service, which continues to grow,” says Vinay Dube, Delta’s senior vice president – Asia-Pacific. “Delta flights to conveniently located Haneda complement our hub at Tokyo Narita, and underscore our ongoing investment in the region.”

Haneda is open to transpacific flights for the first time in three decades, after being limited primarily to Japanese domestic service and flights to and from China and Taiwan. The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Delta two of the four routes available for U.S. carriers between the U.S. and Haneda.

The new Haneda service is part of Delta’s ongoing expansion in Asia, where the airline says it had the strongest revenue growth of its worldwide network in 2010. New Delta service to and within Asia includes new service between Delta’s Tokyo Narita hub and Guangzhou starting in April; expanded service between Narita and Manila beginning in April; resumption of service between Atlanta and Shanghai starting in June; new flights between Detroit and Beijing beginning in July; new daily service between Nagoya and Honolulu, which began in December; and weekly flights between Narita and the Pacific island of Palau, which also began in December.

On Delta’s Detroit-Haneda service, flight DL627 is scheduled to depart Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) daily from February 19 at 7:30 p.m. and land at Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND) at 11 p.m. the next day, local time (after crossing the International Dateline). In the other direction, flight DL628 is scheduled to leave HND at 6:55 a.m. from February 20 and touch down at DTW at 4:50 a.m. the same day, local time, again after crossing the International Dateline.

Delta’s new Los Angeles-Tokyo Haneda service will see flight DL635 push back from the gate at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at 12:10 a.m. daily from February 19 and arrive at HND at 5 a.m. the next day, local time. In the other direction, flight DL636 is timed to depart HND at 1:00 a.m. from February 21 and get to LAX at 6:40 p.m. the previous day, local time.