On July 30, Delta Air Lines asked for the DOT’s approval to serve Haneda from Seattle, rather than Detroit. The DOT has tentatively concluded...

The U.S. Department of Transportation has tentatively decided to allow Delta Air Lines to serve Tokyo’s downtown Haneda Airport from Seattle.

Under the U.S.-Japan air service agreement, U.S. airlines may operate a total of four daily round-trip flights per day at Tokyo Haneda Airport, where operations are limited. In 2010, the DOT awarded Delta two of those flights, one for service from Detroit and the other from Los Angeles.

On July 30, Delta Air Lines asked for the DOT’s approval to serve Haneda from Seattle, rather than Detroit. In response, three other airlines filed proposals to use the route authority for a new daily flight of their own, rather than the DOT allowing Delta to switch one of its Haneda routes from Detroit to Seattle.

Delta Air Lines, the world’s second-largest airline in 2012, operates 58 Boeing 767-300ERs on long-haul international routes and 16 767-300s on domestic routes. The carrier also has various other long-haul aircraft types


American Airlines proposed service to Haneda from Los Angeles, Hawaiian Airlines from Kona in Hawaii, and United Airlines from San Francisco. The DOT instituted a proceeding to consider the competing proposals.

However, in its show-cause order of November 15, the Department of Transportation has tentatively concluded after all that it would be in the public interest to allow Delta to use the Haneda route opportunity to provide service from Seattle rather than Detroit.

According to the DOT, Delta’s proposal would provide the first non-stop service between Haneda and Seattle and would also provide a number of Western U.S. cities with their first one-stop connecting service to Haneda.

In addition to Delta’s current service from Detroit and Los Angeles, service to Tokyo Haneda Airport is also provided by American Airlines from New York JFK and Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu.

Objections to the show-cause order are due by November 26. If objections are filed, answers to objections will be due by December 3. The show-cause order and other documents in the case are available at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2010-0018.